Recent SC Golf Course Reviews


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
Dunes West Golf Club of Mount Pleasant, SC
  
Although Dunes West Golf and River Club opened in 1991, the history of the land can be traced back to 1696, although the land wasn’t developed for another sixteen years or so. Shortly after being developed it was purchased by Captain John Vanderhorst, Joseph Vanderhorst and Thomas Lynch, the same family that owned most of Kiawah Island – in 1712. They kept it in the family for over 100 years. Fast forward to 1937 and Henrietta Hartford, one of the wealthiest women in America, buys the land and marries Prince Guido Pignatelli of Italy. The land would become known as Pignatelli Plantation and Henrietta – aka Princess Pignatelli – has a nine-hole golf course built.

Dunes West Golf and River Club is ideally situated along Wagner Creek and the Wando River, offering up some spectacular views of the surrounding aquatic life. The course itself was designed by renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills and is a “must play” for any golfer traveling in or around Charleston, SC. Dunes West has been proclaimed by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as a “Top 10 Resort Course”.
The course plays 6,859 yards from the back tees, with a course rating of 73.0 and a slope of 134. Most golfers will find that the Blue Tees (6,100/69.0/122) will give them all they can handle and still maintain a little dignity.

Hills took full advantage of both the Wando River and Wagner Creek when he built this masterpiece. As you make your way around the course, you’ll see saltwater marshes and coastal tidelands; all commonplace for those who live in the South Carolina’s lowcountry, but visually stunning for those who don’t.

Although the current version of Dunes West does not resemble the 9-hole original course in any way, shape or form, the clubhouse does sit on the very spot of the princesses’ 32-room mansion. The oak trees that frame the drive up to the clubhouse, as well as the right side of the 18th fairway serve as a reminder of the properties history; they were planted by Princess Pignatelli herself.

Like most Arthur Hills, there’s a lot of mounding in the peripheries of the fairways and around the green complexes. Grass bunkers and swales are every bit as challenging as the light, fluffy sand you’ll find in any of the traps. Greens come in all shapes and sizes, most have subtle undulation and all roll true.

There were several challenging holes on the front nine at Dunes West, but none more memorable than the four finishing holes. Number 15 is a Par 5 that plays 481 yards from the Blue Tees has two sets of four fairway bunkers that challenge players off the tee and in the landing zones. The first set are on the edge of the fairway and shouldn’t cause much trouble; the second set bisect the fairway and catch a good deal of layup attempts. A shot from the left side of the fairway bunkers leaves an easier approach and somewhat takes out of play the greenside traps on the right side of a slightly elevated green. A long drive up the left side sets up a good opportunity to get home in two and go for broke.

Number 16 is the toughest hole on the inward nine and plays 369 yards from the Blue Tees. Water come into play over the trio of fairway bunkers on the right off the tee, but is more in play on your approach shot. An ideal tee shot is between the 150-marker and the trees on the left; that will leave a manageable yet challenging approach shot over sand to a small green with water waiting if you hit it right. The green is small with subtle undulations.

Number 17 is a par 3 that plays 169 yards and is by far the most challenging par 3 at Dunes West. With water on the right side and sand left and long, there is no room for error off the tee. Miss the left fairway bunker long and you’re facing a tough lie in a grass swale. The green is small and slopes left to right. Best of luck!

Number 18 is a great finishing hole. This dogleg right par 4 will give any golfer all they can handle from the back tees; from the Blue tees, it’s a manageable 383 yards. There’s not the usual plethora of sand you find on many holes; in fact, there is none. Your biggest challenge on this hole is to control your drive off the tee. Keep it in the short grass and leave yourself a clear shot into the green and you’ll finish strong; just be sure to avoid the marsh area short left.

Before your round, be sure to visit Dunes West’s practice facility. There’s a full-length driving range with multiple targets that will let you hit every club in your bag. The short game area has a sand trap for extra practice and there is a large practice putting green as well. If you’re having troubles with your swing, set up a quick lesson with one of the club’s trained PGA professionals.

In addition to a superb golf course, Dunes West also has a 6000-square foot clubhouse with full service dining. The Grille is open every day from 8am to 3pm; breakfast is served Wednesday – Sunday from 8am – 11am and lunch is served daily from 11am – 3pm. Brunch is available on Sundays from 8am – 12pm. One of the specialties at The Grille are the tacos, which come in several varieties, and the burgers are outstanding. On Thursdays, The Grille is open for dinner with delectable entrees of beef, chicken and fish. There’s also a full array of country club amenities including swim and tennis.

Because of its location, Dunes West is a picturesque and memorable location for weddings. Their experienced event and culinary staff can help you put together your special occasion. It’s also a great venue to host your next tournament or golf outing.

For more information on becoming a member, you can call Dunes West at (843) 856-9000 or visit them online at www.duneswestgolfclub.com.

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Date Played: August 29, 2017 | Cost: $0.00


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
Pinecrest Golf Club of Bluffton, SC
  
Pinecrest Golf Club – Fun to Play No Matter Your Handicap
The Pinecrest Golf Club in Bluffton SC opened for play in 2004 and was designed by Rocky Roquemore, best known for his designs at Cannongate Golf Club in GA and several of the Disney courses in Orlando, FL.

