Nature can be viewed at the bridges of Charleston National
A bridge is a time, place or means of connection or transition. We in Mount Pleasant know well the value a bridge can have – the Ravenel Bridge eases our connections to downtown and the expressway and helps us connect with each other as we walk it, bike it and enjoy the park beneath it. Just ten miles north of this bridge lies a path with many bridges – more than a dozen perhaps not as impressive a scale as the span over the Cooper River but no less a means of connection and transition. It is Charleston National Golf Club’s course on the edge of the Copahee Sound in Mount Pleasant. This course’s paths wander through fresh water ponds and lagoons, through coastal hardwood forest, across tidal creeks, through tidal marshes, along the edge of the sound and then back through freshwater ponds and lagoons. At each transition point lays a bridge – all hunter green, all wide enough for two golf carts to pass and many hundreds of feet long.
In the fresh water bald eagles and wood storks inquisitively gawk from trees as turtles, alligators, ducks and geese float by. Further along, the pine trees give way to the scrub oak trees, signaling the beginning of the transition to the marine environment. Vistas framed by live oaks appear along the sound - Isle of Palms, Capers and Dewee’s Islands provide a backdrop for the numerous islets dotting the landscape. Ibis, wood storks, pelicans, heron, egrets great and small, bald eagles and heron wheel through the sky. Turning inland bridges again cross tidal creeks and marsh land. At high tide dolphin ease through, perhaps hoping that flounder is on the lunch menu. As the tide runs out, fish are stranded in the pools of water and squabbles break out among the pelicans and egrets over the prime locations. The popping and snapping noises of thousands of crab re-establishing their air-holes fill the air. Heron line the banks as osprey wheel and dive.
Red fox, coyote, deer, raccoon, gray squirrel and the even the occasional otter roam the shores.
Says owner Tim Kane “Charleston National was originally designed to be an exclusive private country club in the manner of Augusta National. Designer Rees Jones was brought in to build the finest golf course on the coast. Today Charleston National is a reasonably priced semi-private golf course which has been rated the #1 non-resort golf course in the Charleston Area by Golf Magazine. Unabashedly beautiful, Charleston National is a golf facility of high standards and impeccable taste.
This 18-hole championship golf course is the only Rees Jones design in the Charleston area open to the public. Compliment our course with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, superb playing conditions year-round, and it is not surprising that Rees Jones calls Charleston National “one of the elite venues in golf.”
With this diversity of ecosystems and wildlife you won’t want to forget your camera.
(David Emch is a Mount Pleasant resident who specializes in turning your photographs into masterpieces on canvas. He can be reached at 843-276-9096 or at DavidEmch@comcast.net.)