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The Sanctuary at Lake Russell to Feature Arthur Hills Course


Golf course architect Arthur Hills has been selected to design 18 holes in Calhoun Falls, S.C., on the shores of Lake Russell, where the initial development phase of the Sanctuary at Lake Russell is now underway.

Developed by Charlotte-based US Land Investments, the Sanctuary is near Lake Russell, one of three inter-connected lakes in the Piedmont region of Georgia and South Carolina. Formed by a late 20th Century damming of the upper Savannah River, the shores of Lake Russell will soon be home to homes, a semiprivate golf course designed by Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates and a marina on property next door to Calhoun Falls State Park and its 25,000 acres of protected public land.

"The Sanctuary at Lake Russell is a different sort of second-home/retirement opportunity because, while it sits close to the populations centers of Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville and Augusta, it's a world away in terms of pace, lifestyle and environment," said Stephen Rosenburgh, chairman of US Land Investments. "The Lake is truly a wonder: 26,000 acres, 500 miles of shoreline, 176 feet deep, crystal clear and - because it's a dammed river - the water height never fluctuates more than 5 feet. The area all around our community is almost completely undeveloped for miles. We like to say that resident of the Sanctuary will have Calhoun Falls State Park for their backyard, Lake Russell for their swimming pool and neighbors of whitetail deer, eastern wild turkeys and more waterfowl than we have time to name."

The development lies in part on the historic Millwood Plantation, ancestral home of the John C. Calhoun family, benefactors of the town of Calhoun Falls, S.C., near the border of South Carolina and Georgia. Nearby Abbeville is considered to have one of the best collections of late-Victorian architecture in South Carolina. The site also lies close to the intersections of SC Highways 72 and 81; the community is an hour from Augusta and Greenville, two hours from Atlanta, and three from Charlotte.

The first phase of the Sanctuary at Lake Russell will include 370 homes, a pool club and pavilion, recreation fields and picnic areas, trail systems, a marina and fishing piers. Phases II through V will include the semiprivate course, resort hotel and second marina. The full master plan calls for no more than 2,000 residential real estate units.

"We've done a great deal of course design work across the Southeast, but we've never seen a piece of property quite like this one," said Hills, partner and principal with Toledo, Ohio-based Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates, designers of more than 200 courses worldwide including the Golf Club of Georgia, Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head Island, and the new Club at Olde Stone, recently named by Golfweek magazine the top course in Kentucky.

"We see that sort of potential at Lake Russell, which is why we're involved," Hills added. "The lake is exquisite, and its creation seemed to have been executed with great golf in mind."

Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake was created by the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Authorized for construction by the 1966 Flood Control Act as Trotters Shoals Lake, it was later renamed for a late senator from Georgia. The other two inter-connected dams and lakes include: The first project, J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake was completed in 1954; Hartwell Dam and Lake was second and completed in 1962. Russell was the last of the three projects constructed; permanent filling began in October 1983 and reached full pool in December 1984.

US Land Investments has backed other residential developments, including Legend Oaks Plantation in Summerville, S.C.; Starnes Crossing in Waxhaw, N.C.; Stonebridge in Mineral Springs, N.C.; and Grass Meadows in Charlotte, to name a few.

But the Sanctuary at Lake Russell is a departure not just in scope but, in Rosenburgh's view, setting. "It's a unique place, a retreat - in large part because it's a lake that, until 1984, wasn't even here," he says. "You can see and feel these untouched, pristine qualities the moment you stand there on the shore. It's like living in a national park. Fact is there simply aren't too many places left like this one. It's one of the many serendipities surrounding Lake Russell and this project. Here's another one: The Army Corps of Engineers insisted on a 300-foot setback reserved for public use and recreation. Accordingly, our golf holes will sit in this buffer, lining the lake, and they will be stunning."

For more information, visit www.liveatlakerussell.com or call 800/831-LAKE.