Thomas & Hutton

Project Location: Beaufort County, South Carolina

Category: Water + Stormwater + Wastewater

Started: May 21, 2019

Completed: February 1, 2022

Project Team: 

Thomas & Hutton- Civil Engineer

Witmer Jones Keefer, Ltd.- Landscape Architect/Land Planner

Grady Woods Architects- Architect

Terracon- Geotechnical Engineer

DendroDiagnostics- Arborist

Newkirk Environmental Inc.- Environmental Consultant

Coastal Surveying- Surveyor

Bihl Engineering- Traffic Engineer

Choate Construction Co.- General Contractor

J.H. Construction- General Contractor

Project Summary: The sport of golf relies heavily on the expanse and variety of a course. The allure of a distinct golf experience presents a reasonable challenge to players against a backdrop of natural beauty. When Hilton Head National Golf Club lost 27 acres to right-of-way acquisition for Bluffton Parkway construction, Thomas & Hutton client, Scratch Golf Company faced a significant challenge. Nine of their 27 holes became unplayable, three of which were in the direct path of the planned parkway. Hilton Head National experienced a considerable loss of revenue and began to reevaluate the experience they could provide golfers and visitors to the Lowcountry.

Scratch Golf seized the opportunity to repurpose the disconnected course and capitalize on the national trend of reexamining the use of open space and growing “work from anywhere” movement. The luxury RV resort is a by-right use under land development ordinances and a passive use that would generate income for Scratch Golf out of the land cut off by right-of-way acquisition. The vision was for Hilton Head National golfers and visitors to the region alike to play and stay at the resort. 

T&H provided civil design, master pump station design, off-site force main design, nationwide wetland permit assistance, permitting, and construction services for the 60-acre Hilton Head National RV Resort. The property features 341 sites and elevates the standard RV experience offering resort-style amenities including a trail, beach entry pool with lazy river, restaurant, tiki bar, dog park, and playground. The resort is configured with multiple site layouts, accommodating various visitor preferences. Repurposing the golf property posed several challenges, namely promoting positive drainage on the site. T&H designed a storm system that incorporated the existing ponds, doubling as an amenity. A leisure trail was incorporated near the ponds, facilitating connectivity, and providing an additional recreational opportunity. Navigating tree cover and existing golf corridors required an efficient site layout. Trees were protected to offer privacy buffers to an environment conducive to RVing. By carefully grading the site, Thomas & Hutton’s design team created a distinctive resort with extensive tree cover that would otherwise have taken years to mature.