Some club properties enjoy close relationships with local universities’ sports teams, but few leave the mark that the Clemson University Tigers football program has imprinted on The Reserve at Lake Keowee in Sunset, S.C.
The Reserve at Lake Keowee in Sunset, S.C., is about a 30-minute drive from Clemson University, and has many university alumni as members. In fact, Dabo Swinney, the university’s football coach, and Brad Brownell, the university’s men’s basketball coach, each have memberships to the property as part of their contracts. Each year, the programs hold their media days at the property, and from March 31-April 3, The Reserve will co-host the 2016 Clemson Invitational on Lake Keowee with its neighboring community, The Cliffs at Keowee Falls.
To show its hometown pride in advance of Clemson’s College Football National Championship matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide on January 11, The Reserve created a half-sized football field, complete with the orange Clemson paw logo, on its Great Lawn, which is otherwise used for weddings and special events.
To make the field, the property’s course-and-grounds crew spent about 30 hours prepping the area and painting the lines and tiger paw (the property borrowed the actual paw stencil used by Clemson’s athletic department). While the crew has not repainted the lines and logo since then, the paint will remain visible until spring, says Becky Weedman, The Reserve’s Communications Manager.
Once the field was created, a two-hand-touch football game was planned after Christmas, but was ultimately canceled due to an onslaught of rain. The field has been left open for members to use with friends and family, and since it was created, Weedman notes, members have eagerly used it to take pictures, throw around a football, and run sprints as part of a special workout.
“We have a pretty active community, so the field will definitely get utilized,” Weedman says.
Though No. 1-ranked Clemson lost the championship game to No. 2-ranked Alabama, 45-40, The Reserve’s homage to the home team still managed to bring the community together.
“We have a lot of Clemson alumni and fans as members, so it was exciting for them,” Weedman says. “Even those who are not Tiger fans were happy to see our support of the local university.”