Sea Pines Country Club expands practice facility, installs new turf varieties

Sea Pines Country Club expands practice facility, installs new turf varieties

Architect Phil Smith worked alongside superintendent Tom Metzger and general manager/COO Robbie Ames to complete the enhancements.

September 29, 2021

Sea Pines Country Club will unveil its reimagined golf experience on Nov. 1 The enhancements include an expanded practice facility, and regrassing of the tees, greens and fairways.

Golf course architect Phil Smith, who created the master plan for SPCC’s Arnold Palmer- and Clyde Johnston-designed layout, worked alongside general manager/COO Robbie Ames and superintendent Tom Metzger to complete the enhancements. Jacksonville-based MacCurrach Golf oversaw shaping and construction of the practice facility and updates to several bunkers throughout the course.

The tee area at the new practice range is now four times larger and accommodates twice as many golfers with 18 hitting bays. For longer hitters, the range floor was lengthened by 25 yards, allowing for 260 yards of carry. Eight new target pins are placed at various hitting angles at 70- to 250-yard intervals for fine-tuning distance control. On days when the grass portion of the range is closed, members can hit off new TurfHound artificial tee stations.

“I would put it right up there among the best practice facilities in the area,” director of golf James Swift said. “We had been landlocked and limited in what we could offer. Now we can host golf schools, clinics and other instructional programming. With everything we feature, we’re now a golf purist’s club.”

The short game zone houses a multi-tiered chipping green that’s three times larger than the previous one, and also features two practice bunkers for working on a variety of sand shots. Unique to SPCC, the gold tees and occasionally the blue tees for hole No. 1 are situated on the east side of the 5,000-square-foot practice green, adjacent to the putting surface and featuring the same mowing height.

On the club’s 6,429-yard Lowcountry layout, members will experience Celebration Bermudagrass fairways, the turf used on Harbour Town Golf Links and Heron Point by Pete Dye at neighboring Sea Pines Resort.

“Tom and his team will be able to create visually stunning mowing patterns like you’d see at Harbour Town,” Swift says. “Celebration Bermuda is the gold standard of turf in the Lowcountry. It also stays green longer in the fall and is quicker to come back in the spring, even as early as March.”

On the greens, members will putt on the latest variety of TifEagle Bermuda grass. The new strands are hardy and can withstand prolonged cold in the winter months and even frost. Additionally, putting surfaces have been restored to their original dimensions, allowing for more pin placements and improved approach shot receptivity.

MacCurrach Golf reshaped and enlarged several bunkers to eliminate pinch points that obstruct shots from the hazards. New sand was added atop Capillary Concrete liners to complete the look. The fairway on the ninth hole has been re-contoured and a new pot bunker has been added on the right side across from the bunker on the left side of the fairway.