Welcome to Berkeley Hall, a prestigious private residential community located in Okatie, South Carolina. Berkeley Hall is renowned for its exquisite homes, exceptional amenities, and, most notably, its two stunning 36-hole golf courses designed by the renowned Tom Fazio. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Chris, a golf course professional at Berkeley Hall, who will share his insights into the daily operations of the course and highlight some of his favorite holes. Let’s dive into the interview and discover the wonders of Berkeley Hall’s golfing paradise.
Amanda: Hi, Chris! Could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your background in the golf industry?
Chris: Hi, Amanda! I’m Chris, and I grew up in South Carolina, near Columbia. I attended Clemson University, where I obtained a Turfgrass degree. I started my career at the Walker course for three years before moving to Forest Lake in Columbia for another five years. I’ve been fortunate to work at Berkeley Hall for the past two years.
Amanda: That’s impressive, Chris. Can you give us an overview of what a typical day looks like for you on the golf course?
Chris: Certainly! Our day starts early before the sun comes up. Our primary focus is getting the course ready for the golfers. We perform tasks like mowing greens, cutting new cups, raking bunkers, and mowing fairways. In the afternoon, when the golfers are out, we tackle projects that require more attention. It’s a busy schedule, but we always aim to stay out of the way and provide the best experience for the players.
Amanda: Managing a golf course sounds like a challenging job. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received about running a golf course successfully?
Chris: The best advice I’ve received is not to sweat the small stuff because, out here, there are always problems that arise. Whether it’s managing people, equipment, or the ever-changing nature, you can’t let it stress you out. Leading a team of 50 staff members requires confidence and composure, even when things go wrong. If you stay cool under pressure, you can tackle any challenge that comes your way.
Amanda: It’s great to hear such valuable advice. Who gave you that advice, and was there a specific mentor who influenced your career?
Chris: The advice came from Don Garrett, the Superintendent at the Walker course. I had the privilege of working for him for three years after graduating from Clemson. He was a mentor and a source of inspiration for me, guiding me through the intricacies of managing a golf course successfully.
Amanda: That’s wonderful, Chris. Now, let’s shift our focus to the golf courses at Berkeley Hall. Do you have a favorite hole, and if so, could you tell us why it stands out to you?
Chris: Absolutely! Although I enjoy playing golf, I’m far from great at it. Nevertheless, I find the par-3 holes to be quite remarkable. On the North Course, holes six, eight, 14, and 16 captivate me with their “wow” factor. Each of these holes has a unique charm and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. On the South Course, hole 16, along with the newly renovated tee boxes and bunkers, presents a fantastic transformation. The final three holes on the South Course, 16 through 18, offer a breathtaking view as they extend out over the marsh on the May River. These holes truly exemplify the beauty and challenge of Berkeley Hall’s golfing experience.
Amanda: Those sound-like incredible holes indeed, Chris. I’m sure our readers would love to experience them firsthand. Finally, could you share any upcoming major golf events or tournaments at Berkeley Hall?
Chris: Of course! Berkeley Hall hosts several major golf events throughout the year. We have the President’s Cup and Chairman’s Cup, which are season-long tournaments held from October to April. Additionally, we have the North-South Challenge on October 7, followed by the Berkeley Classic from October 12-14. The Women’s Invitational takes place on October 18-19, and the “HAIG” Two Day Member-Member tournament is scheduled for November 3-4. Finally, we have the Club Challenge from November 30 to December 2. These events showcase the competitive spirit and camaraderie that make Berkeley Hall a special place for golf enthusiasts.
Amanda: That’s an exciting lineup of events, Chris. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and insights about Berkeley Hall’s golf courses. It was a pleasure speaking with you today!
Chris: Thank you, Amanda! It was my pleasure to be here. I encourage everyone to come down to Berkeley Hall in Bluffton and experience the beauty and challenges of our golf courses for themselves. It’s truly a remarkable place for golf enthusiasts.
About Berkeley Hall
The golf experience at Berkeley Hall is a seamless blend of natural wonder and architectural craftsmanship. Tom Fazio designed two courses, known simply as the North Course and the South Course. While each has its own distinct personality, both are superbly routed with a seamless blend of balance, variety and flow. With no interior homes or roads, these two “core golf” courses are inspired by the classic designs of the 1920s, such as Riviera Country Club, Winged Foot and Seminole. With routing that meanders through an open coastal landscape framed by seaside grasses, each course also delivers dramatic elevation changes, beautiful water features, and bold strategic bunkering that showcase the architect’s artistry. https://berkeleyhallclub.com/