Palmetto Championship At Congaree Winners and History
The Palmetto Championship at Congaree is a (theoretically) one-time replacement for the Canadian Open, which has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID pandemic.
It was scheduled for June 10 – 13, 2021. Garrick Higgo was the first (and perhaps only) champion. (see below for scores).
The Palmetto Championship is a standard 72 hole stroke play event. It will be played at Congaree Golf Club in Gillisonville, South Carolina. Congaree is a 2017 Tom Fazio design that is meant to invoke the sandbelt courses of Australia.
The course is a par 71 that will play at 67, 685 yards from the back tees. It was named Golf Digest’s Best New Private Course in 2018. In 2021, Golf Digest placed it at number thirty nine on its Top 100 courses list.
Congaree has an interesting back story. The club was founded by two billionaries — Dan Friedkin and Robert McNair — as a charitable institution to use golf to support underprivileged students. The Congaree Foundation’s primary program is the Congaree Global Golf Initiative.
Each year, the club invites high school students from around the world for a four-week program of golf, golf instruction, and college prep. Congaree counselors follow up with the students through their college years.
Friedkin and McNair were the club’s only two members (McNair has since passed away). Two hundred or so others are “Ambassadors”: prominent people who are able to make a contribution in terms of time and mentoring. These include golf professionals and business executives.
The Congaree Foundation also supports local charities such as the Boys and Girls Club of Jasper County and the Lowcountry Food Bank. The foundation has also purchased a local nine hole course, the Sergeant Jasper Golf Club, with the intention of renovating it to make it available as a quality public course for area high school teams and the general public.
In the future, the club reportedly has ambitions of hosting a President’s Cup, with the goal of attracting more attention to its mission. While a President’s Cup seems unlikely, the Palmetto Championship at Congaree will surely bring the attention they desire.