Everything's coming up roses at Rose Hill's improved course

(NOTE: This is the second of a series of public golf courses in the Lowcountry.)

Rose Hill is one of the oldest golf courses in Bluffton. The course opened in 1982 as a 27-hole facility. Gene Hamm was the architect. Today, it is an 18-hole layout, with the remaining holes used as a park for community members.

Rose Hill is set among live oaks with Spanish moss hanging from the trees, giving the golfer a true feeling of being in the Lowcountry.

There are some terrific holes. The most demanding driving hole is No. 6, which has a narrow fairway with a green surrounded by water and bunkers. Its large, undulating green makes this a real challenge.

The par 3's on the front side are short in distance but very demanding. Both are well bunkered and water comes into play.

On the back side, hole No. 11 is a great par 5. Keep your focus here, as cars drive by along U.S. 278 on the right side, since water comes into play all along the left side of the fairway.

Rose Hill has gone through many highs and lows with different management groups. The Stephens group has managed Rose Hill for the past two and a half years, and the improvement in the condition of the course is amazing. When Andy Stephens took over the management duties, the greens were in horrible shape.

The improvement to the course is largely due to the hiring of Jamie Newton, golf course superintendent, who came to Rose Hill from Dataw Island. Newton is adept at growing the mini-verde Bermuda grass on the greens. He has also re-shaped the bunkers to make them easier to hit out of. The major emphasis now is the fairways and teeing ground.

Rose Hill is the most walkable course in the Lowcountry. Their new membership allows players to walk the course for free after 11 a.m. Stephens wants to attract new golfers and beginners. "We make sure we take care of our customers," he said.

The yardage book that is on the golf cart is a great supplement to your round. It has a colored picture description of each hole and a written description on how to play the hole. Also included is some golf instruction and how to play "ready golf."

Rose Hill recently opened its new clubhouse, Oak Terrace, with a full-service restaurant. The appetizer and lunch menu are available every day and dinner is served Wednesday through Saturday with evening entertainment several weekends. It is also a great way to finish your round of golf.

The green fees are very reasonable and getting a starting time is as simple as giving them a call at 843-757-9030.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris@gmail.com; golfdoctorjean.com


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