Colleton River Club features two 18-hole golf courses, but the Practice Park complex offers six additional ways to hone a player’s skills. The practice facilities at the Bluffton, S.C., property have made the GRAA Top 50 Private Facilities list for six years running.
As if the Colleton River Club’s two 18-hole golf courses – the Nicklaus Course and the links-style Dye Course, where scenes of “The Legend of Bagger Vance” were filmed —don’t give golfers enough reason to pick up their clubs, the Practice Park complex offers six additional ways to hone their skills. The practice facilities at the Bluffton, S.C., property have made the GRAA Top 50 Private Facilities list for six years running.
“The practice facility is like the front yard of the club. It’s the first thing people see, so it has to look good.” — Luke Fisher, Golf Course Superintendent, River Bend G&CC
The two courses each have their own double-ended driving range, and the Dye Course practice area also includes various practice bunkers that replicate Dye designs in different settings, as well as a chipping green under live oaks.
With 300 yards of Celebration Bermuda-grass that recreate course-like conditions, the Nicklaus driving range includes four practice greens and target bunkers.
The short-game area features three practice greens, bunkers, cart paths, and pine straw. Designed to complement the Colleton River courses, two Nicklaus greens and one Dye green mimic on-course conditions.
Renovated in 2016, the six-hole, par-3 executive Borland Course is intermingled with the practice facility, so that golfers can plan nine holes. The Augusta-style layout features three ponds, and its holes are 60 to 90 yards in length.
The property also added a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor 2,200-sq. ft. Learning Center in 2017. Featuring “every electronic gadget you could imagine,” notes Kevin Dugger, Superintendent of the 18-hole Nicklaus Course, the facility includes TrackMan technology, 70-inch TV screens, and a director of instruction.
“It’s a great benefit to the members. They can schedule private learning sessions,” he adds. “It’s a special place for the members so they don’t have to go off property.”
The Halfway Café in the Nicklaus practice area is another popular feature of the Practice Park. Located between the first tee and the main driving range tee, the 2,000-sq. ft. building has a portico on each side.
“The Nicklaus practice facility is heavily used later in the evening because of the café,” Dugger says. “People can eat inside or outside. Guys gather there in the evenings and hit balls, have a drink and tell stories.”