“Let others play at other things; the king of sports is the sport of kings!” – Ancient Persian Proverb
How apropos that Golf and Polo come together just outside of the hallowed grounds of Augusta National!
Southern Living has named Aiken, South Carolina, in the Top 5 best small towns, and back in the day others must have felt the same. The Aiken Winter Colony established by Thomas Hitchcock Sr. and William C. Whitney, became a winter home for many famous and notables, including those with such last names as Astor, Vanderbilt, Pinkerton, Rockefeller and others.
Polo, It’s a sport that’s good for business! – The “Sport of Kings” lives here!
Aiken boasts a vibrant and unique downtown shopping and dining experience, there’s a saying in Aiken that you’ve truly succeeded when you live on a dirt road. Just off the oak canopy of often-photographed South Boundary Avenue, outside the downtown area, is the horse district with its clay and dirt roads, home to many training facilities. It even has a stoplight, but safe for both horse and riders.
The region is known as Thoroughbred Country and for good reason. The climate is suitable for year-round training and equestrian events. A special place where horses oft have the right of way over golf carts, and is considered the Saratoga of the South. Horses rule!
With that kind of money in the neighborhood it is no surprise that the hallowed grounds of Augusta National lie immediately across the Savannah River. Also not surprising is that there is great golf on both sides of that same river. Only 20 minutes from Augusta, every April you can almost here the roars from Amen Corner.
With that, Ricky Saucier, managing partner of Golf Packages of South Carolina announces the 2020 Great Escape. From October 13th – 18th, participants will have the opportunity to experience Polo Matches at historic Whitney Field, plus tee it up on some of the local world class tracks in and around Aiken and North Augusta.
“All that have attended Great Escapes in the past; you know we put the priority on golf, experiences and food, and Aiken easily has what we are looking for!” says Saucier.
Aiken Golf Club: founded in 1912. John Inglis became the head professional in 1915. Mr. Inglis worked with the original designer of Shinnecock Hills and Donald Ross in New York. Through the years the club has seen changes; the current owner James McNair, Sr. brought Ross back to the Aiken Golf Club in 2012 when Jim’s son James McNair Jr. was declared a designer and updated the course in its centennial year.
The River Golf Club: this Jim Fazio design is across the Savannah River from Downtown Augusta in North Augusta, South Carolina. Set along the river there are wetlands and lakes throughout the course; then Fazio adds the bunkers. Greens are large and fast. Number 17 is a relatively short par 3 that looks back into the downtown Augusta skyline, fun to make birdie there.
Mount Vintage Golf Club: likened to Augusta National by Golf Digest magazine, this 27-hole Tom Jackson design, rolling hills, picturesque holes, stonework bridges help define this club. Every hole on this course you can stand on the tee box or look back down the fairway from the green and have a memorable mental picture or better yet, take a picture to show your friends that didn’t come with you, what they missed.
Experiences for this year’s great escape include: Attending one of the games at The Aiken Polo Club; the club is hosting the USPA Officers Cup 6 Goal. Trolley tours of Aiken will visit historic homes, churches, Civil War site-The battle of Aiken, guided walking tours through Hopeland Gardens and more.
Evening meals are planned in and around “The Alley”. Satisfying local eateries with live music to upscale fine dining. Local brew pub – Aiken Brew Company, Malia’s- this chef owned eclectic restaurant serves American fare. Casa Bella is a wonderful Italian eatery located in a Victorian Mansion.
Aiken in October is the place to be—come join us. More details to follow in the upcoming weeks.
For more information on the Aiken Thoroughbred Country Great Escape, call Rick Saucier, toll free 1-888-501-0954 or email Rick@GolfPackagesofSC.com
For the entire Mountains to Midlands program www.m2mgolfsc.com