Old South

Lowcountry’s Most Underrated Gem?

Old South Golf Links, Bluffton, SCOld South has now been around long enough to actually be taken for granted. Now a teenager, this Golf Digest 4-Star masterpiece from renowned architect Clyde Johnston fits into the Lowcountry landscape so seamlessly that it is sometimes forgotten onhe list of great area layouts, even though its location just off the bridges to Hilton Head Island is among the area’s most convenient.

If your memory needs a little work, Old South Golf Links might be the most unique layout in the entire Lowcountry. Johnston called it “one of the most beautiful tracts of land that I’ve ever worked on.” With seven marshfront holes along the Intracoastal Waterway, three island greens and even an island fairway, there is probably no other course in golf-crazy Hilton Head with more water views than Old South.

Yet those target-style holes are balanced by a handful of fairways through the open Scottish-style pastureland that separates the wetlands from the hardwood forests that are home to another half-dozen holes.

The diversity of “golf-scape” at Old South might be as varied as any course, anywhere. And imagine the variety when the breezes are changing direction off Calibogue Sound?

Challenging? How many courses under 6,800 yards from the tips carry a rating and slope of 73.3/141? All of the par-5s are three-shot holes from the blue and back tees, and you’ll likely hit four different clubs on the par-3s, no matter which tees you play. Three of those par-3s demand carries over water and the other has a lagoon on the right hand side from tee to green.

Old South Golf Links, Bluffton, SC


All of the par-4s are under 400-yards, except from the back tees, but they offer a remarkably diverse set of challenges. On most holes, the landing areas are generous off the tees, but many of the greens are laid out perpendicular to the fairways and some are as narrow as 15-yards, demanding accuracy and creativity on the approaches. And once you get to those devilishly-small greens, you’ll face numerous undulations and plateaus.

The variety of terrain and vegetation is something you’ll probably appreciate only after you finish the stunning trio of holes at the end of each nine. The island fairway at the seventh demands a forced-carry, but layup shot off the tee placed in the right spot to carry more marsh to an island green, very similar to the opposite dogleg at the 16th. The eighth and 17th are mid-range par-3s across marshland to well-bunkered island greens, and the finishing holes of each nine demand solid tee shots to set up approaches to diabolically-bunkered, multi-tiered putting surfaces.

Old South, Bluffton, SCAs variable as the layout can be from day-to-day with the capricious winds, there are a couple of constants at Old South. One is the quality of the instruction (daily lessons, clinics and golf schools) from Head Pro Jim Uremovich and his staff of PGA professionals working out of a golf shop that carries a full line of clothes and accessories. Another is the rare full-service breakfast 7-days-a-week that the locals like to think they’re keeping secret.

But Old South has never been a very well-kept secret. Every time you play it, you’re reminded how much fun Lowcountry golf can be. For more information, visit them at www.oldsouthgolf.com or call (843) 785-5353 or toll free (800)257-8997.

 

 

 

 

 

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