Congaree Golf Club (RCR)

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MAJORHIGH

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« on: July 12, 2019, 01:10:12 AM »


(Forbes Magazine: April 27, 2017. Erik Matuszewski)

Golf and giving have always gone hand-in-hand. But at Congaree, a new golf club steeped in history in South Carolina’s low country, philanthropy is the ethos of an entirely new membership model.

The low-key folks behind Congaree aren’t interested in attention; in fact they’ve completely shunned the publicity or fanfare that typically accompanies a new golf course project. I only heard about the club’s unique vision from a mutual friend in the industry and, intrigued, actively sought to learn more.

In a nutshell: Congaree, which is about 30 minutes north of Savannah, Georgia, is quietly growing an exclusive international membership and boasts a world-class course unlike any other designed by Tom Fazio that is destined to be considered for a coveted place in Top 100 lists. But that’s not the story.

The story of Congaree is one of hope, inspiration and giving. It’s a story of making a difference, both locally and globally, through golf and life lessons both on the course and off. The membership process is old-fashioned: by referral only. And while there is no initiation fee, Congaree’s “ambassadors,” as they’re called, are encouraged to not only make a financial contribution to the charitable Congaree Foundation that’s separate from the club, but to take an active role in interacting with youth and sharing their life experiences, both good and bad.

The exclusively private club built on a former 18th century rice plantation was founded by two of the 200 richest people in the U.S.: Dan Friedkin, chairman of The Friedkin Group, a privately held consortium of businesses in the automotive, luxury hospitality, golf and entertainment industries; and Robert C. “Bob” McNair, owner of the NFL’s Houston Texans and chairman of The McNair Group. The two Texas businessmen own other successful golf clubs – Friedkin the Diamond Creek Golf Club in Banner Elk, North Carolina, and McNair the Golf Club at Briar’s Creek in Johns Island, South Carolina – but they sought something different, a new club model with a sustaining purpose shared among its ambassadors.

The remarkable golf course at Congaree is ultimately the mechanism for this new philanthropic model.

Friedkin’s edict was to find a great piece of land that was accessible from the Eastern seaboard. Davidson and McNeely scouted six to eight locations, but the inland property that would become Congaree stood out – from its sandy soil perfect for building a golf course to its peaceful hunting grounds and historic feel.

When they saw it for the first time, the two men looked at each other and said, “Pine Valley,” immediately seeing the similarities to the New Jersey site home to one of the world’s best courses, not to mention the Pinehurst area that’s considered the cradle of American golf. When Fazio first visited, his response was similar: “You guys hit the mother lode here.”

It took nine straight months of logging pine trees and grinding stumps to clear space for the course, which Fazio routed through oaks up to 300 years old. Numerous mature trees were carefully uprooted and replanted elsewhere around the course.

Congaree was built in the spirit of Heathland courses found in Britain or the sandbelt courses of Australia. It has a natural look, lends itself to the ground game and plays firm and fast -- think Royal Aberdeen in a drought, Davidson says. The fairways aren’t the only place where the balls will run; the greens are fast, challenging and roll true as a pool table.

“We always knew that we wanted to create a golf course for the ages,” says McNeely, whose extensive list of prominent club experience includes working under Masters champion Claude Harmon at Winged Foot in New York. “I know everyone that opens up thinks they’re going to be Augusta National, and different. That’s hard to do. We had an opportunity here to be close to what we wanted to do because of the way the land was, and because of the way it would play firm and fast.”

Friedkin and McNair’s aspirations were for Fazio to build a course unlike many of the overly lush designs favored throughout the U.S. today. He’s succeeded, and perhaps that should come as no surprise for an architect who impressively has 24 courses (including Diamond Creek) ranked among the 100 best modern courses in the U.S.





















« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 09:40:36 AM by MAJORHIGH »
The Conservatory - LIDAR
Stonecypher Club
Ford Plantation (RCR)
Davenport Athletic Club
Widow's Talon
Pinhook Saddle Club

(WIP: Ekwanok Country Club - LIDAR)
(WIP: Broadchurch)

Part-Time Jaffa

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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 12:24:05 PM »
Really awesome play. 5 star fave. Some of the best long par 4s. Thought #15 was a real cool hole. Some really nice intricate planting that I found my self admiring along the way. Great work !

MAJORHIGH

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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 03:40:24 PM »
Really awesome play. 5 star fave. Some of the best long par 4s. Thought #15 was a real cool hole. Some really nice intricate planting that I found my self admiring along the way. Great work !

Thanks PTJ, glad you enjoyed it.
The Conservatory - LIDAR
Stonecypher Club
Ford Plantation (RCR)
Davenport Athletic Club
Widow's Talon
Pinhook Saddle Club

(WIP: Ekwanok Country Club - LIDAR)
(WIP: Broadchurch)

bigtee

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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 05:32:30 PM »
Nice course. Scorecard was a sea of red. Course is well thought out. I'll need to put more thought into it next time.

