Embrace the Natural Beauty of Oldfield

Oldfield is a true Lowcountry escapeThe edges of bucolic Oldfield are partitioned from the outside world by yard after yard of white equestrian fencing. Inside the gates of this private community with a passion for the outdoors, towering oaks snuggled by Spanish moss stand guard along the main drive. 

Look to your left at the charming red barn and adjoining stables, and prop up your ears to listen in on nature’s chorus. The ponds you pass have no superfluous fountains, but they are fully stocked for fishermen to enjoy. A striking outfitters center (part hunting lodge, nature store and wildlife classroom) and the resplendent River Club are just minutes away.

As you pull into the parking lot of the Greg Norman championship design and face the antebellum clubhouse, the foundation for an enchanting round of golf on one of the Lowcountry's most unparalleled yet unknown courses has already been poured.

Established at the turn of the new century, Oldfield is remarkably old school. Norman certainly followed a minimalist manifesto in crafting his first course in the area. Moving little dirt and making few alterations to the natural flow of the land, the two-time Open Championship winner said no to artificial and embraced eco-friendly.

Norman skillfully toed the line between co-habitation and takeover when building the 7,134-yard layout along a bend in the Okatie River halfway between Hilton Head Island and Beaufort. Oldfield’s synergy with nature allows plenty of room for golfers to play alongside egrets and fox squirrels.

The clubhouse at Oldfield

The community’s commitment to preserving the parcel of land first granted by an English Lord in 1732 did not go unnoticed. Oldfield was the first development to earn Audubon International’s Neighborhood for Nature Award, and is one of a handful of golf clubs designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

The golf course is understated and elegant, inviting shots to run along the ground ala the Open Championship at St. Andrews and showcasing tranquil Lowcountry scenery. Large waste areas are prevalent throughout the course, but they’re a darker color so as not to be confused with the white sand bunkers. These hazards with steep sod sidewalls and low entry points are one of the more unique features at Oldfield. Aprons around the greens are shaved low, giving a player a variety of short game options.

“I like basically flat greens with a soft flow, like Australian courses,” said Norman, who christened his creation by playing each hole with a member in 2002. “I like a lot of thought processes for chipping. The ball is round. I like to see it roll.”

Holes on the front nine are tree-lined and self-contained; you don’t really take notice to the adjacent holes while going about your current business. As is the case throughout the design, seemingly prehistoric and peaceful oaks are omnipresent.

As you turn for home, the salty Okatie River soaks the air with smells of the sea. Norman took advantage of this handsome plot of land once occupied by pecan orchards and windswept fields to create an open atmosphere with tremendous vantage points and views of neighboring holes and homes. A water-born breeze is more pronounced on the back nine.

An aerial view of Oldfield

“We dream of getting a site like this one,” said Norman during the construction of Oldfield. “And since this is our first course in the Lowcountry, we want to make it something special.”

Norman has succeeded, giving members and guests a low-profile layout that illustrates what Lowcountry golf should look like.

Golf is only part of the equation at Oldfield. This community welcomes all ages to experience its comfort and grace, and provides activities for everyone to enjoy. The Sport Club houses tennis courts, a fitness center and swimming pools. The Outfitters Center is the starting point for a day of exploration. Eight miles of hiking, biking and walking trails ribbon through the woods, marshland and water.

Growth is still occurring within community, and home sites are readily available for purchase as are existing homes. These structures pay homage to Lowcounty tradition, and depict architecture reminiscent of small coastal towns and rural villages.

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Arrange a visit to Oldfield today to soak in the ambiance of this Lowcountry enclave. The golf club is currently accepting trial memberships with a monthly dues structure, and “Member for a Day” programs are available upon request.

For an overview of Oldfield’s history, real estate options and amenities, please visit www.oldfield1732.com.

 

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