Magnolia 9-Hole Course Reopens on Schedule

September 10, 2008

CALLAWASSIE ISLAND, SC – September 10, 2008 – Callawassie Island – a private, member-owned golf and country club community featuring a Tom Fazio-designed 27-hole championship golf course – today celebrated the grand reopening of the Magnolia course. 
Built within and around ancient Live Oaks and majestic Magnolia trees, rivers and tidal creeks, the Fazio tract provides unmatched natural beauty, dramatic vistas and superb play on three nine-hole courses.
While the course is acknowledged to be one of the most challenging and beautiful tracks in South Carolina, more than 20 years of play had exacted a toll on this grand layout that placed the membership at a major crossroads, according to Callawassie Island Club General Manager Brian LaSota. 
“Rather than simply ‘clean up, paint up and fix up’, the members overwelmingly voted to completely restore the course to its original greatness,” said LaSota.  “Our goal was to provide members with a flashback to one of Tom Fazio’s youthful, signature masterpieces, complete with  treacherous green slopes and pin placements accompanied by signature flashed green collars, and we’ve succeeded.”

The Plan
The goal of the project was to restore all 27 greens to their original, as-designed dimensions and adapt U.S. Golf Association putting green construction specifications. Callawassie Island Club’s plan included leveling all teeing areas and constructing new teeing areas as needed to enhance playability and, completely replacing the antiquated sprinkler systems on the Magnolia, Palmetto, and Dogwood courses in a staged, three-tiered schedule. 
Matthew Tacilauskas, golf course superintendant, said, “It was imperative that we keep player interruption to an absolute minimum and have 18-holes available for as long as possible during construction. The only exception to this approach occurred during the hot summer months of June through August, when the fewest number of rounds are played.” 
The Magnolia course was the first in queue for rennovation, closing on April 1st. Five months later and on schedule, it reopened for member play on September 1st. The Palmetto nine closed on June 1st and is tracking on schedule for reopening October 1st. Dogwood will undergo its transformation beginning in May, 2009.

Technological Advances and Sound Ecological Principles Play Major Roles in Reducing Water Usage by 50 Percent

All greens are being rebuilt from scratch to conform to latest USGA specifications for optimal drainage and surface integrity. Every green is being surfaced with Mini-Verdi™ grass, a recently developed hybrid that assures the smoothest, truest putting, year round. Additionally, a Sub-Air® system was installed to aid in getting oxygen to the roots of the grass. The tee areas were rebuilt with shade tolerant grasses to preserve the many nearby 100 year-old Live Oak trees.   A new dual-line watering system and pump house was installed to keep every green, fairway and rough lush and green, while using 50 percent less water and conserving power.
Best Kept Secret in the Lowcountry
Callawassie is working diligently to once again live up to its reputation – ‘best of the best in the Lowcountry.’ Jeff Spencer, Head Golf Professional at Callawassie Island Club said, “We are indebted to our members for not only approving the renovation funding, but also for living through the daily process. They envisioned the ‘bigger’ picture and are truly excited about playing the new Magnolia course and the future of their home club.” He added, “Mr. Fazio will be visiting Callawassie in the coming months and he’ll see virtually the same course he designed more than two decades ago, just environmentally better.”
About Callawassie Island Member Club
Callawassie Island is an 880-acre nature plantation located in the heart of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Three bodies of water surround the sea island – The Chechessee Creek and the Colleton and Okatie Rivers leading to Port Royal Sound and access to the Inter-coastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.