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Review: The greens are back at The City Club at Lost Plantation
The green on No. 6
The green on No. 6 shows the improvements that have been made to the course in recent months. (Photos by Mike Augsdorfer/Effingham Herald.)

By Mike Augsdorfer

Special to the Effingham Herald

The City Club at Lost Plantation, formerly Rincon Golf Course, continues to make significant changes to improve the experience for players. The club recently replaced the putting surfaces on eight greens (holes 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 11, 12 and 14) as well as the practice green. These greens had become nearly unplayable due to years of neglect, but after the renovation the course now has all 18 permanent greens open for play.

The golf course plays 6,833 yards from the gold tees, but that should be attempted by only the most accomplished players. Most golfers will be more comfortable from the blue (6,388 yards) or white (6,031 yards) tees, and the course can play as short as 4,953 yards from the red tees. Even from the shorter distances, the course demands accuracy and strategic play.

The approach on No. 15
The approach on No. 15 includes a water hazard.
The challenge begins on the first hole, a 496-yard par 5 that requires a precisely placed tee shot and a second shot that must be carved through the trees and carry a waste area. The rest of the front nine winds through a heavily wooded area. The golf holes are tight and narrow, especially the 424-yard par-4 third hole, and the greens can be tricky to navigate. The ninth and tenth holes form an unusual back-to-back combination of par 5s. The rest of the back nine opens up a bit, especially the three closing holes, offering players better opportunities to score well, but it still features the most difficult hole on the course, the long par-4 15th hole.

Due to its location, the golf course has some drainage problems, and some areas retain water after heavy rainfall. However, management is working to address this and other issues as time and budget allow. For example, among other notable improvements, the golf carts now feature GPS screens that offer accurate distance measurements to the green on each hole.

Golf pricing is reasonable and competitive when compared to courses within driving distance in Savannah and Bluffton, South Carolina. New general manager Tara Childress says that the club now follows a dynamic-pricing structure that offers players the opportunity to take advantage of lower green fees during off-peak hours. Generally, fees are about $45 per round (including cart) on weekends and drop to $35 during the week. Players can reserve tee times through the club’s new website, managed by EZ Links.

The course also offers season passes for $100 per month, allowing local residents the opportunity to play anytime with a cart fee of $19 for 18 holes. Childress says that the membership program has blossomed from just 67 members to 137 members since March.

Clubhouse at The City Club at Lost Plantation
The City Club at Lost Plantation clubhouse has been upgraded and repainted inside and out; and features the Greenside Bar & Grille.
Golf lessons are available from two teaching pros. Chris Thompson, PGA, was previously affiliated with Mary Calder Golf Course, Southbridge Golf Club, and The Club at Savannah Harbor. Thompson now accepts students at the City Club at Lost Plantation. Bella Sapp, a 2021 All-Greater Savannah Girls’ Golf Team member from South Effingham High School, also offers golf instruction and specializes in working with children.

Locals are already enjoying the Greenside Bar and Grille in the clubhouse, which has become a popular venue in Rincon for lunch and drinks. The Greenside Bar and Grille offers both indoor and outdoor seating with a varied menu featuring sandwiches, paninis, sliders, and much more.

[Mike Augsdorfer is a local golfer, writer, and copy editor.]