Pinecrest is owned and operated by Brown Golf Management who purchased the club on March 10, 2011 and opened it up for public play. The course is known for having a stunning and scenic layout and plays its way through strands of tall pines and around several beautiful lakes. Water comes into play on about 15 holes with number 9 being the only forced carry over water off the tee, although not a very long carry at that.

Sand bunkers pose more of a threat to your scorecard, especially off the tee. Every non-par 3 hole has at least one bunker on the edge of the fairway in the landing zone; par 5s have been strategically fortified with a second set of bunkers in the layup landing area, although they always seem to be on the periphery of the fairway. Greens are also well protected, with many of them being elevated.

Speaking of greens, Pinecrest’s are large and roll true; if you want to score well, best to not leave yourself a lot of long putts.

Most Memorable Hole: Number 11. The course’s second hardest hole is a par 5 that plays 500 yards from the White Tees and requires an accurate tee shot due to the water on each side. You’ll want to use the left side of the fairway on your layup but be sure to avoid the fairway bunkers over there and be careful of the water that juts out half way into the fairway. These bunkers should not come into play. From here you’ll have a short pitch shot into an offset green. Three good shots and you can conquer this hole.

The practice area at Pinecrest is second to none and could very well be the best public access practice facility in the Bluffton area. There’s a double-sided range, two large putting greens and a separate chipping green to hone your game. If you’re still having trouble, check in at the pro shop and sign up for a lesson with one of their PGA professional staff.

After your round, stop by the 9 Iron Restaurant located in the clubhouse. They feature excellent food at reasonable prices, including fresh sandwiches, soups, salads and daily chef's specials. The jumbo Reuben is one of a kind or, if you’re looking for something a little lighter, try their cranberry-almond salad. No matter what you’re hungry for, odds are you’ll find it here, as well as your favorite after golf beverage.

Brown Golf has some incredible membership opportunities available which are particularly attractive to those in the Bluffton area. A single membership includes unlimited golf at 7 local courses as well as reciprocals at all other Brown Golf Facilities around the country. You’ll also receive access to the practice facilities and unlimited range balls as well as complimentary golf lessons from PGA professionals. That alone is worth the monthly dues. For more information or to book your next tee time at Pinecrest Golf Club, visit them at www.pinecrestcc.com.

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Date Played: July 25, 2017 | Cost: $0.00


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
  
The Palmetto Hall Plantation Club features two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by two very recognizable names: Robert Cupp and Arthur Hills.

When it opened in 1993, the Robert Cupp Course at Palmetto Hall on Hilton Head Island had the highest slope rating from the back tees (152) of any course in the state. Although that honor has since bestowed upon Pete Dye and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort – which comes in at the USGA max of 155 – the Cupp Course will still challenge all comers. It is a must play for all golfers who visit the Hilton Head area.

From the tips, the Cupp Course plays 7,079 yards with a course rating of 75.0 and a slope of 143. If you were skiing, the tips would be rated Double-Black Diamonds; in other words, they are for the pros. So, if your golf game has never been written about in Golf Digest, you probably shouldn’t play from back here. Several holes require carries of 225+ just to find mother earth. If you’re still debating this feat, stroll on over to the 9th tee and take a look at what you need to do with your tee shot on the 472-yard par 4. That’s right, 472-yard, par 4!

Before your round, warm up on Palmetto Plantation’s driving range where you can hit every club in the bag. Be sure to hit some putts to get an idea of what you’ll be dealing with once you get out there.

Mere mortal golfers will have all they can handle from the White Tees, which play 6,025 and carry a course rating of 70 and a slope of 128. Ladies may choose to play from either 5,605 or 5,182 yards.

Cupp created the course on a computer, something that is commonplace nowadays but not so much in the early 1990s. That’s why you will find a lot of straight lines and recognizable geometric figures, especially when it comes to the bunkers. There’s a lot of mounding too, in and around fairways and greens alike. The greens come in all sizes and shapes, several with false fronts, unfriendly slopes and a lot of subtle undulations.

Memorable Holes
One of the holes that brings back memories – not necessarily good – is the 2nd, a par 5 that plays a mere 468 yards from the White Tees. From the distance alone, it sounds like a no-brainer to go for the green in two, however the creek that makes its way across the fairway may have you thinking twice. It sits about 240 yards from the green and if you’re not on the left side of the fairway, you’ll have to lay up anyway. Up near the green, trees really crowd the right side and with all the mounding, the left is no bargain either. Even at 468 yards, par is still a good score.

Number 10 is a three-shot par 5, that plays 474 yards from the White Tees. I say three-shot because of the large pond that sits directly in front of the green. Play left of the large fairway bunker on the left and then hit a layup shot short of the water and then a short approach shot to an elevated two-tiered green.

Another favorite hole – and one that gives you about the best chance at birdie on the course – is the short par 4, Number 11, which plays 290 yards from the white tees. Hit something less than driver off the tee, short of the triangular bunker, and you’ll be left with a short pitch shot to a green where the pin is probably blocked out by a large mound. The green’s not real deep so distance control is at a premium.

A good course needs a great finishing hole and Number 18 is ready to take on anyone who dares. It’s a par 4, dogleg right around two lakes that plays 357 yards from the White Tees. Playing your tee shot down the left side of the fairway will give you the best approach angle and take the water out of play as much as possible. Any pin placements on the right side and the water is in play, no matter where you come at it from. Make your par and head to the 19th hole.

