What’s Next?

We’re putting together a plan for Penny Branch and we’ll be sending out an email with the information about the plan within the next week.  We have our email list from 3 years ago – if you didn’t golf at Penny Branch in early 2013 or prior then you’re not on our email list. If you’d like to be added to the email list, please complete the information on the “contact us” page of our website.  Thanks y’all!

Hijacked Facebook Page

We posted this on Facebook today:
Truett & Susan McKenzie, Chris McKenzie, and I would like to let you all know that we’ve been keeping up with all of your posts and comments over the past 3 years. We miss seeing and talking to all of you at Penny Branch Club. As you all know, we leased Penny Branch to an outside group who ran it for the past 3 years. However, we were not able to reach an agreement about the renewal of the lease this year, which led to the closing of Penny Branch Golf Club.
For the last month, we’ve been brainstorming about the future of Penny Branch and we’ve got some ideas in the works. We’d like to share them with you, but we’ll have to wait until we regain access to this Facebook page or start a new one. We let the people that leased the course from us use our Facebook page with the understanding that it would be returned to us at the end of the lease. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened – instead, the name was changed to Penny Branch Golf Association. We truly hope we don’t have to start a new page, since there are so many pictures and videos of our children and friends, and we really want to you to be able to keep up with what’s happening at the real Penny Branch.
Until we figure out what we’re going to do about the Facebook page, you can visit our website. We’ll be posting information there. http://www.pennybranch.com.

My Perspective

So…last week I received a phone call telling me that there was an active shooter on the USC campus in Columbia. Since both of my sons are students at USC – one is at the medical school and the other is on the main campus – my heart dropped. I immediately called my younger son and his phone went to voicemail. I thought I was going to be sick. Fortunately, he quickly sent me a text message that simply said “I’m good…I’m just in class.” Oh, thank you God. I then called my older son who answered with “I’m safe. Mom, remember I’m not at the main campus.” Yes, I knew that, but I had to make sure he was okay. I then sent a text message to his girlfriend and she said she had just left campus a few minutes before the incident. Okay, okay, they’re all good.

Then I started wondering where the shooter was and would my family remain safe. Thanks to technology, I was able to get a live feed from WIStv.com and was able to find out that law enforcement felt like the situation was under control. I also received another text message from my younger son telling me all that he knew about the situation but that the entire campus was on lockdown and he wasn’t able to leave his classroom. Breathe and pray. Breathe and pray. I felt so helpless. Finally I received a phone call from my younger son telling me that the lockdown was over and that they were told it was a murder/suicide situation. He also told me that he was in the building just across the street from the incident, but that he didn’t tell me earlier so that I wouldn’t worry too much. When I received this phone call, my first thought was how thankful I was that everyone was okay. Thank you so much, God, that my family is okay. I am so very blessed.

Then I remembered that everyone wasn’t okay – that two people died. A professor was killed by his angry, depressed ex-wife. She came to campus with the sole intention of killing her ex-husband. She very evidently had serious mental issues. Her neighbors and her ex-husband knew that she was suffering from depression. Was she on medication? Was she seeing a counselor? Was she getting help? I have no idea, but I very strongly believe that many of the vindictive killings that we learn about could be prevented if mental issues were recognized and treated – even to the point of hospitalization. Years ago, depressed individuals received treatment and situations such as what is described above were few and far between. Perhaps it’s time to re-think the way mental illness is treated. It’s very obvious that the current way of treating the problem isn’t working. How many more people have to die before things change?

Another Beautiful Day

If you aren’t spending as much time as possible outdoors right now, you need to kick yourself.  It’s perfect outdoor weather – as Goldilocks once said “not too hot and not too cold…just right!”  Go for a walk.  Take the time to relax on the beach.  Plant some flowers.  Get a little bit of natural vitamin D.  Do something outside!  In a few weeks it will be too hot to enjoy being outside so do it now!!



It’s Beautiful Outside!

I’m sitting in an adirondack chair in my backyard soaking up the sun on this amazing day!  The sun is shining and the temperature is perfect and it’s only the 2nd of March.  After this crazy winter it’s certainly a pleasure to enjoy a day like today.  We even considered going out in the boat today!  What are you doing to take advantage of this beautiful weather?

It’s been a while…

Hello to all of our friends!  It’s been about 9 months since we’ve blogged.  I decided to take a break for a while in order for all of us to get used to our new lives.  And here we are.  We’ve made it to the other side.

We really miss everyone at the golf course.  It was a tough decision to close Penny Branch Club, but it’s one that we’re glad we made.  Due to the economy and other changes, we just didn’t have the business that we used to have, meaning we didn’t have the income necessary to keep the golf course in outstanding shape.  We originally decided to simply cut our losses and close.  But after some soul searching, we decided to see if there were other people out there who would like to take what we started and run with it.  

