Beaufort News

Hilton Head golf club offers $10K reward for arson tips

Hugh Murphy, left, president of Bear Creek Golf Club, announces a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Nov. 26 fire at Bear Creek on Hilton Head Island. Also pictured is Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner, right.
Hugh Murphy, left, president of Bear Creek Golf Club, announces a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Nov. 26 fire at Bear Creek on Hilton Head Island. Also pictured is Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner, right. swelliver@islandpacket.com

Bear Creek Golf Club president Hugh Murphy hopes a $10,000 reward will loosen tongues about a suspicious fire in November that destroyed a shed containing all of the course's 52 golf carts.

Murphy, along with members of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, held a press conference Tuesday in the area where the shed once stood to offer the reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Nov. 26 fire at the private course in Hilton Head Plantation.

The fire caused $600,000 in damage and has had a "huge impact" on the club's more than 280 members, Murphy said. The reward will be paid by the club's insurance.

The fire broke out at 5:30 a.m., when the club was closed and no employees were around. It consumed the cart shed and all the course's carts and spread to the attic of the locker rooms and golf-bag storage area. Murphy said the fire shut down the course for three days.

Yamaha, the golf carts' manufacturer, has loaned the course about 40 gas-powered carts, Murphy said. However, not much has been rebuilt.

A utility cart with its lights on was found near the fire and appeared to have been used to break through a gate at the maintenance yard, the Sheriff's Office has said.

Sheriff P.J. Tanner said Tuesday that investigators have identified "people of interest" but no suspects.

He declined to provide further details, including results of arson testing sent to the Sheriff's Office lab. He said the Sheriff's Office hopes to receive information rather than release it.

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