After your round, head into the clubhouse to Baird’s Pub for your favorite après-golf libation. Baird’s also has an outstanding menu with a Lowcountry theme that showcases many of Hilton Head Island’s fresh local ingredients. In fact, all of their seafood and meet dishes are prepared fresh daily.

The pro shop at Palmetto Hall is one of the best stocked in the area for men’s and women’s golf apparel and they carry several unique designers. They are more than willing to accommodate whatever you’re looking for, so if you don’t see what you want, just ask and they’ll help you find it.

Last Word: The Cupp Course is one of the most exciting layouts on the Island as it winds its way through dense oak and pine forests and large Lowcountry marshes. From an aerial view, the layout is spectacular with its geometry all over the course. From a playing perspective, it can be as tough or as gentle as you want it, just pick the right set of tees. With narrow fairways and natural impediments at both ends of the fairway, each hole offers a new start, regardless of how you did on the previous hole.

The previous course management companies didn’t do the property justice and let it slip into conditions far worse than what you see today. Brown Golf Management stepped up to the plate and took over Palmetto Hall, unfortunately a little over a week before Hurricane Matthew struck the area. You can still see remnants of the devastation as you make your way around the course. Brown Golf has been making great strides in returning the courses to their former glory including bringing over Superintendent Grant Backus from their Dolphin Head property. Backus was instrumental in turning Dolphin Head around and looks forward to doing the same thing with Palmetto Hall.

Palmetto Hall Plantation is managed by Brown Golf Management, and offers some tremendous opportunities for membership. With 7 courses in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area, members can have access to unlimited golf on all courses as well as unlimited range balls, use of the tennis facility and unlimited free golf lessons from a PGA Professional. For more information on becoming a member or playing at Palmetto Hall Plantation, visit their website at www.palmettohallcc.com.


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Date Played: July 20, 2017 | Cost: $0.00


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
Willbrook Plantation Golf Club of Pawleys Island, SC
  
When Willbrook Plantation opened in 1988, golf course architect Dan Maples referred to it as “One of my best”. The ladies seem to agree. In fact, Golf Digest named Willbrook Plantation as one of America's Top 50 Courses for Women in 2010. Golf for Women Magazine has ranked the course as high as 25th in the US for women. However, all the guys I spoke with describe it to be a challenging layout, as well. In 2006, Golf Digest awarded Willbrook 4.5 stars in their "Best Places to Play."

Willbrook Plantation is built on land that was once two Carolina plantations, dating back to 1798 as evidenced on their logo. As you make your way around the course, you’ll see several historical markers denoting the various historic points of interest. One tells about the mounding built by slaves in the 1700s that served as the property lines between plantations. All kinds of non-golf related facts that add to the round’s enjoyment.

Willbrook Plantation plays 6,722 yards from the back tees with a rating of 72.4 and 133. The White Tees at 6,292 yards (70.3/129) provided a great test for me. Ladies play from 4,981 yards (68.3/120). Pick the right set of tees and when it doubt, do what Jack says and play it forward.

The golf course at Willbrook Plantation weaves its way through lowcountry marshes, and natural grasses. Along the way you’ll encounter centuries-old oak forests and a blend of wildlife you don’t see at other venues. It’s not uncommon to see the occasional deer, hawk or alligator during your round. The course is very player-friendly, especially for those that have never played the course. Water hazards that may have gone unnoticed, are marked with large yellow flags, so the “I didn’t know there was water there” defense is no longer valid. Water is very much a part of the action at Willbrook Plantation; you’ll see it in some form or another on at least 14 holes, although it only comes into actual play on about half of them.

There are several holes at Willbrook that could be considered “signature-worthy” but here are my choices:

Most Memorable Hole: Number 6, Par 3, 127 yards (White Tees). A challenging island green gets your attention on this short par 3 hole. A large bunker guards the left side of the green and two grass swales guard the far end, so if you miss the green left, up and down becomes an arduous task.
Last Word: It’s easy to see why Willbrook Plantation is consistently ranked one of the top courses in the Myrtle Beach area. Accuracy is at a premium, especially when avoiding large trees. It’s not the longest course on the Strand, but it is going to make you think your way around it. It’s also very peaceful and serene on the course; I think this is what Mark Twain was talking about when he said, “a good walk spoiled.”

In addition to the course, Willbrook has a great practice area and a grill that is popular with both visitors and locals. In fact, when I asked several players on the course which hole was their favorite, the majority said it was the 19th!

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Date Played: July 19, 2017 | Cost: $0.00


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
Eagles Pointe Golf Club of Bluffton, SC
  
Eagle’s Pointe Golf Club is a defining statement and signature design of PGA Tour professional Davis Love III. It’s located in Bluffton, SC, just a few miles from the bridge that leads to Hilton Head Island and, among local golfers, it is one of the most popular 'off-island' courses.

The course plays 6,780 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 73.3 and a slope of 138. The White Tees play 6,026 yards (69.9/129) and will provide a challenging test for most golfers. Ladies play the course from either 5,210 yards or 5,112 yards. As long as you choose the tees that best fit your game, you’re guaranteed to have a good time at Eagle’s Pointe. The course has earned praise for being one of the most environmentally friendly public courses in the area.

