Unique 18-hole putting course set to open in mid-August at Lake Marion Golf Course in Santee, SC. The 35,000-square-foot “Palmetto Traverse” is based off the Himalayas putting course at St. Andrews and designed by golf course architect and Donald Ross restoration specialist Kris Spence.


SANTEE, S.C. — An 18-hole, 35,000-square-foot putting course is opening mid-August at Lake Marion Golf Course in Santee, S.C.

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Photo from PalmettoTraverse.golf

“Palmetto Traverse” is located at Lake Marion Golf Course adjacent to the Lake Marion Villa & Townhouse Complex. The layout was designed by golf course architect and Donald Ross restoration specialist Kris Spence and Spence Golf Design.


“We have been looking for ways to make the overall experience at our facility better and more exciting.  The trend in putting course construction caught our attention and we happened to have the perfect piece of property to build something extremely unique for our area, and for the state of South Carolina for that matter,” said Todd Miller, general manager of Santee Cooper Resort.


Spence said the complex — which was constructed using USGA sub surface drainage and rootzone and topped with a Tifeagle Ultradwarf surface — also features a pair of small bunkers within the surface area, and a small central grassy island with a sitting area and landscaping. The internal contours include plateaus, terraces, swales, rolls, valleys, spines and slopes that will provide abundant variety testing the best player to the beginner.

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Photo from PalmettoTraverse.golf

“The green includes most every feature a golfer might experience when playing golf around the world,” said Spence, who is based in Greensboro, N.C.


Spence has renovated, restored or worked on nearly three-dozen golf courses in North Carolina, most notably Sedgefield Country Club, site of the PGA Tour’s annual Wyndham Championship, Roaring Gap Club, Country Club of North Carolina’s Dogwood Course, Forsyth Country Club, Mimosa Hills Golf Club, The Omni Grove Park Inn Golf Course, Cape Fear Country Club and Myers Park Country Club.


The concept for Palmetto Traverse is based on the Himalayas putting course at St. Andrews in Scotland and will be akin to the Thistle Dhu putting course at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C.


The green is conveniently located behind the Lake Marion GC clubhouse and golf shop near the multiple golf villas on the property, just steps away from the front door of the villas and pool area.


“I think this will especially appeal to those golfers staying on the property wanting something else to do following their round on the course,” said Spence. “The design should provide some wild fun, with putts as long as 260 feet possible and over some of the most varied terrain I have ever designed into a putting surface.”


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Photo from PalmettoTraverse.golf

Among budget-conscious golfers, Santee has morphed into a revered year-round destination. Located on the south shore of Lake Marion, South Carolina’s largest freshwater lake where a number of world records have been set through the years for largemouth catfish and bass, Santee is convenient — dissected by Interstate 95 almost exactly halfway between New York and Miami — and just off Interstate 26, midway between the Palmetto State’s popular cities Charleston and Columbia.


“We expect the Palmetto Traverse will be a big hit with the many travelers on I-95, as well as families from Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding area,” Miller said.


A green fee for the 18-hole putting course will be included in all-inclusive, stay-and-play packages booked through Santee Cooper Golf & Travel. There will be a nominal fee for those pulling off I-95 to play.


Learn more at PalmettoTraverse.golf

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A good place to start when setting up one of Santee, South Carolina’s value-laden golf packages is with Santee Cooper Golf & Travel (www.santeecoopergolf.com). Folks there will tell you Santee is hands down the best-valued golf vacation on the East Coast. Combine this with good old-fashioned Southern hospitality and you’ll come away with an experience that may have you actually laying up short of other destinations in the future.