20 miles south-west of Charleston, South Carolina, the Golf Club at Briar’s Creek is an upmarket development built across a 900-acre low country landscape covered in enchanting live oaks and an array of unspoilt wetland areas. The golf course was designed by Rees Jones, who was handed the prime terrain and able to make use of pristine saltwater marshes, meandering estuaries and a series of lagoons for his layout.
Largely routed between Briar’s Creek and a lake that separates most of the home sites from the golf, the course lacks interesting golf topography but Jones gave his holes character by sculpting large greens and sprawling bunker shapes. He also built mounding down the sides of fairways, which unfortunately does tend to get a little repetitive. The opening tee shot is a nice introduction to the site, but sets the strategic tone for the round to follow as right side traps are rendered defunct by a wide fairway and a green angled to be approached from the left. Interestingly, the next three greens also slope from back right to front left, with other greens angled in a similar way and generally protected by frontal traps cut into their higher side.
The most memorable holes here are those that incorporate a vast tidal marshland. The mid-length 9th, for instance, horseshoes right around the marsh, while the 18th is an all-or-nothing par five that dramatically bends the other way as it nears the green. Most daunting, however, is the 17th, a long, all-carry par three across the quagmire to a small green cruelly falling at the back. Also noteworthy are holes like the 3rd and 14th, which cross swamps and then bend along the hazards.
The entire Briar’s Creek facility is extremely impressive, the developer taking a sympathetic approach to the subdivision and preserving as much of the site’s great natural beauty as possible. The layout itself is beautifully maintained and full of solid golf holes, although it unfortunately doesn’t quite boast the quality or originality of the region’s best.
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