Debuting Crossroads, Its First New Course in 20 Years

Beneath the shelter of centuries-old live oaks lies one of the Lowcountry’s best-kept secrets.

BLUFFTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: “I like to describe Palmetto Bluff as a private community with golf, not a golf community,” stated Chris Apple, director of golf club operations. “There is so much to offer besides our two outstanding golf experiences. With 20,000 acres and 32 miles of riverfront, the land lends itself to variety.

“My story is similar to others. My father introduced me to golf at an early age as a way to bond and spend time together,” reminisced Apple. “Although I was a pretty good player, I gravitated toward golf management and its dynamic workplace. I’m definitely not a cubical kind of guy.

“My wife and I booked an impromptu trip to Palmetto Bluff on New Year’s Eve four years ago. We were enamored with the activities, amenities, and privacy. As you say, the rest is history, and we moved to the Lowcountry for its reputation of space to roam where rocking chairs on the back porch are commonplace.

“Few communities can match our diverse golf selection with a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course [May River Golf Course] and a new reversible nine-hole course [Crossroads] with its 34,000 square-foot Himalayan putting course. More exciting golf plans are in the works, too,” continued Apple.

“Our May River Golf Course offers a traditional golf feel, while Crossroads is what I refer to as the ‘new direction of golf’ that requires you to work your way through the bag. The reversible design plays alternate ways, and the routings are whimsically named The Hammer and The Press.

“No matter where you find yourself in the community, the only sound you are likely to hear is the sound of nature.”

Behind the Bluff

“It’s easy to forget that the game of golf is actually supposed to be fun,” expressed Rob Collins, partner with Tad King, designers of Crossroads at Palmetto Bluff. “That’s not the same as easy, however.

“A presentation of options to the player is at the heart of our design philosophy. Hazard placement is essential to the aesthetic value of a golf course and it’s a greater challenge when designing a reversible golf course like Crossroads. It was critical for us to craft a layout that tests the elite player. Conversely, the worst players also require options since golf would become an unbearable, tortuous experience if they had no way to circumnavigate trouble,” advised Collins.

“Crossroads and its reversible design works well for both ends of the handicap spectrum. It was our intention to build a timeless, artistically inspired golf course that provokes thought above all else.”

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