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Meth lab discovered just off putting green at SC golf course

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GREENVILLE, S.C. -
A Greenville County golf club was evacuated Thursday after golfers found meth in a wooded area near the course.

It happened at the Donaldson Golf Club, which is a public course, on Perimeter Road.

Just off the golf cart path, close to the fourth green, Harold Alexander said he and his golfing buddy found some weed killer containers.

"He just thought it belonged to the clubhouse and they had been killing weeds," said Alexander.

They took the containers to the club house.

"The owner, he took the top off and he said it had a really vile smell, almost knocked the top of his head off, he said. So that's when he called the Sheriff's Department," said Alexander.

Greenville County's Hazardous Materials team, EMS and the Donaldson Fire Department rushed to the scene and evacuated the club.

Crime scene tape was put up around golf carts and trees at the 9-hole course that was originally built in the 1940s as a private golf recreation facility for officers of the United States Army Air Base, later called the Donaldson Center.

"It's okay, I didn't have a great round that first nine anyway. So I'm waiting to go back out and get a chance to get them back," said golfer Gerald Smith, who works at the club.

The Donaldson Golf Club is unique in that it is still a part of a working air-strip used by military and private airplanes, according to a golf website.

"It is very common to have a C141 fly right over your head as you prepare to hit a tee shot or make a putt."

Smith got in a little putting practice while the investigators tested the contents of the containers.

The Greenville County Sheriff's Office now says they were from a meth lab.

"You see all kinds of things on a golf course. You see everything. You never know what you're going to find. This is amazing, though," said Smith.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office said deputies do not know how long the containers had been out there, but Alexander said he'd played the course the day before and did not see them.

Meth labs can be as small as a 20-ounce bottle and the contents can be volatile. The Sheriff's Office said if you see a container and you're not sure what's in it, do not pick it up and do not open it. Instead, call law enforcement immediately.

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