With more than 16,000 golf courses in the United States, you'd think there would be plenty of opportunities for golfers to find their own slice of heaven–a quiet, unpopulated course where they can roam freely without feeling crowded by other golfers. But that's not the case. Even though 3,206 courses have been added to the U.S. golf course database since 1990, it's still really hard to find 18 holes that you can call your own. Wouldn't it be great to know that you could just walk on a course whenever you wanted and have the place all to yourself?
That's just what Steve Koenig, an industrial engineer-turned-developer, had in mind when he bought 900 acres of coastal South Carolina Low Country 25 minutes outside of Charleston. He wanted to build a special place, where membership is limited, no tee-times are necessary and the golf is world class. What he ended up creating was The Golf Club at Briar's Creek.
The Golf Koenig brought in the "Open Doctor," Rees Jones, so-called for the modifications he makes to U.S. Open venues. After it officially opened in the fall of 2001, The Golf Club at Briar's Creek quickly found itself among good company, ascending up the lists of numerous national publication rankings, even gaining recognition as one of America's Top 100 Courses. What makes Briar's Creek such a top-notch layout has as much to do with who designed it as the land on which it is built.
Nearly everything Jones (the youngest son of legendary architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr.) designs turns to gold, and The Golf Club at Briar's Creek is no different. Jones received a generous parcel of land on which to build his Low Country gem, routing it through 300 acres of woodlands, lagoons, marsh and waterways. "It's such a spectacular setting," says Jones, "I'm blessed that I had the opportunity to design this golf course."
The course measures 7,117 yards from the back tees, but remains very playable and fair for all levels of golfers. There are six sets of tee boxes, with the shortest tees (the Red) measuring just 4,818 yards.
But the course's greatest feature is the Club's "member-first" mission statement: there are no tee times, no unaccompanied guests and a membership that's capped at_Ê 300 people. Outside of Wednesdays, when the course is closed for maintenance, members can play whenever they want.
The Living Mirroring the golf course's secluded feel is the experience of living at Briar's Creek. The gated community of Briar's Creek affords homeowners_Ê reclusive home sites with nature abounding in literally every direction, thanks in part to generously sized lots that range from one to seven acres. Miles of walking and biking trails, fully stocked ponds and other native Low Country vegetation fill the landscape with some of the most beautiful, unhindered scenery in all of the United States. No homes intrude on the golf course; however, they remain close by and relatively unseen from anywhere golfers may be.
For the consummate few who inquire about living at Briar's Creek, let it be known that Briar's Creek retains a "getaway feel," despite a close proximity to the charming locales of Kiawah Island and Charleston, both just a few minutes away. Estate lots begin at just under $400,000, and each is designed with seclusion in mind. Home prices range from $1.8 to $5 million. For residents with guests, the Briar's Creek Golf Cottage is the ideal retreat for friends and family, replete with luxurious accommodations, personal concierge services and specialty catering. In short, living at Briar's Creek is like living in your own private golf oasis.
The Diversions By now you've probably gotten a pretty good sense of how Briar's Creek is a place for people who value their privacy. Still, limited membership and wide-open golf courses aside, what's really impressive is how the community has been seamlessly integrated into its surrounding Low Country environment. There's a three-mile nature trail that winds its way through the 900-acre property and a wildlife sanctuary where birdwatchers can spy great blue herons, white ibis, ospreys, eagles, owls and wood storks. There's also canoeing, kayaking and fishing; plus, boaters can set sail for the nearby Kiawah River and Atlantic Ocean. For those who love swimming and tennis as much as a great round of golf, future development plans at Briar's Creek include a pool and tennis courts that will be located in the residential area.
Contact: The Golf Club At Briar's Creek 4000 Briar's Creek Lane Johns Island, SC 29455 Phone (843) 768-3050 Toll-Free (877) 718-4962 www.briarscreek.com