Eagle’s Pointe winds through strands of moss-draped live oaks and pine trees as well as freshwater lagoons, making use of the natural beauty and variety of the existing terrain in the area. Speaking of terrain, don’t expect to find too many flat lies out here, they are very hard to come by. As you make your way around the course, you’ll encounter native coastal wetlands that come into play on several holes and, in addition to adding a challenge to your game, they also provide some wonderful scenery. For the most part, the greens are large, and roll true at a moderate pace.

Memorable Holes
Number 2 is a short par 5 at only 468 yards and, with very little trouble, is a good chance to put up a low number. Favor the right side of the fairway just left of the lone fairway bunker. From there you can have a go at the green, which is protected in front on either side by bunkers. The green has some subtle undulations but nothing outrageous. Anything more than par and you might want to consider talking with one of the PGA professionals at Eagle’s Pointe.

Number 7, Par 4, 356 yards (White Tees) is one of the member's favorite holes. It’s a par 4 with a stream cutting across the front of the green. A good drive of around 250 yards will leave a manageable pitch shot into an elevated green with grass swales right and a large bunker left. Clear the water or pay the price. Par is a good score here.
Number 11 is a short but challenging par 3. It’s only 140 yards from the White Tees but a good deal of that is carry over marshlands. The green is protected by a small bunker on the right and can be tough to hold if you don’t hit it high. Go too far over it and you may find the water.

Last Word: Eagle’s Pointe strikes the balance between a difficult golf course and one everyone can play; it’s one of the most player-friendly courses on Hilton Head Island. This course will have you hitting every club in the bag and allow you to take advantage of what you do well. If you want to score well at Eagle’s Pointe, you’ll need to hit a lot of fairways and avoid the ominous fairway bunkers. That shouldn’t be a problem if you can hit the ball straight as a lot of the hazards here are on the edge of the fairway. But that’s only half the battle, you’ll also have to perform well on the large, undulating putting surfaces.

The course offers several risk-reward opportunities that will challenge golfers of all abilities. While the generous landing areas allow you to hit driver off most tees, the emphasis here is on the approach shots to large, undulating greens. Love has always placed an emphasis on the putting game and boldly contoured greens have become his signature. The greens at Eagle’s Pointe don’t disappoint in this respect.

After your round, be sure to stop by the lounge for your favorite after-golf libation. If you’re hungry, why not try one of Eagle’s Pointe’s delicious sandwiches such as the Club or Pulled Pork BBQ? Their weekly specials include a Meatloaf Sandwich served on a hoagie roll and slathered in brown gravy and a Sausage and Peppers sandwich which is phenomenal.

The pro shop at Eagle’s Pointe Golf Club is fully-stocked with some of the top names in golf equipment and apparel you can find. Browse through their selection of the game’s top name brands. You can also schedule some golf lessons so that you can put that equipment to good use. And what better place to use it than on the practice range. Eagle’s Pointe has a full length driving range where you can hit every one of those new clubs, as well as a chipping area and practice putting green.

Want free unlimited range balls for those new clubs? As a member of Eagle’s Pointe, that’s just one of the perks. Through Brown Golf Management’s membership program, you’ll have access and unlimited range balls at 7 local Bluffton/Hilton Head courses as well as unlimited golf and free golf lessons any time you like. Now you have no excuse not to get better! For more information on becoming a Brown Golf member or to book a tee time at Eagle’s Pointe, give them a call at (843) 757-5900 or visit them online at www.eaglespointegolf.com.

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Date Played: July 19, 2017 | Cost: $0.00


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
TPC Myrtle Beach of Murrells Inlet, SC
  
Ever wonder that it is like to play a PGA Tour caliber course? Here’s your change, at the only course in Myrtle Beach to receive a 5-star rating by Golf Digest’s “Places to Play” – TPC Myrtle Beach

The Tournament Players Club in Myrtle Beach was designed by Tom Fazio with input from PGA Tour player Lanny Wadkins and opened for play in 1999. The course earned accolades quickly and the next year (2000) hosted the Senior Tour Championship, which was won by Tom Watson. Other PGA greats such as Gary Player, Ray Floyd and Lee Trevino have tried their luck against the complexities of the course.

From the tips, TPC MB measures 6,950 yards with a rating of 74.1 and a slope of 144. At 6,133 yards (72.5/138), the white tees will provide a formidable adversary for the average golfer without too much embarrassment or frustration. Ladies will find a challenge from the Red Tees at 5,118 (70.3/128). As always, pick the distance that’s right for you and have a good time.

Players weave their way through forests of red oak and pine, around Lowcountry marshes and picturesque wetlands on fairways as plush as carpet. Miss the fairway and you’re setting yourself up for a long day; the mounding and swales that sit on the periphery make for some tough play. Many fairways are tree lined, with ample landing areas off the tees. But trees aren’t all you’ll find out here; water comes into play on at least 11 holes, whether it’s a lake or wetlands.

The green complexes are worthy of praise all on their own. Most of the greens are elevated with subtle undulations – and fast. It’s not uncommon to have a putt with at least two feet of break during your round. Some of the greens are multi-tiered, adding to the necessity of a good putting game. The bunkers are well manicured; often siting several feet below the green.