We were fortunate to find some people who were up to the challenge.  And a challenge it has been!  These former members of Penny Branch Club leased the property from us and opened Penny Branch Golf Club on June 1st, 2013.  None of them had any experience in running a golf course and had no idea what was involved.  In fact, very few of them had ever started a business of their own – most of them worked in their family businesses. They hired a great superintendent and I helped them get the business started by working as a consultant for a few months.  I spent countless hours setting up the accounting system and purchasing all of their pro shop and office supplies (with my money/credit until they could figure out the vendor situation and establish their own lines of credit – yes, they repaid me).  This lasted until about mid-August when I decided it was time for me to move on, start my new life, and let them run their own business – that was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!  At that point, they found a pro who was ready to take on this challenge.  

It was an uphill battle for the superintendent, pro, and new group.  But it looks like they’re on the right track.  The course is in excellent condition and business appears to be pretty good – at least it appears that way to people who live in the area.  We hope the new group is treating you right – we considered our golfers to be like family and we hope that’s you’re still being given the same treatment.  After all, you’re playing golf on our home place!  

Ch Ch Ch Changes…..


In August 1999, Penny Branch opened as a nine hole golf course.  Unexpected success allowed us to “re-open” as an eighteen hole golf course within a year.   Over the years we’ve re-routed the course, added wildflowers, watched small trees grow to full height, been featured by the Golf Channel, hosted numerous events, welcomed golfers from all over the world, and survived a recession.  We’ve been on the cover of an industry golf magazine, we’ve been honored as a SC economic ambassador, and we’ve been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, and web magazines. Most importantly, we’ve made many, many friends over the almost 14 years that we’ve been at Penny Branch Club. 

The McKenzie family takes great pride in the fact that we took our old family farm and turned it into a world renowned golf course.  We followed our dream.  We built a golf course in the middle of nowhere.  And, against all odds, people have come from all over the world to play golf at Penny Branch Club.  We built it and they came. But the time has come for us to pass the torch to a more energetic team that will take our beautiful course to the next level.  Truett & Susan have decided to retire, Wendy has decided to travel more, and Chris is continuing to succeed in his new career.  


We think you’ll be very happy with the changes.  The new management is excited about the opportunity to be a part of Penny Branch.  They have big plans for the course, as you’ll see over the next few months.  You’ll see a few new faces working on the course, but you’ll also see some of the same.  And Blackie the cat will still greet you when you arrive.  You may even see us on the golf course…but we’ll be playing golf instead of working!


We’ll miss seeing each and every one of you, and we’ll all definitely miss Jamie (she’s moving to Ohio).  But we’re looking forward to watching what we built continue to thrive and become even better.  Thank you for 14 wonderful years.  

Truett, Susan, Wendy, Chris


Back (Nine) Stories: If you build it, they will come … to Penny Branch – SC Insiders Travel Blog

Bob Gillespie & Perry Baker recently spent a Sunday afternoon at Penny Branch Club.  Here is the article that Bob wrote:  Back (Nine) Stories: If you build it, they will come … to Penny Branch – SC Insiders Travel Blog.  It is featured on the Golf page of DiscoverSouthCarolina.com.  Many, many thanks to Bob for this great article!  We’ll let you know when Perry’s video is available for viewing.


Wow!  It’s been quite a while since we’ve posted anything on here.  We’ve been busy taking care of our beautiful golf course!  Since the last post, Jamie has gone on maternity leave and is already back at work!  She welcomed a beautiful baby girl in late September.  Kita has accepted a job as a surgical technician in Savannah, so she’s only around on Sundays until the end of the year.  We’re really going to miss Kita and hope that she’ll be visiting often.  Bootsie has been keeping things going for us in the pro shop and has done a great job.  Nancy has re-joined the crew at Penny Branch – she filled in for Jamie and she’s still around on the weekends and a few weekdays.  Sam has taken over as mechanic and is on the maintenance crew and Jason is making sure everything is completed properly on the golf course. 

Now that we’ve caught up on the news, here’s what we’ve got going right now.  From December 13th until December 22nd, 2012, you can purchase a gift certificate for $120 and only pay $100.  Yes, that’s right, we’re giving you $20 extra dollars to spend at Penny Branch.  It can be used on golf, on food & beverages, on golf balls, on clothing, etc.  And it makes a fabulous Christmas present.  If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, please click here to purchase your gift certificates.  

We hope you’re doing well and that your Christmas preparations are coming along nicely.  And we hope to see you over the Christmas holidays!


We’re excited that Penny Branch is coming back with a vengeance!  The Bermuda grass is LOVING the extreme heat – yes, there is a good side to the summer temperatures 🙂 – and it’s in rapid growth mode.  As a matter of fact, the greens are rolling better than they have in quite a while!  Even the two holes (#1 & #11) which have been a huge headache for us this year are looking good.  The bunkers are being consistently maintained and the fairways are being mowed with extra care.  Not even the strong storm that we had last week was able to stop the momentum at Penny Branch.  Kudos to our maintenance crew for doing such a good job under the tough South Carolina sun.

We’re planning some special events over the next few months to showcase the golf course.  Be on the lookout for information about these events.  You can get this information via our club newsletter or on our Facebook page. 

If you’re at the golf course and you see Keith Lucas (our new superintendent),

please take the time to thank him for what he’s accomplishing.  He’s been instrumental in the changes on the golf course and he deserves the credit.  We’re very glad he’s a part of Penny Branch Club.