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Monday, July 23, 2007

Review: Coosaw Creek Country Club, North Charleston, SC

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Like most par 4s at Coosaw Creek, what the 9th lacks in length -- it is just 358 yards from the back tees -- it makes up for in challenge, especially off the tee.


Coosaw Creek, North Charleston, SC

    The semi-private Coosaw Creek is an excellent course for those of us who don't hit the ball as far as we used to but can still manage our way around 18 challenging holes.  In other words, if you drive the ball no more than 230, you can play from the tips with the longer hitters and still feel you have a chance to put up a competitive score.  The big boys, on the other hand, might find themselves grabbing for three and five woods on some of the par 4s and 5s.
    Coosaw Creek plays to a reasonable 6,593 yards from the tips with a rating of 72.7 and slope of 140.  The slope rating gives you a fair idea of how tough the Arthur Hills track can be if you don't follow a simple game plan - middle of fairways, middle of greens.  The sloping greens provide many dicey pin positions in front of, to the sides of or behind undulations.  Although the greens were fast, I left more putts short than long.
    The golf course winds its way through a community of mostly well-tended brick homes about 30 minutes or so from Charleston, SC.  Landscaping in the community is consistently professional, and although virtually all holes are lined with homes, the flora that separated course from backyards was ample enough to provide breathing room.  Coosaw is just 10 minutes from Charleston's main airport and on a hot but calm day, we seemed to be directly in the path of takeoffs.  Those looking for nothing 100_4709coosaw16thteesign.jpglouder than the chirps of crickets might not be comfortable living at Coosaw, but having lived near or in cities all my life, it didn't bother me.
    The sound of a big old jet airliner might be a small price to pay for a facility as well tended as Coosaw Creek.  The course was in very nice condition, the fairways well clipped and the greens quite slick and smooth.  The clubhouse is of modest size but with the requisite modern accoutrements -- locker room with polished wood and brass storage lockers, as well as dining and bar areas that were sleek and comfortable.  Service in the food facility and the pro shop was professional and friendly.  The practice range, which is barely long enough to contain 275 yard drives, is a short ride from the clubhouse with enough stations to accommodate everyone on a busy day (which this was not).  The nice, but modest-sized, putting green is just behind the clubhouse, a short drive from the 1st and 10th tee boxes.

    We had the course essentially to ourselves, with a group in front of us on the first two holes that we never saw the rest of the round.  No one played behind us the entire round, and we finished in under 4 hours (despite my incessant photo taking).  The 95-degree heat, with no breeze, surely scared everyone off.  We were grateful that the course managers had ice-cold towels at the 10th tee box, which we grabbed before heading to #1.  There was plenty of water on the course, although no beverage cart.
    Just a few highlight holes here, with more about the course and the community coming in a future edition of the HomeOnTheCourse community guide.  The modestly proportioned par 4 first hole is deceiving, at just 336 from the back tee.100_4685coosaw10thwithhouse.jpg  You have the option to fly the traps at the right edge of the fairway, about 210 yards to clear, or play it safe down the left and then come into the green over the lone greenside bunker, at front left.  It is a fair starter.  The par 3s are outstanding, the most memorable the 224 yard 11th.  In view from the tee is 120 yards of water, followed by a small bit of fairway, then sliver of marsh, another bit of fairway with small traps left and right at the front of the green, as one behind right to catch overzealous pokes.  It was the best par I made all day, after a lucky bounce off the slope just short and right of the green.
    Coosaw's toughest hole is the par 4 14th, a 424-yarder with an all-or-nothing approach over a wide expanse of marshland.  Landing in the long, thin trap at front right is small compensation for clearing the marsh; the possibility of up and down to the forward sloping green will depend on how far the ball is from the bunker's lip.  Long hitters may be a bit miffed at the closing holes at Coosaw, but not me (my long hitting days are over).  Water on the par 5 16th is 280 from the tee box, and marsh on the par 4 17th less than 240, although you can hit 25 yards longer down the left side.  The 16th is reachable in two big shots, and the deep, narrow green is the only one on the course not protected by a sand bunker.  The closing hole is another short one, at 345 yards, with marsh protecting the entire left side and two bunkers in driving range at the elbow of the dogleg.  A shot to mid fairway leaves the kind of simple approach shot that will make the post-round beer in the clubhouse taste that much better.
    Coosaw Creek is located in North Charleston, SC, close to the town of Summerville.  Membership fees for those who live in the community include a $4,500 Initiation fee.  Dues are $3,200 annually for full-family menbership. If you are interested in property in Coosaw Creek, or anywhere in the Charleston area, please contact us and we will put you in touch with a pre-qualified real estate agent knowledgeable about all the golfing communities in the area.



Many approach shots at Coosaw are fraught with danger, as at the 16th. 

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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.