In addition to a great golf course, TPC Myrtle Beach boasts some pretty impressive practice facilities. There’s a full length, targeted driving range, a short game area with sand bunker and a large putting green. No wonder touring professionals such as Dustin Johnson come here to practice in the off-season! I guess the fact that DJ has a golf school here would be a contributing factor as well!
There’s also a fully stocked pro shop so you can stock up on logoed gear and men’s and women’s locker rooms. Players can shower off/freshen up their round before heading home, and then grab a quick bite in the new Champions Pub. Enjoy a post-round cocktail or choose from numerous draft and craft beer selections. The Ahi Tuna Caesar Salad and Grilled Chicken Sandwich on Ciabatta Bread are recommended suggestions.

Pro’s Pick: Number 17, Par 3, 158 yards. (White Tees). To many, using the words TPC and island green in the same sentence means one thing: Sawgrass. But not so fast. Although Number 17 at TPC Myrtle Beach merely has a peninsular green, it’s every bit as intimidating as its evil step cousin down the Interstate. And, although there is only water on three sides, the fourth side has a large bunker which is by no means a picnic should you enter it. Complicating matters is the fact that the green slopes towards the water and know this – the wind will be a factor. At 158 yards, it provides a great challenge.

Favorite Par 4: Number 12, 277 yards (White Tees). Given the length of this hole you have to go for the green off the tee. A draw would be the preferred shot off the tee; there’s not a whole lot of trouble here unless you find one of the bunkers on the left side. The green is wider than it is long; something to keep in mind should you require an approach shot.

Favorite Par 5: Number 18: Par 5, 496 yards (White Tees). I would name this hole “Decision Time” because, with a good drive – preferably down the left side – you’ve got a decision to make. Standing on the tee box, you can’t help but be in awe as you stare down the fairway at the back of the clubhouse. There’s a very picturesque creek that meanders down the right side of the fairway and crosses about 300 yards from the white tees. Once it crosses the fairway, it flows into a large lake that guards the front and left side of the green. Most players will opt to make this a 3-shot hole and lay up right of the water. Hit it to the largest part of the fairway over the creek and you’ll leave an approach shot of around 100 yards to a large, well-bunkered green. This is one of the best finishing holes in the Myrtle Beach area.

Most Challenging Hole: Number 9, Par 4, 445 yards. A monster of a hole that requires your best drive of the day. Playing your tee shot up the left side of the fairway will take the water and trees on the right out of play. You’ll be left with a long approach shot that plays uphill to a narrow green with a large, deep bunker on the right. Miss it left of the green and you’re looking at a difficult up and down. I’ve played shorter par 5s – all pars are well earned.

Last Word: TPC Myrtle Beach is one of the top 3 courses in the Myrtle Beach area, with all kinds of challenges. If you hit the ball high, you should fare well with approach shots to the elevated greens. Spend some extra time on the range and hit every club in the bag; chances are you will on the course. In fact, every shot you hit will be a test. For most of us, this is as close as we will ever get to playing between the ropes in a professional event. For more information or to book your next round at TPC Myrtle Beach, Click Here.

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Date Played: July 19, 2017 | Cost: $0.00


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
TPC Myrtle Beach of Murrells Inlet, SC
  
Ever wonder that it is like to play a PGA Tour caliber course? Here’s your change, at the only course in Myrtle Beach to receive a 5-star rating by Golf Digest’s “Places to Play” – TPC Myrtle Beach

The Tournament Players Club in Myrtle Beach was designed by Tom Fazio with input from PGA Tour player Lanny Wadkins and opened for play in 1999. The course earned accolades quickly and the next year (2000) hosted the Senior Tour Championship, which was won by Tom Watson. Other PGA greats such as Gary Player, Ray Floyd and Lee Trevino have tried their luck against the complexities of the course.

From the tips, TPC MB measures 6,950 yards with a rating of 74.1 and a slope of 144. At 6,133 yards (72.5/138), the white tees will provide a formidable adversary for the average golfer without too much embarrassment or frustration. Ladies will find a challenge from the Red Tees at 5,118 (70.3/128). As always, pick the distance that’s right for you and have a good time.

Players weave their way through forests of red oak and pine, around Lowcountry marshes and picturesque wetlands on fairways as plush as carpet. Miss the fairway and you’re setting yourself up for a long day; the mounding and swales that sit on the periphery make for some tough play. Many fairways are tree lined, with ample landing areas off the tees. But trees aren’t all you’ll find out here; water comes into play on at least 11 holes, whether it’s a lake or wetlands.

The green complexes are worthy of praise all on their own. Most of the greens are elevated with subtle undulations – and fast. It’s not uncommon to have a putt with at least two feet of break during your round. Some of the greens are multi-tiered, adding to the necessity of a good putting game. The bunkers are well manicured; often siting several feet below the green.

