Spring Island Closes for Old Tabby Restoration

By Scott Kauffman

Spring Island, S.C. – Old Tabby Links golf course in the South Carolina lowcountry community of Spring Island will closed March 12 for restoration. The restoration project will be headed up by the course’s original design firm, Arnold Palmer Design Company, with construction by MacCurrach Golf Construction. The restoration will include a new state-of-the-art irrigation system, re-grassing greens, and enhancements to restore the natural character of the course and heighten the strategic interest of each hole. Work is estimated to be done in the fall with the course re-opening for play this November.

Opening to much fan-fare in 1993, Old Tabby Links has long been viewed as the crown jewel in Arnold Palmer, and long-time associate, Ed Seay’s illustrious partnership. At the time of the original design a senior architect for Arnold Palmer Design Company said of Spring Island, “When I first saw the site…, I was convinced that God lived there. I have never seen any piece of land more beautiful and natural.”

The main task of the restoration project is to restore the natural beauty and rugged character that over the years have been diminished. The driving force behind undertaking the restoration project now is the aging irrigation system and the decline of the grass on the greens. As part of the project, a new irrigation system will be installed that will greatly reduce the amount of water and time it takes to irrigate the course. Also showing its age, is the grass on the Old Tabby Links’ greens. To address this issue, all greens will be re-grassed with a new strain of Bermuda, and in some cases, repositioned in order to be in full sun, and escape the encroaching shade of growing trees that the community’s homeowners want to save. As part of the project some bunkers will also be rebuilt, repositioned and eliminated in favor of the natural, sandy terrain of the area.

With the re-grassing of the greens, the design committee reevaluated the type of grass and decided to upgrade to MiniVerde, an ultradwarf Bermudagrass developed since the time of the original construction of Old Tabby Links. The new grass will eliminate the need for annual overseeding, further decreasing the impact of the course on the surrounding ecosystem and adding to the life-span of the greens.

“Spring Island has long been recognized for its trend-setting, low-impact development plan.,” said Spring Island general manager Tom Noyes. “More recently, the club has stood out for its financial strength and the willingness of our owners to invest in the future of the community. The new state-of-the-art sports and fitness complex was the first step in our investment for the future. This golf course restoration is our next step in ensuring the continuing improvement of Spring Island.”

Spring Island is a 3,000-acre island community located 35 minutes from Hilton Head and Savannah, and 30 minutes by boat from Port Royal Sound and the open Atlantic Ocean. Spring Island is limited to no more than 410 families on the 3,000 acres with 1,200 acres protected as nature preserve. Besides golf Spring Island also offers world class fresh and salt water fishing, equestrian, tennis, croquet, quail hunting, nature center, fine and casual dining options, and a wide variety of educational and cultural pursuits. For more information go to www.SpringIsland.com.



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