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Sweet Carolina

In 1992, along the corridor connecting Hilton Head Island with Interstate 95, South Carolina developer John Reed successfully debuted Colleton River Plantation; three years later and two miles west, he introduced Belfair to similar acclaim. With the recent opening two miles down the road of the South course, the coup de grâce at Berkeley Hall, Reed has turned his triple play of Low Country golf communities.

Berkeley residents arrive at their homes (which start at $675,000; homesites range from $219,500 to $1.5 million) via a $2.7 million entranceway with a reflecting pool surrounded by formal gardens, then past the $6 million spa-and-fitness center and 35,000-square-foot Jeffersonian-style clubhouse. A visit to the thirty-acre, technology-laden golf learning center and practice facility provides one's fix of fixes. Elsewhere around Berkeley's 860 bucolic acres are ten miles of nature trails, a conservancy and a club concierge, for starters. "People expect great golf from us, but what we've found as we moved along is that great golf alone isn't enough," says Reed.

Perhaps more impressive, though, is what's not here. Reed eliminated 200 homesites from Berkeley's original blueprint so that designer Tom Fazio could follow his "core golf" design plan: short walks between holes and no streets and few homes visible from either of his layouts. On the windswept, coastal North, Fazio halved his usual fourteen-month building period despite moving 1.3 million cubic yards of dirt: Reed agreed to sod the entire course at an added cost of $1.5 million. The 7,126-yard par-seventy-two South is a parkland stunner that winds through a mature stand of pine trees, with tighter corridors, smaller greens and similarly strategic but less severe bunkering. It's little wonder that at press time $115 million of Berkeley real estate and memberships have been sold since opening day.
—Brad King

For information on Berkeley Hall, call 888-817-8458 or visit berkeleyhallsc.com.

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