In addition to a great golf course, TPC Myrtle Beach boasts some pretty impressive practice facilities. There’s a full length, targeted driving range, a short game area with sand bunker and a large putting green. No wonder touring professionals such as Dustin Johnson come here to practice in the off-season! I guess the fact that DJ has a golf school here would be a contributing factor as well!
There’s also a fully stocked pro shop so you can stock up on logoed gear and men’s and women’s locker rooms. Players can shower off/freshen up their round before heading home, and then grab a quick bite in the new Champions Pub. Enjoy a post-round cocktail or choose from numerous draft and craft beer selections. The Ahi Tuna Caesar Salad and Grilled Chicken Sandwich on Ciabatta Bread are recommended suggestions.

Pro’s Pick: Number 17, Par 3, 158 yards. (White Tees). To many, using the words TPC and island green in the same sentence means one thing: Sawgrass. But not so fast. Although Number 17 at TPC Myrtle Beach merely has a peninsular green, it’s every bit as intimidating as its evil step cousin down the Interstate. And, although there is only water on three sides, the fourth side has a large bunker which is by no means a picnic should you enter it. Complicating matters is the fact that the green slopes towards the water and know this – the wind will be a factor. At 158 yards, it provides a great challenge.

Favorite Par 4: Number 12, 277 yards (White Tees). Given the length of this hole you have to go for the green off the tee. A draw would be the preferred shot off the tee; there’s not a whole lot of trouble here unless you find one of the bunkers on the left side. The green is wider than it is long; something to keep in mind should you require an approach shot.

Favorite Par 5: Number 18: Par 5, 496 yards (White Tees). I would name this hole “Decision Time” because, with a good drive – preferably down the left side – you’ve got a decision to make. Standing on the tee box, you can’t help but be in awe as you stare down the fairway at the back of the clubhouse. There’s a very picturesque creek that meanders down the right side of the fairway and crosses about 300 yards from the white tees. Once it crosses the fairway, it flows into a large lake that guards the front and left side of the green. Most players will opt to make this a 3-shot hole and lay up right of the water. Hit it to the largest part of the fairway over the creek and you’ll leave an approach shot of around 100 yards to a large, well-bunkered green. This is one of the best finishing holes in the Myrtle Beach area.

Most Challenging Hole: Number 9, Par 4, 445 yards. A monster of a hole that requires your best drive of the day. Playing your tee shot up the left side of the fairway will take the water and trees on the right out of play. You’ll be left with a long approach shot that plays uphill to a narrow green with a large, deep bunker on the right. Miss it left of the green and you’re looking at a difficult up and down. I’ve played shorter par 5s – all pars are well earned.

Last Word: TPC Myrtle Beach is one of the top 3 courses in the Myrtle Beach area, with all kinds of challenges. If you hit the ball high, you should fare well with approach shots to the elevated greens. Spend some extra time on the range and hit every club in the bag; chances are you will on the course. In fact, every shot you hit will be a test. For most of us, this is as close as we will ever get to playing between the ropes in a professional event. For more information or to book your next round at TPC Myrtle Beach, Click Here.

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Date Played: July 19, 2017 | Cost: $0.00


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
Crescent Pointe Golf Club of Bluffton, SC
  
Located three miles west of the bridge to Hilton Head, the Arnold Palmer Design Group has created a Lowcountry masterpiece in Crescent Pointe. This Arnold Palmer signature course sits on a beautiful piece of property and highlights the beauty of its surroundings. The championship golf course plays 6,773 yards from the back/Palmer tees with a course rating of 73.8 and a slope of 144 (four sets of tees total) Most golfers will have all they can handle while still maintaining some dignity from the White Tees (6,027/70.2/132).


As with most Palmer courses, Crescent Pointe offers generous fairways, yet challenging approaches to elevated, undulating greens. As you make your way around the course and through the rolling terrain Mr. Palmer created, you’ll pass strands of centuries-old oaks, pines and magnolias. Journey through the wetlands and you’re privy to some amazing views of the area. But enough of this, it’s time to focus on golf!


Water is present but not necessarily in play on 16 of the 18 holes with the par 4 18th being the lone exception. In addition to the water that dots the landscape, you’ll find a lot of sand; in fact, in areas where grass was hard to grow, they simply replaced it with sand. You’ll find a number of massive waste bunkers and beach bunkers, which butt up against the water and while they create great aesthetics, they can wreak havoc on your scorecard. Where the water or trees do not form the border of a hole the sand does.


When you head to the pro shop to check in, look around at the great selection of golf equipment and logoed golf apparel Crescent Point has to offer. You’ll also find a wide assortment of polos, gloves, hats, shorts, and socks for both men and women. Remember, if you can’t dazzle them with your game, you may as well look the part!

Before your round, be sure to warm up on Crescent Pointe’s full-length driving range, where you can hit every club in the bag. You’ll need to, because odds are you’ll use every one of them. More on that later. There’s also a nice short game area and practice putting green.


When I think back on my round at Crescent Pointe, several holes come to mind. The first hole is a fairly straight forward par 4, that is if you don’t pay attention to the large waste bunker on the left off the tee or the pond you must fly on the left side on approach. The hole plays 363 yards from the White Tees and is best played with a drive up the right side of the fairway. This takes the water next to the green somewhat out of play, especially with a right pin placement. The green is large, two-tiered and features a lot of undulation. Number 1 is a fair but challenging starting hole and sets the stage for the rest of your round.


