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Golf course designer Troy Miller felt a calling to help with the Muni renovation

Golf course designer Troy Miller felt a calling to help with the Muni renovation
April 2020
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$3 million course makeover expected to be completed by the end of the year





You could say Troy Miller’s entire life has been building up to his role directing the renovation of Charleston Municipal Golf Course. The 38-year-old grew up on James Island, just a few miles from the city-owned course. After a golf course design career with Landmark Land Co. and his own firm that took him to projects around the world, Miller moved on to a real estate development position with Bennett Hospitality, settling with his family in the Riverland Terrace neighborhood that abuts the 120-acre Muni. So when Charleston officials began discussing renovations, Miller felt called to help.

CM: You refer to the Muni renovation as a “passion project.” What is so special about this place for you?
TM:
I grew up playing this course. Mom would drop me off in the morning and leave me for most of the day, and I would play golf and hang out. My father’s first job as a golf professional was here 53 years ago.

CM: What prompted you to go into course architecture rather than become a pro and manage courses like your father?
TM:
As an eight-year-old when they were building the Ocean Course on Kiawah, my father was working there, and Pete Dye, the most prolific course designer of the past half century, was nice enough to take me out on tours every once in a while. A lot of it was through osmosis more than anything, getting to see what it was like to build an incredible golf course like the Ocean Course. My first job, when I came of age, was working on a construction crew for the renovation of Osprey Point on Kiawah.

  • Expert Advice: Miller‘s wife, Emily Gracey, is a meteorologist with WCIV. “So when we say we need to elevate this hole [along the Stono River] two or three feet, she says, ‘maybe three or four.’ That’s a big influence for me.”

  • Fore Y’all: Follow the $3 million project, expected to be completed by the end of the year, at friendsofthemuni.com.

CM: In recent years, you have been doing more real estate development than golf course design. Was it a tough decision to take on this project in addition to your full-time job?
TM:
When I was approached about doing this project, the answer was, ”Absolutely, yes. What can I do?” I was happy to donate my time to do the design and make this happen because this is a place people care deeply about, and it has great bones. Municipal golf across the country is a very worthy cause. I am passionate about growing the game and making it accessible to as many people as possible. And when you can do that in your hometown, it means that much more.

CM: Some 60,000 rounds of golf are played on the Muni each year. What makes this golf course so important to the community?
TM:
It’s one of the oldest existing parks in the city. We’re talking about 1929 when this place was first built. I think it can really become, and was always meant to be, a hub of activity for the larger community. The Friends of the Muni organization has plans to renovate the clubhouse and provide some more public space within it to create a gathering place.