Jack Nicklaus unveils Keowee Falls, his second Signature Course at The Cliffs
Salem, SC (May 12, 2007) – Today, amid throngs of press and eager golf enthusiasts, The Cliffs Communities, together with the most legendary name in golf, Jack Nicklaus, unveil The Cliffs at Keowee Falls – a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The Keowee Falls course is the second Jack Nicklaus Signature design at The Cliffs, following the grand opening of The Cliffs at Walnut Cove in 2005.
"Great, memorable golf and championship courses are steeped with heritage at The Cliffs, and we are excited to welcome another striking layout by Jack Nicklaus into The Cliffs’ collection of seven unique designs," said Jim Anthony, Founder and President of The Cliffs Communities. "Jack and his design team–along with our own Daniel Brazinski, Mike Harbin and their crews–have executed impressive effort with this course, and it shows. We open for Member play tomorrow, and I believe our membership couldn’t be more eager to get on the first tee."
"Jim Anthony and The Cliffs Communities have given us two wonderful opportunities, first at Walnut Cove and now Keowee Falls," Jack Nicklaus said. "We hope we have delivered to them two exceptional and unique golf experiences, but experiences linked by the same level of quality associated with both our organizations."
Core golf in an exclusive setting
Located at the leading edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the heart of the Carolina Preserve on the shores of Lake Keowee, the 160-acre Keowee Falls golf course marries a challenging par-72, 7,171-yard layout with the incomparable aesthetics of a pure, core golf experience.
"With all our golf course designs, we take our cue from the terrain provided to us," Jack Nicklaus explained. "In the case of The Cliffs, the difference in the pieces of property creates the unique look, personality and strategy of each course we have designed for them. With limited housing surrounding the course at Keowee Falls, Jim gave us the opportunity to do what is essentially a core golf course, so I think we were able to maximize the piece of land."
With only one collection of twelve luxury golf cottages situated on the course–and extended set-backs for bordering homes–Keowee Falls is The Cliffs’ most exclusive setting yet for avid players.
Nicklaus added, "Limited housing around the course meant that we were able to keep more of the existing vegetation surrounding the course. The site was heavily wooded and with minimal housing, we were able to keep this ideal feature on the perimeter and also within the golf course."
Added Jim Anthony, "Keowee Falls is truly is a golfer’s dream. It’s like you are taking a walk through the park and clubs are optional."
For low- and high-handicaps alike, Keowee Falls will undoubtedly offer a challenging, yet highly enjoyable round.
"I feel as if we placed the premium on second-shot accuracy with Keowee, using smallish greens but giving the higher-handicapped golfer ample bail-out areas," Nicklaus continued. "This translates into an ability to maintain the challenge for the better player to get close to the pin, while at the same time giving the higher-handicapped golfer a larger target to hit into safely. I think what every golfer will notice and appreciate are the water features throughout the course. Falls Creek and other existing streams became key components in our strategy, and you will see that they impact parts of at least seven holes."
One of the many player-friendly features of the golf course is located at the tee boxes. Grassed in Tif-Dwarf Bermuda–grasses typically covering putting surfaces–the tees on this Jack Nicklaus Signature Course provide an extra hole cut for additional practice.
The course will be complemented this fall by the opening of the Keowee Falls Clubhouse, perched high atop the most dramatic point in the community offering sweeping views of Falls Creek and up to 10 of the course’s 18 holes.
Historic projects preserved unique natural features on the course
During the construction of the Keowee Falls golf course, The Cliffs and the Nicklaus Design teams initiated several key efforts to restore, preserve and protect original, natural features that add to the course’s uniqueness and beauty.
The Falls Creek waterfall is considered one of–if not the–signature feature on 18,500-acre Lake Keowee and is the namesake of The Cliffs at Keowee Falls community. Falls Creek, which empties into the lake at the waterfall, is the most prominent natural feature of the Keowee Falls golf course.
"We used the existing streams that run through the valley to set up the strategy for parts of holes 1, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 and 18," explained Jack Nicklaus.
During course construction, Falls Creek was completely restored, making history in the process by becoming the largest creek restoration in South Carolina’s history.
"Our team carefully restored over 5,300 linear feet of creek bed during a period of four months, investing more than 2,600 man-hours to the task," noted Daniel Brazinski, Vice President of Golf Maintenance at The Cliffs Communities. "The undertaking was no small feat: we brought in approximately 4,900 boulders–each weighing over a ton–to line, stabilize, and beautify Falls Creek, which now flows freely through the heart of the course."
Other smaller, environmentally sensitive measures included in Keowee Falls’ construction include the creation of two ponds on holes 8 and 17, which, commented Jack Nicklaus, "add to the beauty of the course as well as help create a habitat for migrating ducks." The layout of hole 15 was designed around what was identified, researched, and confirmed as the largest known fruit-bearing North American Pear tree. Also of interest, a century-old log cabin found on the property during construction was disassembled, relocated, and meticulously reassembled and retrofitted to serve as one of the course’s pump houses.
126 Holes – One Membership
With the opening of Keowee Falls, The Cliffs Communities enjoys the distinction as the only club in the country with two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses and two Tom Fazio designs. The Cliffs Communities now has five completed courses available to Members, including the Walnut Cove course (Jack Nicklaus Signature), the Keowee Vineyards course (Tom Fazio design), the Valley course (Ben Wright design), and the Glassy course (Tom Jackson design). Two additional golf courses are currently in construction at The Cliffs: the Keowee Springs course (Tom Fazio design), which is slated to open in the late fall of 2008, and the Mountain Park course (Gary Player Signature design), planned for a 2009 debut–bringing the total number of holes available to Members to a staggering 126.
The Cliffs’ courses have been showered with dozens of accolades from the country’s most respected golf and lifestyle publications, including being designated among America’s Top 10 Private Golf Communities by Travel + Leisure Golf magazine and among the 50 Best Places to Live Your Dream by Golf Magazine Living magazine. The Cliffs’ club membership–which gives every Member access to over $100 million in completed amenities, with many millions more invested in future facilities–has been described by Resort Living magazine is "undoubtedly one of the most impressive, comprehensive club memberships in the world."
To learn more about the Keowee Falls community, visit www.cliffscommunities.com/kf.
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