Number 3 is a fairly short par 5 of 471 yards. There’s a marsh area that crosses the fairway about 300 yards out, so bombs away! A good tee shot will leave you with a decision to make; I say go for it because there isn’t a lot of trouble up near the green other than sand short of the green. This is a hole where you can easily gain a stroke on your playing partners.


Number 6 was my favorite hole, a par 5 that plays 465 yards from the White Tees to an island green. For long ball hitters who can hit a long drive up the right side and avoid the waste bunker and marsh, they can have a go at the green in two. The rest of us will find solace in the left side of the fairway. A short layup shot followed by a pitch shot over water to the island, two putts, par. Simple!


Although Number 18 has the distinction of being the only hole with no water; it makes up for that with sand. It’s everywhere off the tee and definitely in play if you don’t hit the narrow fairway. From the White Tees, it plays 387 yards and the bunker on the right can easily be cleared with a good drive. From there you’re looking at an approach shot into a long, narrow green framed by bunkers on either side and behind. Now it’s time to head inside to One Hot Mamas!


One Hot Mamas American Grille is a family-friendly Hilton Head restaurant specializing in baby-back ribs, pit-to-plate BBQ, hand-cut steaks, char-grilled chicken, the world’s best wings, salads and more. In addition to all of your BBQ favorites, they also offer several draft beers and all of your favorite libations. You won’t be disappointed in the food.


Last Word: Rarely does a daily fee golfer have the opportunity to experience expansive marsh views and, in this case unprecedented views of scenic Colleton River; that is something usually reserved for members of private clubs. Holes 17 and 18 offer up such views. As for the golf course, you’ll need to think your way around. While many fairways offer the opportunity to go for broke off the tee, you’ll need to think through the layup and pitch shots if you want to play well here. More than likely, you’ll hit every club in the bag. That said the course is very player-friendly and challenging. Something else I found interesting were the elevated greens, something you don’t often see on a course that sits at just above sea level.


If you live in the Hilton Head area and are thinking of joining a golf course, Brown Golf Management offers the best membership opportunities in the area. For one monthly membership fee, you’ll have access to 6 Bluffton area courses and enjoy unlimited golf, range balls and golf lessons from a PGA professional. I spoke with several members that take advantage of this perk and they said this alone is worth the membership fee! You’ll also have reciprocal privileges at all other Brown Golf-managed facilities in FL, GA, PA and NC.


For more membership information or to book a tee time at Crescent Point, give them a call at (843) 706-2600 or Click Here.


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Date Played: July 18, 2017 | Cost: $0.00


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
Blackmoor Golf Club of Murrells Inlet, SC
  
Gary Player has played and designed golf courses all around the world, but there’s only one Gary Player Signature Course on the Grand Strand - Blackmoor Golf Club. Blackmoor Golf Club plays 6,614 yards from the back tees, with a course rating of 71.1 and a slope of 126. Blackmoor is also a favorite of female visitors to the Myrtle Beach area and plays 4,807 yards. Play from the yardage that best suits your game and you’re sure to have a good time.

This Gary Player signature course takes advantage of the natural terrain as well as beautiful vistas, producing a combination of shot varieties, which adds to your enjoyment no matter how good or bad you’re playing. Marshes, wetlands and/or water come into play on about half the holes and the green complexes are well protected with either sand or grass bunkers and swales. With all of the thought Player put into this course, he has made it challenging for low handicappers and enjoyable for high handicappers.

Easily the most memorable hole on the golf course is Number 8, a par 4 that plays 347 yards from the White tees – much shorter with Option B. “A Tale of Two Fairways” would be an appropriate name for this hole. The conventional, aka wider fairway is to the left, making this a dogleg right. You can leave driver in the bag with this route and hit a 3-wood or hybrid off the tee. That should leave a moderate chip shot into the green.

Option B is for the gambler in you. Number 8 gives you an option to go directly at the green, up a narrow alleyway which plays about 270 yards. Be warned, hit it straight or pay the price. Either way, you end up at a gently undulating green protected with bunkers left – or behind the green – depending on your route. Executed correctly, Option B could help you pick up a shot on the field.

Even without the old slave cemetery that runs down the left side of this hole and dates back to the 1800’s, Number 13 (478 yards from the White Tees) would still be a good hole. Add in the cemetery and good becomes great! Calling this a dogleg right doesn’t do it justice; it’s more like a 45° right turn. A long fade off the tee goes a long way in lessening the burden on your second shot, where, depending on your length off the tee, you’ll have a decision to make. Anyone with a clear shot at the green needs to go for it; there’s not a lot of trouble around the green other than a bunker on the right side and trees on the left if you’re way off. The green slopes from back right to front left, so do your best to keep the ball below the hole.

Half of the holes at Blackmoor are doglegs and will require not only proper club selection but also good placement if you want to score well. Many greens are elevated and require you to fly it on the green as opposed to running it on. All of the greens roll fast and true.

Blackmoor also has an excellent practice area with a full-length driving range where you can hit every club in the bag to your heart’s content, and a putting green. The clubhouse features a well-stocked pro shop with all of your favorite logoed Blackmoor gear and a grill and bar that serves all of your favorite libations and clubhouse food. The burgers are unbelievable.

