Golfers who have played the Country Club of Charleston as recently as this spring’s Azalea Invitational will find a few major changes to the course during the 102nd Carolinas Amateur Championship that begins Thursday. When participants began arriving Wednesday for practice rounds, an information board pointed out that bunkers have been added to three holes, the par-4 fourth and 12th holes, and the par-5 15th. New bunkering also will be added on the par-4 14th the week following the Carolinas Amateur and next year bunkering will be added on the par-5 fifth hole.
The club’s history committee discovered original drawings and correspondence between architect Seth Raynor and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (Central Park, Biltmore Estate) that showed the bunkering, all of which will be completed in time for the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open that will be played at the Country Club of Charleston.
The Country Club of Charleston, a founding member of the Carolinas Golf Association which runs the Carolinas Amateur, opened at its present location in 1925. Prior to that the club’s golf course was located on the west bank of the Cooper River and was known as Belvidere Golf Links.
Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday with golfers starting on No. 1 and No. 10. The field will be cut to the low 60s and ties following Friday’s round with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. off 1 and 10 Saturday and Sunday.
This will mark the seventh time the tournament has been played at the Country Club of Charleston. The last Carolinas Amateur at the Country Club of Charleston was in 2009 when Jack Fields of Southern Pines, N.C., defeated Josh Gallman of Gaffney, 8 and 7, in the scheduled 36-hole championship. That was the last year the event was contested as match play. Now it is a 72-hole stroke-play event.
Other Carolinas Amateur winners at the Country Club of Charleston include: 1911 — C.C. Allen of Greenville; 1915 — Louis Grimball of Charleston; 1927 — T.D. Blair of Greensboro; 1935 — Thad Street Jr. of Charleston; and 1995 — Charles Warren of Columbia.
There is no defending champion. Carter Jenkins of Raleigh, N.C., who won the event three times in a row (including 2013 at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course), has since turned professional. There are 147 players from North and South Carolina participating, with seven past Carolinas Amateur winners competing, including the father-son duo of Frank Ford III (1992) and Cordes Ford (1996), both members of the host club. Other past champions include Logan Harrell (2010), Scott Harvey (2011), John Pitt (2001), Paul Simson (1991, 2005) and Carson Young (2012). Simson, age 65, of Raleigh, N.C., is the oldest player in the field while Kenan Poole II of Raleigh, N.C., age 15, is the youngest participant.