Pines golf club in Elizabeth City donated to COA Foundation

By on September 5, 2017

Bill Taylor, local businessman and entrepreneur, has had an affinity for Elizabeth City and The Pines since joining the club more than 40 years ago.

In the fall of 2004, Taylor purchased The Pine Lakes Country Club from his fellow members and spent the next 10 years working to achieve its true potential in Elizabeth City.


On Friday, Taylor finalized a donation valued at more than $3.8 million of the club to the College of The Albemarle Foundation, an institution that has been on his radar as a beneficiary for some time.

The foundation and community college have been serving the residents of northeastern North Carolina for more than 55 years and maintainsa strong focus on academic excellence.

“On behalf of my fellow Foundation Board of Directors, it is a privilege and honor to accept such a generous gift from Bill Taylor,” said H. Taylor Sugg, president of the COA Foundation Board of Directors. “Mr. Taylor has been, and will continue to be, a distinguished businessman and supporter of Elizabeth City and the surrounding communities. He has set the stage for excellence at The Pines of Elizabeth City.”

Although Taylor lives in Virginia, he keeps his business office in the historic district of downtown Elizabeth City, where he maintains operations for the 15 McDonald’s restaurants he owns in northeast North Carolina and Hampton Roads.

“I was honored to take on the challenge of creating a championship golf course for the people of Elizabeth City more than 10 years ago, and am proud to continue my commitment to this community by granting this opportunity to the College of The Albemarle Foundation,” Taylor said. “I am eager to see what the future brings for this worthwhile endeavor.”


The COA Foundation, not in the business of operating golf courses, has partnered with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads , which will take over the daily operations for The Pines at Elizabeth City.

Both the COA Foundation and the YMCA wanted to see the long-standing local golf course continue to be operated for the residents of Elizabeth City and the surrounding communities. The Pines, currently a semi-private golf course that includes a banquet facility and outdoor pool, will be operated by the YMCA effective Sep. 1, 2017.

“Working in collaboration with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads to operate The Pines — a staple in the community — was the right thing to do for our local communities,” Sugg said. “Billy George, and his staff, have worked diligently and swiftly to be prepared to offer golf and other services to the residents of northeastern North Carolina.”


Partnering with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads is not new to COA. The two anchors of the community have been working together for more than 14 years, sharing space at the Zack D. Owens and Martha Anderson Owens Health Sciences Center in the Albemarle Family YMCA, located on the COA Elizabeth City campus.

The opportunity to operate The Pines at Elizabeth City as a collaborative effort means more students, families and children will be served throughout Elizabeth City and surrounding counties.

COA will have the opportunity to expand their classroom spaces to The Pines in to accommodate more educational courses, while the YMCA plans to use the space for camp programming, outdoor activities and the pool for recreation and swim lessons.

“We are excited for the opportunity to expand our services and add an outdoor pool — a benefit for our members — and continuing to offer golf course services for the community.” said Billy George, President and CEO of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads.

“Until we have the opportunity to engage our golf members, we will continue to provide privileges as normal and the facility will still be available for banquets, family and group events, and business meetings,” George said.


  • surf123

    Running a golf course is not easy and is very costly to do right. Additionally if it is not maintained properly the customers will leave. I’d imagine Taylor purchased the club from the other members to keep it from going under. Golf courses across the US have gone bankrupt (or close to it) and then purchased by Club Corp, which runs them like a business and taking advantage of the economies of scale that come from running a vast number of golf courses.

    If the COA was independent it would not matter how they ran it, but since they are a government entity and therefore dependent upon the state and counties to support them. All this means that eventually the tax payers will be on the hook to support this “gift”.

    Tuesday, Sep 5 @ 1:21 pm
  • Sam Walker

    As noted in the story, the COA Foundation is the new owner of the club, not College of the Albemarle. The foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that does not have an affiliation with the N.C. Community College System, state or local government.

    Tuesday, Sep 5 @ 10:47 pm
  • Kpro

    Pardon the pun but Bill Taylor just dumped an Albatross on Elizabeth City. He could not sell it so this was his way of relieving himself of dead weight.

    Wednesday, Sep 6 @ 7:27 am
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