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Date Played: July 18, 2017 | Cost: $0.00


thegolfinguy
Lakeland, FL
33 Reviews
The Palmetto Hall Plantation Club in Bluffton, SC features 36 holes of pristine championship golf from two of the game’s top designers: Robert Cupp and Arthur Hills and is a must-play for every golfer. Palmetto Hall Plantation Club is now a part of the Brown Golf portfolio which has expanded to a total of 6 facilities in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area.

The Arthur Hills Course opened in 1991 to rave reviews and was almost instantly named to Golf Digest’s list as one of America’s Top 10 New Courses. In 2008-09, the magazine awarded the course 4-stars as one of “Best Places to Play.” The Arthur Hills course plays 6,918 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 73.8 and a slope of 139. At 6,257 yards (70.6/128), the White Tees will prove to be a formidable foe for most golfers, while ladies will find the course enjoyable from the Red Tees (5,006/70.3/119).

Hills’ signature style is fully on display here –undulated fairways with lots of mounding wind through heavily wooded forests of moss-draped oaks and towering pines, that frame the fairways of many holes. Lush fairways and crystalline lakes give way to large greens, with bunkers butted up against the sides, providing golfers with several challenges. Fortunately, most of the hazards are lateral and sit off to the sides of the fairways and only a handful of holes require an aerial approach on to the green.

Memorable Holes
There are plenty of demanding holes on this Arthur Hill masterpiece, and Number 4 (par 4, 375 yards from the White Tees) definitely fits that bill. It’s a narrow driving hole, up a tree-lined chute to a small landing area, preferably short of the water on the right. From there, it’s a mid-iron approach shot to a small, narrow green protected on the left with sand.

On many of his course, Hills like to challenge players, especially longball hitters, with risk/reward opportunities. Such is the case on the short dogleg right par 5, 5th hole which plays 461 yards from the White Tees. If you’re long off the tee, you should play your tee shot up the right side just left of the water. Now the choice is yours, go for broke or play it safe. It’s all carry over water, although if you’re getting queasy, you can always bail out to the left. Otherwise, play both your tee shot and layup down the left and take the water out of play. It’s a great chance to gain a stroke; or not!

Number 9, the other par 5 on the front side, plays 501 yards from the White Tees and can prove to be quite the challenge, unless you hit it straight, three times in a row! Trees and sand need to be avoided off the tee as do more bunkers on your layup and approach shots. The green is small, narrow and not easy to hold on long shots unless you come in really high. Par is a good score here.

The most interesting par 3 is Number 13, which plays 133 yards from the White Tees. It’s pretty wide open but what makes it interesting is the pot bunker in front of the green. It’s going to take a carry of about 150. A short but trying par 3.

The finishing hole is rated the toughest on the inward nine; it’s a long, dogleg left par 4 that plays 389 yards from the White Tees. There’s trouble from tee to green: push it right and you’re either in the trees or out of bounds; hook it left and you’re in the water. Hit it straight and you get to hit it again! Your tee shot is simple: pick a line, aim down that line, hope your ball stays on that line. Water guards the entire left side of the green and there’s sand short and right, so you’re going to have to fly it on the green if you want to finish strong. Speaking of the green, it’s two-tiered and well-sloped; par is a great way to end the round.

Add up your scores and see how much you’ve won while enjoying your favorite beverage in Baird’s Pub. They have great food too; I tried the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. It was as if they had taken a piece of steak, sliced it up and cooked it with peppers, onions, mushrooms and cheese. It tasted as good as it looked. Other entrees are featured with a Lowcountry theme, showcasing many of the fresh local ingredients found on Hilton Head Island.

Last Word: Over the years, Arthur Hills has created several courses that are difficult and Palmetto Halls is no different. His two designs on Hilton Head – this and the Arthur Hills at Palmetto Dunes course - are among the most highly regarded courses in the Southeast.

You have to think your way around this Arthur Hills masterpiece if you want to do well and have fun; it will take both accuracy off the tees and well thought out approach shots. You’ll find lots of mounding in fairways as well as grass bunkers and swales around the greens; both can wreak havoc and create that dreaded uneven lie. Fairways are tight, hazards are everywhere, many times unseen, and putts roll straight and true. This is by all means a challenging course, yet of you play it from the right set of tees, you can score well and have fun.

Brown Golf Management has done a great job of restoring Palmetto Plantation since acquiring it a week before Hurricane Matthew hit the area. Digging out from under Matthew was one thing, but Brown has made great strides in bringing these two courses back to what they once were. Superintendent Grant Backus was plucked from their Dolphin Head property and given that task after the wonderful transformation he performed over there. Given a little bit of time, Backus and his crew will have the two Palmetto Hall Plantation tracks back in championship condition.

A lot of local golfers shy away from joining a local club because they don’t want to be locked in to playing at just one facility. Brown Golf’s answer to that is simple: give members 6 local courses to play. In fact, your Brown Golf membership includes unlimited golf at not only 7 local facilities, but also ALL Brown-managed courses in PA, NC, SC and FL, unlimited use of the practice facilities including free range balls and unlimited golf lessons with a PGA professional, all for one low, monthly price. That last part alone makes it worth your while, in fact you could get so much better that the money you make off your friends, pays for your membership!

For more information on Palmetto Hall Plantation or to check out a membership, visit them online at www.palmettoplantationcc.com.

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Date Played: July 17, 2017 | Cost: $0.00