Old Tabby reopens after restoration project

Old Tabby Links
Courtesy of Old Tabby Links
Old Tabby has long been considered one of Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay's finest designs.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 | 10:01 p.m.

The Old Tabby Links in the South Carolina Lowcountry community of Spring Island has reopened after a seven-month rejuvenation project. Headed up by the course's original design firm, Arnold Palmer Design Co., the "refreshment" restored the course’s natural character and heightened the strategic interest of each hole.

Old Tabby is widely considered one of the finest designs by Palmer and his longtime chief designer Ed Seay, and it has consistently been honored as one of America’s top courses by a wide variety of publications.

When Spring Island opened in 1992, its natural aesthetic, environmental stewardship, and low-impact development philosophy was a harbinger of the forthcoming green course-architecture movement. The main task of this restoration, course officials said, was to restore and accent the natural beauty and rugged character that had been diminished over the years. To achieve this goal, the makeover included greens and green surrounds, bunkers, fairways and roughs.

The greens were recontoured in the spirit of the original putting surfaces with emphasis on enhancing pin locations while remaining cognizant of recovery options and encroaching shade. In addition, the course designers significantly reduced the overall square footage of the bunkers while increasing the visibility and enhancing the strategic value of the remaining bunkers.

Also, the total amount of irrigated turf was reduced, even while widening fairways to offer more forgiving tee shots and open up alternate angles of play into the greens.

"Width off the tee now incorporates alternative angles of attack as a way to navigate toward 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," said Brandon Johnson, senior golf course architect at Arnold Palmer Design. "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."

Other recent improvements at Spring Island include a state-of-the-art sports and fitness complex and increased arts and nature programming, said Spring Island General Manager Tom Noyes.

Spring Island is a 3,000-acre island community about 35 minutes from Hilton Head and Savannah, and 30 minutes by boat from Port Royal Sound and the open Atlantic Ocean. The community is limited to no more than 410 families on the 3,000 acres with 1,200 acres protected as nature preserve.

For more information, visit www.SpringIsland.com.