History and Significance
The Legends is built on a site originally used by Native Americans for hunting and campsites. European settlements reach back to the 16th century with the French occupation of Charlesfort. Later, the Spanish city of Santa Elena was established there in 1566 and served as the capital of Spanish Florida until English raids in 1587 forced the Spaniards to evacuate to St. Augustine. Excavation of Santa Elena has uncovered musket balls, triggers from Spanish harquebuses and the oldest known European pottery kiln discovered in the United States.
In 1996, MCRD Parris Island and MCCS South Carolina began developing a plan to rebuild the base’s 1947 Fred Findley-designed course. Because parts of the original course were located within the Santa Elena archaeology site, architect Clyde Johnson relocated three of the course’s original holes to sections found devoid of artifacts.
The $4.5 million renovation was completed in 1999 and the course was reopened for play in 2000. It is now one of the premier courses in the Lowcountry and has been ranked one of the top military courses in the world.