Challenging Finishing Holes" in South Carolina Announced for 2014
course architects often save their best of last, perhaps to give the
golfer a lasting memory of the layout, and the South Carolina Golf
Course Ratings Panel sought the most challenging finishing holes in
each region of the state.
the list for the Lowcountry and the state is the most recognized hole
in South Carolina, the 18th at Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines
Resort on Hilton Head Island. The
other "Most Challenging" No. 18s: Upstate, Musgrove Mill Golf
Club, Clinton; Midlands, Orangeburg Country Club; Grand Strand, Wachesaw
Plantation, Murrells Inlet.
one has the characteristics that can put an ugly number on the scorecard.
But, the golfer will remember them.
golf panel is composed of 125 golf enthusiasts from throughout the
state and represents a diverse range of occupations, handicaps and
backgrounds. The organization's objective is to promote excellence
in the state's golf course design and operations through the competitive
rankings, education and public advocacy. Judging criteria include
routing, variety, strategy, equity, memorability, aesthetics and experience.
addition to the toughest finishing holes, the best courses, public
or private, are selected in even-numbered years, and the best public
courses are ranked in odd-numbered years.
Town Golf Links 18th
The "Most Challenging" Finishing Hole in SC
(AND THE STATE)
Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, 472 yards, par 4
to the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage being played over the Harbour Town
layout, this is almost certainly the most recognized hole in South
Carolina with the candy-striped lighthouse and yacht-filled marina
for a backdrop. The
landing area, framed by Calibogue Sound and marsh on the left and
condos and out-of-bounds stakes on the right, is generous, but the
second shot - a long iron into one of the course's trademark postage-stamp
sized green with water in play - is demanding.
there is the wind. A tough challenge on calm days, Harbour Town's
18th can be impossible into the wind. In one Heritage, Ernie Els played
the hole with a driver and 3-wood into the wind in the first round
and with a 3-wood and 8-iron with the wind at his back the next day.
Pines Resort V.P. of sports operations Cary Corbitt says: "Boo (Weekley)
chipped in to win from the left side and Davis (Love III) chipped
in from the right side. (Greg) Norman got up and down out of the back
bunker the year he won. A little bit of everything can happen on this
Mill's 18th Hole As Seen From The Clubhouse
Mill Golf Club, Clinton, 452 yards, par 4
left side of the fairway is guarded by marsh and the right side by
a pine forest, but the landing area is wide, perhaps 80-85 yards wide.
A 250-yard drive still leaves the golfer with a 200-yard shot to a
huge three-tiered green guarded by a waste area from the back left
to the front right. Putts
from one tier to another can be adventurous.
drives can get extra yardage from roll on the down slope, but the
risk is coming up a bit short and facing a second shot from a downhill,
sidehill lie of 170 yards.
Jeff Tallman says: "Four is a birdie on that hole. It's a hole that
you want to have a two-stroke lead on. We put a flagstick in the cup
only to give golfers a little hope."
Finish to Wachesaw Plantation's Demanding 18th
Plantation, Murrells Inlet, 565 yards, par 5
the green in regulation requires three good shots and accuracy is
a must. A lateral water hazard and marsh loom on the left and trees
and out-of-bounds stakes are on the right, and the fairway narrows
for longer hitters off the tee. Two deep bunkers will catch shots
hit short and right near the green and water is still on the left.
To compound the challenge, the green is banked toward the water and
a low trajectory shot can run into the hazard.
that's not enough, the green is narrow and deep and any downhill putt
is treacherous. Oh, and the hole slopes toward the Waccamaw
River, which can create depth perception problems.
Joe Gagliano says: "Tight and intimidating. It's like a tunnel with
the water on the left and wrapping behind the green and the out of
bounds on the right. A tough finishing hole? We've got one."
CC's 18th Hole
Country Club, 616 yards, par 5
three-shot challenge for all but the longest players, club officials
usually play the hole at a little more than 500 yards.
drive must avoid the fairway bunker on the right that came back into
play with the club's renovation. The second shot must be precise to
set up a short iron over a pond to the green. A bunker at the end
of the fairway provides more of an aiming point than a hazard for
the second shot.
David Lackey says: "This hole creates legends for those who have reached
the green in two. Puddin' Powers, Rod Stroman, Jacob Burger and maybe
Bob Varn have done it. The list is very, very short."
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.
South Carolina’s 50 Best Courses – Bi-annually (in even-numbered
years) members of the Panel identify their choices for the “50 Best
Courses” in the state, public or private.
The Best Courses You Can Play – Biannually (in odd-numbered
years) the Panel releases a listing of the best non-private courses
in the state. Every resort, public access, and daily-fee course is
eligible for this elite listing.
We Rate Them