Valdebrun

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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 11:46:03 AM »
Very beautiful and different course.  I love the look of it, very true to the area.

Thanks

MAJORHIGH

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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 07:24:17 PM »
Nice course. Scorecard was a sea of red. Course is well thought out. I'll need to put more thought into it next time.

You can thank Tom Fazio for those red numbers. He designed a tough course for sure....and this is just the Member's version. I'm going to publish a Tour version next.
The Conservatory - LIDAR
Stonecypher Club
Ford Plantation (RCR)
Davenport Athletic Club
Widow's Talon
Pinhook Saddle Club

(WIP: Ekwanok Country Club - LIDAR)
(WIP: Broadchurch)

Jumping Jimmy 362

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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2019, 12:16:10 PM »
This is a wonderful course, very natural looking and a great layout.  I still play one of your older designs; Widow's Talon.  I think that one is one of the better courses in the game.  I really appreciate all the effort it takes to create a course like this.  Thanks, 5*fav
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Yeltzman

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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2019, 04:28:41 PM »
Really Enjoyed this one,struggled a little 1st round only a albatross saved my round,Played a 2nd round played a bit better thought the level of this course was outstanding Surprised to see comment on a Tour version thought this version was perfect for all players.Thought the greens were really tough to putt on.



 

MAJORHIGH

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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2019, 03:26:58 PM »
Thank you guys for playing the course and the great feedback. Yeltzy, I would do a Tour version because that's what the founders of Congaree and Fazio wanted to achieve. I think this course has the potential to be extremely difficult and there are many who want those courses, including me. I want shooting par to be an achievement.

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The Conservatory - LIDAR
Stonecypher Club
Ford Plantation (RCR)
Davenport Athletic Club
Widow's Talon
Pinhook Saddle Club

(WIP: Ekwanok Country Club - LIDAR)
(WIP: Broadchurch)

Happy

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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2019, 08:18:38 PM »
this is a great RCR! Quality work and tough to putt. Ambient sounds are too high though, i needed to turn ambiance volume down to 25%.

I think people will be playing this one for a while. Nice work.
Go in the hole ball!

wkdworms74

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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2019, 03:41:43 PM »
Beautiful looking course right here!! Looking forward to giving this a go. Tee time this evening, appreciate your efforts in this one.

Cheers!
Jeff
Created courses:
Skipping Rock Resort & Vineyard
Burketown
Troon North Pinnacle GC
Troon North Monument GC
Mossy Creek
Bellewood CC
The Cliffs at Pine Creek
Hualapai Dunes
Ivy Ridge C.C.
Maple Ridge
Sandy Bottom Bayou
Finnigin's Cove
Old Pine Glenn Manor
Copper Canyon Pro Course

jcauthen04

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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2019, 12:28:48 PM »
I don't know why it took me so long, but I finally got to play this last night and it is without a doubt one of the top 5 courses I've ever played in this game!  The atmosphere is simply electric and the golf challenge is authentic and fair.  Five stars and favorited... I can't believe that something like this can be achieved using the somewhat modest design tools included with the game, but here it is!  8)
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MAJORHIGH

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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2019, 06:35:46 PM »
I don't know why it took me so long, but I finally got to play this last night and it is without a doubt one of the top 5 courses I've ever played in this game!  The atmosphere is simply electric and the golf challenge is authentic and fair.  Five stars and favorited... I can't believe that something like this can be achieved using the somewhat modest design tools included with the game, but here it is!  8)

Thanks, John 
I just saw this today and I really appreciate the kind words. Same goes for everyone else and their nice comments.  :)
The Conservatory - LIDAR
Stonecypher Club
Ford Plantation (RCR)
Davenport Athletic Club
Widow's Talon
Pinhook Saddle Club

(WIP: Ekwanok Country Club - LIDAR)
(WIP: Broadchurch)

inovashn

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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2019, 12:59:09 PM »
Played this course this past spring and instantly loved it. Decent scores to be had if you keep it in front of you.
That being said, video games and RCR's are a different challenge.
I gave it 4 outta 5. The effort was there with a 5 for sure, but there was some stuff that didn't show or line up as needed.
Hole 8 (long par 4 or short par 5 depending on which tees or the way the course is set up that week) sand all down the left side (I actually hit it over there on 1 round I played and there are tons of trees)fairway was a little skinny as well
Missing "beverage or hot out of the oven beef wrapped in croissant sandwiches served in tin foil" Shack that sits off the 8th green 9th tee box.
All in all some slopes that the ball would just run out of on some of the fairways in real play but literally 4.5 outta 5 on this course.
I would love for a lidar version with improved foliage and other notable accents inserted!

petetp

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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2019, 01:49:06 AM »
Just had a 4 player round (18 holes Pin 1) On the one that's named (Tour) Really well done! We all really enjoyed it! Thanks!

 

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