Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Fourteen miles north of the Ravenel Bridge lies Bulls Bay Golf Club, an idyllic oasis from the hustle and bustle of Mount Pleasant traffic. A private club designed by Mike Strantz, the property the course sits on is sculpted so that very diverse appearances are presented, yet each blends smoothly into the next.
It all starts at the front gates, adorned with large steel plates cut in the shape of a bull’s skull.
Entering the grounds, you are first confronted by a large hill leading up to a ranch-style clubhouse.
The hill was created with more than two million cubic yards of soil obtained from the excavation of several lakes that adorn the property, and might well be the highest point on the east coast between North Carolina and Florida.
Arriving at the clubhouse, vistas across Bulls Bay and Copahee Sound of the barrier islands dominate the skyline while the course itself lays open at your feet.
The panoramic views are enticing, and what better way to immerse yourself in them than along the pathways of a well planned golf course.
Strantz designed the course with the idea in mind that each tee-box presented a view worthy of a painting.
As you start the course, you head down the hill looking out at Caper’s and Dewee’s Islands.
Quickly the transition to coastal forest comes, and you travel along a large fresh-water lake whose banks are lined with trees full of egret, ibis, heron, cormorant and all other manner of coastal birds.
Osprey nesting atop a large tree overlook the alligators sunning themselves and the bass that routinely jump out of the water in morning and evening hours.
The course then turns along the estuaries, passing a small saltwater lake achieved by a dike and gate that allows each tide to refresh its waters. Along the way are the skeletons of several large trees that have died of lightning strikes or other causes, some upright and some lying bleached and looking as though they might be gigantic bits of driftwood. After passing several openings out onto the marshes the front nine leads through a heavily forested section before breaking back into the open and heading back up the hill to the clubhouse.
The back nine leads first into what could be a scene from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains as you cross the end of another large lake and take a turn along pine forest. The second half of the back nine then travels along a lake bordered with cattails and reeds that could easily be a scene from the great lakes.
Turning back to the clubhouse, the arroyo style sculpting of the hill is apparent, and with the sand traps, century plants and thickets of broom-straw grass, it could just as easily be a Southwestern scene from Arizona or Nevada.
Canvas prints of color photographs are available from author David Emch, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (843) 276-9096.