Charleston National in Mt Pleasant

These days, the term “hybrid” is most closely associated with automobiles powered by both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. To golfers in the Lowcountry, the term can easily be applied to Charleston National, a challenging 18-hole layout by renowned golf course architect Rees Jones.

Charleston National combines the quality and amenities of a private club with the accessibility and reasonable greens fees of a public course.

It didn’t start out that way. Charleston National was conceived as an exclusive private club along the same lines as Augusta National, home of the Masters Tournament. Jones was brought in to create the finest course on the Southeast coast, one that would take advantage of its proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway and an array of lagoons, marshes and pine and oak forests.

But nature, in the form of Hurricane Hugo, intervened just after the grand opening in 1989. Thousands of old trees were lost and the course closed for more than a year for redesign and renovation.

Fortunately for local and visiting golfers, this superb course reopened as a semiprivate club, providing the public with the opportunity to play what its original architect called “one of the elite venues in golf” at a moderate price.

Charleston National is consistently ranked by major golf publications as the number one non-resort course in the Charleston area. It offers players the visual pleasures of its marshes and lagoons and the challenges of ever-shifting winds. Those cool ocean breezes can create vastly different playing conditions between morning and afternoon rounds.

The club itself offers all the services of a private facility, from clubhouse to pro shop, restaurant and bar.

What do golfers say about Charleston National? A visit to some of the most popular golf web sites uncovers comments such as: “Beautiful course ... has much character and is a steal.” “Interesting layout.” “This course is unbelievable. Phenomenal greens, excellent customer service and experienced professional staff.”

And finally: “The restaurant was fast at the turn and delicious at the end of the round. And the Bloody Marys were awesome.”

Map of Charleston National Country Club

The Retreat at Charleston National

In beautiful Charleston National Country Club, “As you like it” refers to more than a Shakespearean play. At The Retreat, a community of 130 custom town homes, it means you design your living space to suit your personality and needs.

Just a 20-minute drive from historic downtown Charleston and 10 minutes from the pristine beaches of Isle of Palms, the Retreat excels both in flexibility of design and location.

“The homes are being built by one of Charleston’s premier custom home builders, and they’re not intimidated by floor plan variations or special requests,” says Becky Morrissey, marketing representative for The Retreat. “The maintenance-free lifestyle at The Retreat appeals to those looking to simplify their lives to allow more time for travel and leisure and those looking for a second home in a resort community. Consequently, many of our owners have previously designed luxury single-family homes and are accustomed to fine interior appointments and options not typically found in town home communities.”

The Retreat offers flexible floor plans and nearly every conceivable optional feature and upgrade. Owners especially love the “as-you-like-it” area, which can be configured as a formal dining room, home office, third bedroom with full bath or something else entirely.

Additionally, a variety of optional features are available to further personalize the homes, including three-stop elevators, custom cabinetry, butler’s pantries, gas-log fireplaces, granite counter tops, hardwood floors and up to two 10 x19-foot sun rooms. The extensive list of standard features includes two-car garages, zoned fire suppression systems, expansive covered porches off the gathering room and master retreat, 9-foot smooth ceilings and soaking tubs.

“There are so many choices that no two town homes we’ve built are exactly the same,” Morrissey says.

The Nantucket-inspired exteriors feature large porches, elevating nature to center stage. Homes are located on the fifth and sixth fairways of the club’s Rees Jones-designed golf course or back up to wooded, saltwater marshes for the ultimate in privacy.

“Ownership in The Retreat represents a lifestyle choice,” says Morrissey.

The low monthly regime fee covers exterior maintenance and lawn care, which gives owners ample time to explore Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry. At home, they enjoy swim and tennis club privileges, and golfers are granted preferred membership packages. The facilities include a clubhouse, driving range, pro shop and putting green. Membership in an on-site fitness center is also available, and nature trails and a 5.5-acre lake provide additional recreational opportunities.

The Retreat is just minutes from everything you need, but, when you are home, you’ll appreciate the serenity of owning your own personal retreat. Homes range from 1,600 to 2,220 square feet and start at $297,900.