The story of Rose Hill Golf Club makes me think of a Carly Simon song: “I know nothing stays the same but if you’re willing to play the game, it’s coming around again.”
I drove into Bluffton in 2007 and passed by the Rose Hill course. The grass was 2 feet high and the course was closed down. In 2008, I became their director of instruction when the course reopened to rave reviews and the course was in great shape.
Since then, it has gone through three different management groups and was closed again.
The good news is that the golf club and course reopened Aug. 1 with Hallmark Management Group at the helm. They also have three other courses in the community – Crescent Pointe, Eagles Pointe and Hilton Head Lakes.
Hallmark has brought in Brian Roller as director of agronomy, and his crews have spent the last month getting the course in shape. Tim Ashley, director of golf for Hallmark, is excited about the opportunity they have at Rose Hill. “Things won’t happen overnight but we will get there,” he said.
There are some terrific membership opportunities for Bluffton residents. If you join Rose Hill, you will be able to play the other three Hallmark courses for a substantial reduced rate. Members will be able to get starting times two weeks in advance.
People who bought the Anniversary Membership from previous management will receive a reduction in price for the new membership, said Jim Sheaffer, director of sales and marketing. Hallmark is not responsible for previous memberships but they are willing to give previous members a reduced rate.
Some people ask, “What does Hallmark have to lose by taking over the management?” and Sheaffer replied, “Our reputation.”
Jack Menzie, a Rose Hill resident, feels very positive about the new management group. “Hallmark appears to be going in the right direction,” he said. “The proof will be in the pudding.”
The history of Rose Hill is interesting. It is one of the oldest golf courses in Bluffton, opening 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.
The course is set among live oaks with Spanish moss hanging from the trees, giving the golfer a true feeling of being in the Lowcountry. The wildlife is abundant making for a nature-filled experience.
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. No. 7 and No. 8 are back-to-back par fives that are birdie opportunities.
The par three holes are short in length but are demanding because they are bordered by water and well bunkered. The back side is very challenging with two great par five holes.
Rose Hill is the most walkable course in the Lowcountry. Golf is a game that was meant to be walked, and it is great to see the walkers at Rose Hill.
When you finish your round of golf, check out the restaurant, Oak Terrace, in the clubhouse. It’s a great place to relax and talk about your golf experience.
For more information on redeeming previous memberships, contact Sheaffer at 912-507-9333.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. email@example.com; golfdoctorjean.com