Two of the greatest names in golf are forever linked to RiverTowne Country Club, located in the burgeoning East Cooper town of Mount Pleasant. Arnold Palmer, the acknowledged âKingâ of golf, designed it and Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam put her name on an LPGA event that twice was played there. Annika has since retired and the LPGA event went with her, but Arnie's handiwork challenges members and guests on a daily basis.
Opened in the fall of 2001, RiverTowne is a modern golf course with all the muscle to test the modern power game. It measures just 12 steps short of 7,200 yards, if you opt for the back markers. Yet, Palmer's first, and to date only, contribution to the Charleston golf smorgasbord has one very striking difference from the overwhelming majority of today's courses built to complement a residential development, as RiverTowne certainly was â one every golfer will appreciate. Only two holes, the sixth and the 15th, have development on both sides of the fairway, while six holes have no development on them at all.
âWeâve taken full advantage of the outstanding natural terrain and landscaping to create a course as beautiful to non-golfers as it is to veteran players,â Palmer said, as he was putting the finishing touches on the layout that sits along the marshes overlooking Horlbeck Creek and the Wando River.
Holes 7-9, a par 4-3-5 combo, are especially dramatic, the edges of all three seeming to drip off into the marsh grasses. And while the back nine is dotted with excellent par-4s, including holes 12, 13 and 15, it is again the closing stretch that brings you up close and personal with the marsh. A reachable par-5 and a medium, but imposing, bulkheaded par-3 precede a finishing hole that can play more than its 478 yards when the wind off the marsh is in your face. Pay attention, or you just could see a good score slip away with the tide.