> Golf Course Architecture

May River Golf Club

(1/2) > >>

Tom Soileau:
One of Jack's newest courses will open this fall in South Carolina.  Here is a link with a few pics of the course.

Looks like Mr.Nicklaus built a Road Hole, and the next hole in the slideshow has hints of the approach to #6 at Cypress Point.

Thanks for the pics.   I have seen the course, and although the pics are good, I don't think they do the course justice.
This course should be extremely well received when it opens. The paspallum fairways were very impressive.

Michael Whitaker:
The following is a press release from Palmetto Bluff about the new May River Golf Club. I thought you guys might some parts of find it interesting... especially the paragraphs about the "creative and exaggerated fairway lines" and the "stronger emphasis on the ground game."

Any comments?



BLUFFTON, S.C. (July 21, 2004) – Deep in the forest along the May River, the year’s most anticipated golf course is taking root at Palmetto Bluff.

Here, on the site of a centuries-old vacation retreat for prominent families of the Gilded Age, later more a wildlife and nature preserve, Jack Nicklaus set out to create a modern classic. The result is an innovative design, but one imbued with the mystique and charm of the surrounding land.

The May River Golf Course at Palmetto Bluff is part of a 20,000-acre conservation community that, for more than a century, has been known to a privileged few as one of the most beautiful and untamed places in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Winding through 300-year-old Live Oaks and Palmettos along the high bluffs of the May River, the Nicklaus gem will allow golfers to enjoy the game in peace and serenity, interrupted only by spectacular sights and the sounds of nature.

The May River Golf Course is a "throwback” to another era. While the majority of today’s golf course designers use distance to offset rapid advances in technology, Nicklaus addresses this issue at May River by introducing both bold and conservative strategic options for play. Thoughtful placement of hazards and contours create interesting angles that enhance and often dictate the appropriate play lines.

“The May River Golf Course is a thinking man’s golf course where proper thinking, coupled with the proper shot execution, will be rewarded,” explains Nicklaus. Such emphasis on strategy helps fulfill the developer’s mission of making Palmetto Bluff a community that satisfies the intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who live and visit there.

The 7,100-yard, 18-hole course will open in late Summer 2004. However, with firmly-rooted Champion Bermuda grass greens and Paspalum turf fairways, tees and roughs already in place, the May River Golf Course appears ready for play today. This is due to extreme measures taken during the conceptual, design and construction phases of development.

More than 15 different routings were considered before construction began resulting in a routing that minimized the clearing of specimen trees, and maximized the aesthetic and strategic impact of Palmetto Bluff’s signature Live Oak trees. In essence, many "air hazards" were created along the 18 holes. In addition, a special, oversized spade was used to replant trees throughout the golf course. The measures that went into saving 100-year-old trees on the golf course and re-planting dozens of others uprooted elsewhere in the community may well put the May River Golf Course among the most environmentally sensitive and naturally beautiful golf courses in the country.

Freshwater wetlands were avoided almost entirely during design and construction of the May River Golf Course. To this end, creative engineering, along with the planting of vegetative buffers, have helped protect the river and its edge.

Surrounded by three historic rivers – the May, Cooper and New – Palmetto Bluff is a sea island. Typically, golf course designers take advantage of the naturally scenic river and marsh views by building as close to their edges as possible. Not at Palmetto Bluff. Just as the developer has done with the real estate that lies near the river and marsh, Nicklaus exercised great restraint in siting holes adjacent to such sensitive surrounds. Rather than routing holes lengthwise along the edge, Nicklaus connects the golfer to the neighboring marsh and river with select tees, fairways and greens open onto these areas. This provides “window views” of the surrounding scenery, offering the golfer an even more naturally aesthetic experience on the course.

The hole corridors on the May River Golf Course have an average width of 350 feet or more, allowing for more creative and exaggerated fairway lines and yielding a course in scale with the rest of Palmetto Bluff’s massive size.

Additionally, the modest number of homesites (less than 90 in total) has been set back from the golf corridors to provide a more private experience. “What we created feels like a walk in the woods;” muses Nicklaus, “an experience that completely fills the senses.” Course edges retained their original wild appearance through creative use of indigenous vegetation. Cart paths on the May River Golf Course have a soft surface of plantation mix and blend into their surrounds, maintaining the overall rustic feel of Palmetto Bluff. As a result, the course and its setting are visually striking, yet in a natural way.

Unusually high elevations and playing conditions make the May River Golf Course unlike any other in the area. Reaching 20 feet and higher, elevations like those at the May River Golf Course are rarely seen in the Lowcountry. In addition, the sandy soil allows for hard and fast conditions, thereby placing a stronger emphasis on the ground game.

To complete his design, Nicklaus called upon one of the most innovative shapers in the business, allowing the team to enhance the existing subtle landscape features and blend contours into their natural surrounds, while moving relatively little dirt. The effects are best reflected in the unique, weathered look of the bunker complexes and distinctive contouring of the greens. The crowned greens are reminiscent of those found at Pinehurst No. 2, characterized by tightly mowed aprons that allow for maximum short- game variety and interest.

The May River Golf Course is the first in the area to incorporate Paspalum turf on its tees, fairways and roughs. Paspalum has a brilliant green color, giving the appearance of a cool-season grass, while handling the heat and humidity of the South. According to Nicklaus, Paspalum creates exceptional playability, because the grass has a waxy feel that doesn’t accumulate moisture and allows the ball to sit up.

The developers also went to the expense of using Pro/Angle® sand in the bunkers and waste areas, a first for any course in the area. Shipped from Ohio, the angular sand provides superior slope retention, allowing bunkers to be flashed up at higher angles than with other types of sand. The sand also possesses superior playability and maintenance characteristics.

According to Nicklaus, no expense has been spared to ensure that the May River Golf Course remains as true to the company’s guiding principles as the rest of the Palmetto Bluff community. The key principle is to preserve and protect one of America’s treasured landscapes.

Jim Mozley, general manager of Palmetto Bluff, says, “From the start, Jack and his team have shared our vision for creating a golf course that intrinsically blends into the natural landscape that is so unique to Palmetto Bluff. By doing so, we found that not only does this course look and feel different from any other course in the country, but it actually plays differently.”

For information on the May River Golf Course at Palmetto Bluff, visit


Steve_ Shaffer:
There was an ad for this community in the latest issue of Links Magazine. Let the real estate sales begin......


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version