Chechessee Creek Club

A Good Walk Unspoiled

Posted by Alistair Orr


Located off Hwy 170 between Hilton Head Island and the historic coastal town of Beaufort, Chechessee Creek Club is situated alongside the marchlands of Chechessee Creek with views of Spring Island across the way. Having recently played Dormie Club, Coore & Crenshaw’s superb contribution to the Pinehurst golf Mecca, I was eager to see another of their creations.


Our caddie for the day was a young lad who was enrolled in a local collage golf program and loops to help fund his schooling. He knew every inch of the course and every break in the greens (which was a good thing for the greens require a soft touch with the putter and an even softer touch if you miss them). After assessing us on the practice tee he deemed that our games were worthy of a march back to the Championship tees but recommended a better time would be had if we moved up a set –I’m glad we listened to him for this par 70 routing at sea level was test enough at 6300 yards.


The piece of property that Coore and Crenshaw had to work with can best be described as flat with little or no elevation change, nevertheless, the duo designed a course with plenty of character and shot making challenge.  The fairways are fast and firm and blend in naturally with the local terrain. Thankfully they did not create false elevation or line the fairways with the artificial mounding that is ever so present on many Lowcountry courses. Also, absent are man-made rock walled or buttressed water hazards, paved paths are nowhere in sight and you don’t need to take a $5 cab ride between holes. Chechessee is truly a walker paradise.


For the most part the greens are relatively small pushed up affairs and fall back to front with steep closely mown aprons. If you short side yourself too often here you are in for a long day. However, there are a few holes where the greens are at fairway level and allow for a ground game approach. Proper club selection and accuracy are paramount on approach shots to these greens or an outstanding short game will be needed to score well. The prudent player will enjoy greater success though aiming for the green centers then putting towards the edges when required.


Bunkering is minimal here but plays an integral part in the design of every hole.  Located in places where attention must be paid to distance control or are visual distractions making you question your depth perception.  Similarly with the bunkering, strategically placed sentinel trees will affect your decision making process throughout the round. An ability to shape shots is a highly valued skill to have at Chechessee.


Hole #17 is an example of where a lone sentinel tree and bunker placement can dictate shot choice.


Editor's Shot Maker's Picks at Chechessee Creek

Featured Holes
Hole 6
Hole 7
Hole 8
Hole 9
Par 4
Par 3
Par 4
Par 4


Featured Holes Description:

Hopefully you will have worked any kinks out your game before you reach the sixth tee because you will need to be firing on all cylinders for the balance of the front side. A long straight drive is the shot called for off the 6th tee on this dogleg left par 4. Red stakes left is the only hazard to be avoided with the driver as there are no bunkers in the landing zone. The approach, however, is another story. The slightly elevated green is protected by two greenside bunkers with two more short right waiting to grab the bale-out. The edges of the green slope away so a shot to middle is the wisest play.


Hole #6


Abutting Chechessee Creek and the tidal marsh creates a wonderful setting for the par 3 seventh hole. A bunkered mound some 70 yards shy of the green creates depth perception issues along with the rise to the elevated green will have you second guessing club selection. The approach must land well into the green for a ball landing on the first few yards of the green will retreat back off the steep false front. Well sculpted green side bunkers add to the visual beauty of this hole but need to be avoided at all costs.


The picturesque Hole #7 with Chechessee Creek and tidal marshland backdrop


The eighth hole is the most heavily bunkered corridor on the course. To challenge this hole the ideal drive will come to rest at the fairways bend on this dogleg left which is flanked by bunkering at the corner. The long iron approach must carry a crossing bunker complex prior to reaching a long narrow green site guarded by beep bunkers. A poor drive may necessitate a layup second making par a difficult score to attain.


The final hole in this tough stretch is the longest par 4 on the property. At 464 yards your Sunday best tee ball needs to find the fairway long down the left side setting up the best approach angle to the green. A right side drive will flirt with a sentinel pine and bunker that protect the inside of this dogleg right. Care must be taken on the long approach to find the middle of the green for the putting surface falls off right to a deep bunker and anything left or long will leave a tough chip back up to the raised green surface. If you are in the zone and play these holes at level par your playing partners will be in awe but likely cursing you at the same time.


At Chechessee Coore & Crenshaw revitalized the notion that a great test of golf does not need to be a 7000+ yards beast. There is a nice mix of short and long here where brains and brawn will play tug-of-war all day with your decision making process. Although the course is playable for golfers of any ability from tee-to-green the novice golfer may find the green complexes tough to handle. The entire facility is a throwback to an era when putting one foot in front of the other was the only way to play golf so if you get the opportunity to play Chechessee take a caddie and enjoy a good walk unspoiled.

Course Stats: Chechessee Creek Club

Par 70
72.6 / 137
71.0 / 134
70.2 / 133
69.7 / 132



Chechessee Creek Club
18 Chechessee Creek Drive
Okatie, SC 29910
(843) 987-7070