The Cliffs of Plenty

When you’re living on the West Coast, South Carolina can often seem like an endless expanse of wetlands and marshes found in coastal golf enclaves such as Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach. But the western part of the state, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, less than an hour south of Asheville, North Carolina, is an area filled with lush trees, rolling hills and pristine lakes. This is where you’ll find The Cliffs Communities and La Bastide Country Inn.

The Cliffs is a series of gated private golf club developments that include designs by Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Each year, The Cliffs hosts the BMW Charity Pro/Am, the top event on the Nationwide Tour. PGA stars Gary Player, Bruce Fleisher and Lee Jansen all live at The Cliffs.

The club has a total of seven golf courses spread throughout this scenic area. On this trip I played The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards, which overlooks the waters at Lake Keowee and was designed by Fazio. The setting is all natural with many holes running adjacent to State Park wilderness and eight holes directly on Lake Keowee.

The 17th hole, a majestic par-3 that can be played from 150 all the way back to 250 yards, is the one that has been most widely photographed. The tee is substantially elevated with the green sitting on a peninsula of Lake Keowee. The shot favors a fade as the water can catch you in front or short and left. You may just want to take in the view for a moment or two before you tackle this one. In case you get wet, do not fret as this hole is ranked as the toughest on the Nationwide Tour.

Founded in 1991 by Jim Anthony, The Cliffs Communities is devoted to the sensible development of luxury residential communities and other properties, within the United States and around the world. The property employs a philosophy of protecting the integrity of natural environments while offering residents and members the very best lifestyle experience. The Cliffs’s domestic properties include seven premier, private master-planned residential communities located within The Carolina Preserve, an economically, culturally and naturally rich area encompassing more than 1 million acres of protected parklands between Asheville, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina – along the leading edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

La Bastide Country Inn is an elegant small boutique hotel and is well worth a visit. It is centrally located to all the Cliffs Communities. The rooms are large and brand new with the best of furnishings. Breakfast is included and the food is excellent. A small kitchen area is furnished with plenty of items to get you through the rest of the day. The Restaurant at La Bastide offers a first-class French dining experience each evening. Greenville is only 20 minutes away from any city need you might have. Charlotte and Atlanta offer non-stop air service to LAX and are about a two-hour drive away. For more information visit www.cliffscommunities.com or call 866-435-5123.