By: Craven M.
Last summer my wife and I were searching the web looking for a destination to take a fall golf get a way. I had recently received an email from Golf Packages of South Carolina promoting a Couples Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. We had been to Charleston years ago, but it was only passing through, so we did not get to tour the city or play any golf. I decided to give Ricky Saucier a call at Golf Packages of South Carolina and get more info about The Charleston Couples Festival. After speaking on the phone and a couple of emails, my wife and I decided to join up with the November outing.
We arrived at The Holiday Inn Riverview on late Sunday afternoon. After a quick check-in and unpacking, we headed to the reception which was being held on the top floor. The round shape of the hotel gives panoramic views of downtown Charleston and the harbor. What a fantastic picture, as the lights of the city and boat lights illuminated the clear night sky.
The reception allowed us to meet the other participants and review the week’s events. Ricky and his wife Jan presented all the couples with welcome baskets as we left for the night.
Monday started with a great southern breakfast in the hotel restaurant watching the sunrise over the harbor. I had to pull my wife from the table so we could make the 9:30 tee time. Dunes West and River Club was the location for our Monday round. Located on the picturesque site of the historical Lexington Plantation along the banks of Wagner Creek, the club was the perfect start for the week. Our itinerary showed a Low-Country Boil and Oysters at the club upon completion of our round. I’ve traveled throughout Canada, the US and most of Europe but had never had “a Low Country Boil”. Of course you know where I’m headed with this; it was delightful! Local shrimp, corn, potatoes, smoked sausage and spices all cooked together and then laid out to enjoy. The local oysters were just as tasty, although I was shucking for two.
After breakfast on Tuesday we headed out to the Arnold Palmer Signature designed RiverTowne Country Club. Superb layout; the wind was not a friend to me on this day and my score reflected it. Great views but my favorite had to be the par 5 ninth hole. A true three shot hole (avoid water here to score) to a demanding green.
Tuesday night Ricky had us scheduled for a group ‘Ghost Walking Tour’. Jay, our tour guide had us looking over our shoulder and around the next corner on every turn we made. He had a true gift for bringing the stories to life.
Wednesday was a day to explore the city, so we decided to see the country side of Charleston. A plantation tour and short round of shopping in the Market area downtown capped off the afternoon (watching the ladies make the sweet grass baskets is truly an art form; such that one of the artisans encouraged my wife to buy a new breadbasket). We made it back to the hotel in time to catch the shuttle for the carriage ride and dinner at Rue de Jean Restaurant, Charleston’s well known French Restaurant. A slow horse drawn carriage ride through historic downtown in the brisk evening air was the perfect start to a well appointed group dinner at Rue de Jean. PEI mussels, cheeses, lamb and steak tartar were a few of the dishes enjoyed at the table.
We awoke Thursday morning to heavy rain. We were scheduled to play Charleston National Golf Club; but unfortunately the rain was the winner and closed out the entire day. Ricky Saucier our host had given us a list of his favorite restaurants; I wanted a good steak that evening and Rick was able to book a reservation at Hall’s Chop House. What a great choice if you want a steak or chop. This is where restaurants should send their staff to learn southern hospitality at its finest and the steak I had made me forget about missing golf today.
Wescott Plantation hosted the group on Friday. Just like everywhere else we had visited during the week, we were greeted with smiles and an overall feeling that they were delighted we had come to visit. Wide fairways and large greens at Wescott give you a deceiving thought that “today I’m going low.” I was happy to better my handicap by 1. We finished up at Wescott with a late lunch. Ricky had arranged for Barbequed chicken, pulled pork and all the fixin’s.
When my wife and I initially booked the Couples Festival we extended our stay for three extra nights through Ricky and Golf Packages of South Carolina. He was also able to reschedule our round at The Rees Jones’ Charleston National Golf Club. We also visited the Aquarium and spent time browsing the many shops along King and Meeting streets.
I’ll have to say both my wife and I thought the Charleston Couples Festival was a tremendous value: 6 nights with breakfast, 4 rounds of golf, welcome gifts and reception, walking and carriage tours along with 3 planned group meals. We are checking our calendar to book again this year; there are still a few shops my wife missed and restaurants and golf are calling my name.
For more information about the 2013 Charleston Couples Festival click the following link: www.golfpackagesofsc.com/charleston-couples-festival.asp