Cotton Dike Golf Course reopens

Dataw Island Club’s popular Cotton Dike Golf Course reopens for play following a much-anticipated, multi-million dollar face-lift. The Tom Fazio-designed course, renowned for its stunning views of Jenkins Creek and the surrounding tidal marshes, has been updated to meet modern golf standards and improve playability for members and guests.
“The course plays beautifully” said Dataw Club member Sonny Googins, “Cotton Dike is a challenge for the best and average golfer on Dataw and truly a joy to play.”
John Weaber, a Dataw Club member and resident, went on to say, “I have watched this come together for the last year and I could not be happier with the results. The course is a pleasure to play. All of the members at Dataw should be quite proud of Cotton Dike.”
As part of the six-month renovation project, 17 of the greens were cored out and re-contoured. All of the greens on the 18-hole course, as well as the putting green and chipping area near the clubhouse, were re-grassed with MiniVerde Ultra Dwarf Bermuda grass, providing a smooth consistent putting surface for players. Fairways were converted to Celebration Bermuda, a grass better suited for shade and heat.
Atlanta’s Billy Fuller Golf Design oversaw the work, part of a $5.4-million project that also will include the renovation of Dataw Island’s Morgan River course next spring. Cotton Dike’s makeover will ensure “the club remains competitive with the marketplace for the next 20 to 30 years,” Fuller said.
A former superintendent of Augusta National Golf Club and Design Associate and Senior Agronomist with Cupp Design, Fuller has completed a number of major renovations of prestigious golf courses across the country since opening the company in 2004. His design work has earned the praise and recognition of Sports Illustrated, the LPGA Tour and Golf Week.
An important element of the Cotton Dike renovation included the replacement of the now-antiquated hydraulic irrigation system that was installed when the course was built in 1985. Once Lowcountry marshland, the course terrain was drained a century ago by dikes built to create additional land for cotton fields during the great plantation days of Dataw Island. Almost half of the 18 holes lie along the marsh and the winding creek.
Bunkers also were improved with new drainage, sand and contouring. Lake banks were restored in numerous areas and trees were pruned to allow more sunlight on the fairways and greens.
“The newly renovated Cotton Dike course turned out wonderfully and will be a great improvement in condition and design,” said Ted Bartlett, general manager and chief operating officer of the Dataw Island Club. “It’s a testament to the club’s commitment to maintaining the finest amenities and our investment in the future.”

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