South Carolina's Old Tabby Links Gets Restoration

Old Tabby Links in the South Carolina Lowcountry community of Spring Island reopened October 27 following a seven-month restoration. Headed by the course's original design firm, Arnold Palmer Design Company, the remodel brought back the natural character of the course while heightening strategy.

When Spring Island opened in 1992 its low-impact philosophy was a harbinger to the modern-day green movement. The main task of the 2012 work was to accent the natural beauty and rugged character that had diminished over the years. To achieve this, a comprehensive remodel took place on the greens and surrounds, bunkers, fairways and rough areas.

Greens were re-contoured in the spirit of the original greens, with emphasis on adding pin locations while enhancing recovery options and eliminating encroaching shade. The overall square footage of the bunkers was significantly reduced while increasing their visibility.

The total amount of irrigated turf was reduced, even though fairways were widened to offer more forgiving tee shots and open up alternate angles of play to the greens.

Brandon Johnson, senior architect with the Arnold Palmer Design Company, said of the work: "The renovated Old Tabby Links has renewed strategic value. Width off the tee now incorporates alternative angles of attack as a way to navigate towards the variety of new pin locations. As a result, the majestic oaks and pines that surround the course may come into play should you be on the wrong side of the widened fairways.

"Classic risk-reward decisions will be encountered. Heroic shots will entice the player and a myriad of recovery options around the greens will challenge one's decision making. Our intent is that all of this adds up to a fun and interesting golf course full of variety and shot options that will present new challenges and rewards in every round."

Added Spring Island general manager Tom Noyes: "This golf course restoration is another step in the continuous improvement of Spring Island to meet the needs and desires of current and future owners. Other recent steps include our state-of-the-art sports and fitness complex and ever-growing arts and nature programming."

Spring Island is a 3,000-acre island community located 35 minutes from Hilton Head and Savannah, and 30 minutes by boat from Port Royal Sound. For more information, visit