Congaree Golf Club is one of the most renowned golf clubs in the world to open in the past ten years. The golf club sits on a former 18th-century rice plantation on over 2,000 acres of land and was designed by legendary golf course designer Tom Fazio.
So, where is Congaree Golf Club? Congaree Golf Club is located at 8589 Grays Hwy, Ridgeland, SC 29936. The course lies in Ridgeland, South Carolina, about 73 miles from Charleston, South Carolina. Congaree is less than 15 miles from the border of South Carolina and Georgia. The closest big city to Congaree in Savannah, Georgia, about 43 miles from the course.
But stick around because we’ll talk about what type of club Congaree is, who founded it, some famous ambassadors and what the future holds for this prestigious golf club…
What Type of Course is at Congaree Golf Club?
The course at Congaree Golf Club is at a par 71 and measure at 7655 yards. The course is often described as a heathland style course and is inspired by the sandbelt region golf courses of Australia.
Congaree is natural sandy because of the geographic landscape of southern South Carolina. The course features a numerous amount of oak trees which are prominently featured throughout the course.
Keeping in the style of Australian sandbelt courses, the traditional rough is replaced by sand on the course. The soil of the golf course is all sand based, and all of the grass on the course is one height.
The course has been praised as one of the top courses in the country since it opened in 2018. In 2021, Golf Digest ranked the golf club 39th on their “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” list.
The course ranked second among South Carolina courses on Golf Week’s 2020 list of the best private courses state by state. The course also ranked 30th on Golf Week’s list of the best modern courses for all layouts opened in or after 1960 in the United States.
Who Founded Congaree Golf Club?
Congaree Golf Club was founded by Dan Friedkin and Bob McNair, who had actively ranked in the top 200 richest persons in the United States.
Both founders had previous golf club experience, as Bob was an owner of the Golf Club at Briar’s Creek in South Carolina, and Dan owns the Creek Golf Club in North Carolina.
Dan Friedkin is the chairman of The Friedkin group, which is a consortium of businesses that operates in the luxury hospitality, automotive, entertainment, and golf industries.
Bob McNair was the chairman of The McNair Group and the Owner of the Houston Texans of the National Football League. Bob passed away on November 13th, 2018, at the age of 81.
Is It Open to the Public?
Congaree Golf Club is a private course that opened in 2018 with only two members, Dan Friedkin and Bob McNair. In replacement of the traditional member system at most golf clubs, Congaree has an extended membership of over 200 “Ambassador Members”.
The Ambassador Members of the club are people who a have motivation and passion for helping out children both locally and internationally. The Ambassador Members volunteer time and money to the Congaree Foundation, which is the foundation that the club was built around.
The Congaree Foundation’s main mission is to provide education and resources to children and teens with the mission to helping the kids get to college. The club wants golf to be a vehicle for the kids in the foundation’s program to use as a tool to get into college.
Who are Some Famous Ambassadors?
Congaree Golf Club boasts notable ambassador members from many industries, including golf and business. The ambassador members of the course are likeminded individuals who are invited to be members of the club.
Some of the famous ambassadors of Congaree Golf Club from the world of golf include:
- 8x Major champ Tom Watson
- 2x Major champ Mark O’Meara
- 3x Major champ Nick Price
- LPGA major winner Morgan Pressel
Some notable ambassadors from the business world include Jim Crane, Dermot Desmond, and Jim Pallotta.
Has Congaree Hosted a PGA Tour Event?
Congaree Golf Club hosted its first PGA Tour event in June of 2021 when it hosted the Palmetto Championship.
The event had a purse of $7.3 million, which ranked as one of the higher purses on the 2020-21 PGA Tour schedule. Proceeds from the event went to helping out the Congaree Foundation.
The inaugural event was won by South African Garrick Higgo, who had only played in a handful of PGA Tour events at the time of winning.
The winning score of the event was -11. There were six players tied for second in the event with a score of -10.
Is Hosting the Presidents Cup in the Future?
The Presidents Cup is a golf event similar to the Ryder Cup where a team of golfers from the United States faces off against a team from around the world excluding Europe. Congaree Golf Club submitted a bid in August of 2019 to host the 2026 Presidents Cup.
The bid was voted on and approved by the Ridgeland Town Council in support of the club’s bid for the event. The bid for the 2026 Presidents Cup was unsuccessful as the event was awarded to Medinah Country Club located in Illinois.
Congaree Golf Club is located in Jasper County, South Carolina which is in the Southern part of the state. The golf club is in the part of South Carolina historically called the “low country”. The “low country” encapsulates the four most southern counties of South Carolina which include Jasper, Hampton, Beaufort, and Colleton.