From staff reports
The South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel has included both of the Dataw Island golf courses in their 2020 “Best Modern Golf Courses in South Carolina” rankings.
The Tom Fazio-designed Cotton Dike course is ranked No. 29, and the Arthur Hills course Morgan River is ranked No. 34.
“It’s an honor to have both of our golf courses recognized in these rankings,” Dataw Island Director of Golf Dave Britton said in a release. “Being a private club, we see a lot of member rounds but aren’t always ‘top of mind’ compared to some resort courses. Our members and maintenance team have a commitment to quality and continued improvements and it’s really great to see these efforts paying off and being recognized.”
Although the club is private, Dataw Island hosts numerous events to bring the community in and to contribute to nurturing the game of golf. Partner organizations include the Beaufort High School golf team, First Tee of the Lowcountry, the annual BSN Sports Intercollegiate Tournament (formerly the TaylorMade-adidas), the Carolinas PGA, the Carolinas Golf Association, and the South Carolina (Men’s, Women’s, and Junior’s) Golf Associations, as well as numerous veterans organizations.
Dataw Island also honors reciprocal play for members of several other clubs.
The S.C. Golf Course Ratings Panel provides these rankings every two years, with the aim of “promoting greater interest and awareness of all that is good about the game in the Palmetto State.”
The panel comprises more than 125 avid golfers, from accomplished amateurs, professionals, and golf industry leaders, to golf course superintendents and business leaders.
Their “modern” list represents courses that were designed and created from 1980 forward.
“In analyzing the history of golf course development in South Carolina, it became obvious to us that there was a major shift in course style and construction budgets beginning around 1980,” golf panel executive director Michael Whitaker said. “After 1980, … They were built with an emphasis on the ‘wow factor’ to attract holiday customers or sell custom homesites.”
In determining their ratings, panelists consider such criteria as routing (how the course flows from hole to hole in harmony with existing topography); variety (degree to which the course demands a full range of shot requirements); strategy (how design features test course management); equity (the course’s capacity to reward good shots and penalize poor ones); memorability (the distinctiveness of the golf course and its individual holes); aesthetics (the degree to which scenery and surrounds lend to the enjoyment); and, overall golf experience (which includes all elements of the course: practice areas, clubhouse and more).