19th Hole Experiences" in South Carolina Announced for 2017
Toasts SC's Best 19th Holes
|A seat on
the porch of the Ryder Cup Bar at the Ocean Course with the sun
setting over the back nine and the Atlantic Ocean has been voted
one of the best places to be in SC golf.
and pain are as integral to sports as the contest itself. All athletes,
regardless of ability level or pay grade, know the sheer joy that
comes with the triumph of the moment. Lucky ones get to celebrate
an entire season. The vanquished - and we've all been there at some
point - know the heartache that comes with defeat, the hurt that comes
of which side you come out on in the end, it's hard to beat a cold
beer in a cool place to toast the win or temper the loss.
that's where golfers often boast an edge over their fellow athletes.
Their watering hole, affectionately known as the 19th hole, is invariably
close at hand and frequently adjacent to some of the more attractive
parts of the property, which at the end of the day, meets most definitions
of a park.
a result, some golfers love their favorite 19th hole like they do
their favorite 18. The best can inspire true passion and, as the South
Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel discovered recently, even something
close to poetry.
panel asked its 100-plus members to determine the Best 19th Hole
Experiences in the state. The votes came in thick and quick like
they did for another election back in November and with almost as
much conviction from all sides.
this time, at least everyone agreed they had a quality field from
which to choose.
there were multiple strong contenders in each of the public and private
club categories, the winners were clear cut. Kiawah Island Resort's
Ryder Cup Bar at the Ocean Course, which the panel also happens
to rate as the No. 1 course in the state, won the public category.
Among private clubs, the panelists say there is no beating the experience
on the clubhouse porch at Secession Golf Club near Beaufort.
Golf Club's porch overlooking marshlands near Beaufort encourages
a rich fraternal bond after play.
were presented with awards at the panel's annual spring kick-off banquet
at Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head on February 25. Representatives
from both facilities spoke eloquently, not just about their 19th holes
and what food and drink they offer, but also about the soul and spirit
of each place.
Secession president Michael Gonzalez talked about the mission
at his club, some panelists nodded because they feel the same way
about the Ryder Cup Bar at the Ocean Course. That mission: "To nurture
a fraternal spirit among a group of members drawn from throughout
the United States and the world who are united in their intense dedication
to the game of golf." It's that fraternity - that bond through shared
experience - that makes that time after play so rewarding, whether
as a celebration or a salve.
what panelist Dennis Nicholl had to say about the Ryder Cup Bar: "After
a fantastic 7.2-mile oceanfront walk with caddies, over 18 windswept
holes, through loose sand as my ball rarely finds the fairway grass,
from the tips at the Ocean Course…my muscles are fatigued and my brain
is exhausted from the grind.
is in this moment I realize that I scored way worse that I imagined
I would when I was standing on the first tee filled with anticipation
and hope. I congratulate the caddies for the yeoman's job of chasing
my ball and make the walk up the hill to the clubhouse from the 18th
porch of the Ryder Cup Bar is full of golfers who can sympathize with
my memorable adventure and offer a friendly smile and nod of assurance
that everything will be alright after a pint of ale. I gather my group,
order Guinness, and find a comfortable seat on the porch, stare out
over the Atlantic Ocean and watch the sun set over the back nine.
is then that the smiles return to the foursome and I personally look
forward to my next visit where, I am sure, I'll finally beat the mighty
Ocean Course … if only I can find the strength to get up out of the
wicker chair and cushion that has now become a permanent part of my
there are a lot worse places to find yourself glued to the spot.
it's not like Nicholl is a novice. He is head professional at The
Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach and has been there for a
decade. He knows his way around a golf course and has enjoyed the
game and glass or two at countless facilities in South Carolina and
same is true of Daryl Boe. Greenville-based Boe is the owner of Applied
Materials but his golfing credentials include 18 years as a rater
for Golf Digest magazine. He's been to and seen all kinds of 19th
holes across the country.
a refreshment at the 19th hole after your round you can still almost
hear the roars from the 1991 Ryder Cup - 'The War by the Shore,'"
he says. "And if you are having a drink to calm your nerves while
thinking back to the finishing stretch of holes you just completed,
you can almost feel the nerves that were exposed bare for all to see
coming down to the end of that Ryder Cup!
the wind is blowing on the day you are there you can almost put yourself
in Rory McIlroy's shoes as he destroyed a field of the world's best
golfers who were nearly sandblasted in the winds that week in 2012
at the PGA Championship - the only actual major ever held in SC.
just maybe if you are fortunate enough to be standing there at dusk
on a beautiful evening, as the gorgeous shadows of the sand dunes
seem to come alive and move across the landscape, you might even feel
the calming influence of Bagger Vance standing right by your side
guiding your golf game and possibly even your life just like he did
for Rannulph Junuh so many years ago (or maybe it was just yesterday)…
is nowhere in SC other than the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island where
you can get all of that."
look back at the Secession clubhouse and the best private 19th
hole in the state.
19th hole might not have witnessed a Ryder Cup or welcomed a major
championship. It might not have been the setting for a much-beloved
movie. But within that fraternity of its members and its guests, it
offers just as much that is special.
who visits Secession plans on sitting on the porch drinking a fine
liquor and smoking a cigar while kibitzing with all the others," says
Jim de Leon, of Bluffton, retired president of Vancouver Olympic Solutions.
"A truly bonding experience."
Paulling, president and CEO of Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative,
says, "I can't think of a better place to unwind after experiencing
one of the most spectacular golf courses in all of America than sitting
in a rocking chair on the porch of the Secession clubhouse… sipping
on an adult beverage and enjoying the pure splendor and beauty of
the low country of South Carolina."
Beach's Sammy Truett, vice-president of Moore and Associates, echoes
those sentiments when he says, "Sitting on the back porch overlooking
the 18th green and marshland makes your cocktail just a little more
special. Total serenity!"
as spring takes hold and clubs are dusted off for another season,
here's a figurative raising of a glass to all the triumphs, failures
and of course friendships that will play out at 19th holes across
the state this year.
a game after all and games are meant to be fun!
On SC Golf Course Ratings Panel
South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel is composed of golf enthusiasts
representing a diverse range of occupations, handicaps and backgrounds.
These individuals have been charged with the task of identifying the
best that South Carolina golf has to offer.
objective of the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel is to promote
excellence in SC golf course design and operations through competitive
rankings, education and public advocacy. The Panel serves as an ambassador
for golf in South Carolina by striving to stimulate and facilitate
the promotion and marketing of outstanding golf courses, resorts,
and real estate developments.