South Carolina's Old Tabby Links under Renovation

Old Tabby Links golf course in the South Carolina Lowcountry community of Spring Island closed March 12th for a restoration. The project is being overseen by the course's original design firm, Arnold Palmer Design Company, with work being handled by MacCurrach Golf Construction.

The work includes a new irrigation system, a re-grassing of the greens, and enhancements to restore the natural character of the course and heighten the strategic interest of each hole. Work is estimated to be done this fall, with the course re-opening in November.

Opened in 1993, Old Tabby Links was crafted by Arnold Palmer and his long-time associate, the late Ed Seay, who when he stepped onto the property, said: "When I first saw the site . . . I was convinced that God lived there. I have never seen any piece of land more beautiful and natural."

The project will restore the natural beauty and rugged character that over the years have been diminished. The driving force behind the undertaking is the aging irrigation system and a decline of the greens turf. The new irrigation system will greatly reduce the amount of water and time needed to irrigate the course, and all greens will be re-grassed with a new strain of Bermuda. In some cases, the putting surfaces will be repositioned to be in full sun and escape the shade of encroaching trees. Also, some bunkers will be rebuilt, repositioned or eliminated in favor of the area's natural, sandy terrain.

Tom Noyes, general manager of Spring Island, said, "Spring Island has long been recognized for its trend-setting, low-impact development plan. More recently, the club has stood out for its financial strength and the willingness of our owners to invest in the future of the community. The new state-of-the-art sports and fitness complex was the first step in our investment for the future. This golf course restoration is our next step in ensuring the continuing improvement of Spring Island."

Spring Island is a 3,000-acre island community 35 minutes from Hilton Head and Savannah, and 30 minutes by boat from Port Royal Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Spring Island is limited to no more than 410 families, with 1,200 acres protected as a nature preserve. In addition to Old Tabby, the development offers fresh and salt water fishing, equestrian, tennis, croquet, quail hunting, nature center and fine and casual dining options.

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