Sporting Life // 3 min Read

Crossroads | A Shotmaker’s Playground

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Apr 02, 2024

Photographs by Patrick O’Brien
Words by Rob Collins

Designer Rob Collins of King-Collins offers a first look at Crossroads, Palmetto Bluff’s new nine-hole reversible golf course. It is a feat of design. One routing, The Hammer, is a whirlwind of angles and undulations. The reverse, dubbed The Press, feels like an entirely different game, a new set of challenges and features. It’s a lot of golf packed into fifty-four acres, a sleight of hand that makes the course play much bigger than it actually is. 

The greens are a defining characteristic.

There are about three and a half acres of greens on the actual golf course, which is about 150,000 square feet, then another 34,000 square feet of putting greens. Most 18-hole golf courses have less than 100,000 square feet. So, we have a wide variety of options for pin placement. 

The design is superfluid.

We had a lot of dirt to play with, so we built sand dunes. One feature bleeds into the next, with no beginning and no end. If you look at it from above, it’s like an amoeba that winds around as one thing turns into another.

The course encourages play along the ground.

You have to think about contours, about angles. The corridors are extremely wide, and there are hundreds of yards of width in some places. But even though you’ll almost always play off of the fairway, you might not like your angle. We played a lot with sight lines and visibility. So, if you get off track a bit, you might not see the pin or all of the green, which adds to the challenge. Whereas if you really hit in the right spot, you probably have more visibility and an easier shot. But to get to those good spots, you have a hazard to contend with. There’s a lot to discover. 

It was a talented team.

I was out there pretty much every week throughout construction, and there was a really good energy.  It was just a very cohesive project from start to finish. This is the best agronomic team we’ve ever worked with.  And everybody just adopted this very enthusiastic, collaborative mindset. 

Opening day was special.

I am over the moon happy with it. I am so thrilled with what our guys put down and how it’s being presented by the Palmetto Bluff team.  The course is finally there for people to enjoy and study. 

The Press

The Press routing is a touch more quirky and sporty. You might think it’s kind of a pushover but it’s got some teeth to it, with a lot of heavily contoured greens and dramatic shots. And there’s a bit more blindness that comes into play. 

The Rules of Press: The press, at its most basic, is a second bet that begins during the course of a round, joining and running concurrently with the original bet.

The Hammer

For a non-traditional golf course, The Hammer is a little more down the middle, more straightforward than the reverse. Though it’s visually intimidating, the routing is much more forgiving than it appears. There is a lot of visual trickery!

The Rules of Hammer: Each hole starts with an established bet. At any point, any player can“hammer” the other player/team, which doubles the bet on the hole.

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