Most resort courses try to make the first hole one that’s neither too long nor too difficult. The biggest obstacle with No. 1 is that it plays into the prevailing wind. Many shots that miss this green right and long will find themselves in collection area, a characteristic of many of the holes on the course. Pintail pond borders the left side of the hole from tee to green. There is also a fairway bunker and a greenside bunker on the left side. It is a fair hole but not necessarily an easy one. Bogeys are as common as pars here. Both the Blue and Gold tees were moved back 50 yards in the summer of 2005, making it a tough driving hole and a challenging start to a round.
The drive features a forced carry from the Gold and Blue tees but not so from the White, Green or Red tees. From the back tees, it’s a risk/reward tee shot. The more water carried, the shorter the route to the hole. The fairway is generous in the landing area but narrows abruptly as it nears the green making for a difficult lay up shot. Fairway bunkers that can catch both a drive and a lay up shot were added in 1997. The lay up bunker creeps out into the right side of the fairway. It is a good chance for a birdie since it plays down the prevailing wind.
3rd Hole Par 3
Tee shots from the Gold, Blue, White and Green tees must carry a salt marsh area. It is one of the most photographed and painted holes on the Island with withered cedars and oaks that make it very visually dramatic. Local knowledge dictates a right to left crosswind down the marsh that can’t be felt from the protected teeing area. In addition, a ridge bisects the relatively large green. This makes club selection problematic if a player wants to be on the proper half of the green.
No. 4 is a fairly long par-4 that usually plays downwind. A fairway bunker was added in 1997 during the remodeling. Into the wind, players are looking at a mid- to long-iron into a fairly narrow green protected by bunkers left and right.
No. 5 is a dogleg to the right. A greenside bunker on the right was added in 1997 to what was a grass depression. This greatly enhanced the hole’s esthetic quality. Drives generally should be played to the left-middle of the fairway. To far right and trees block the second shot.
This is probably one of the best par-3s on the Island. It’s long with a deep, narrow green. There is a pond and a bunker guarding the left side of the green and a bailout area to the right. The bunker was extended the length of the left side in 1997. It only comes into play near the green, but considerably enhances the esthetics of the hole.
This is one of the best risk/reward par-4s in the entire Lowcountry. This short par-4 features a large mound that incorporates a fairway bunker that players must negotiate. When a player stands on the tee, they have two choices: Try to fly the mound/bunker and get close to the green (or on if you’re playing with the prevailing downwind) or play out to the left of the mound/bunker leaving a short iron into a green protected by a big greenside bunker on the left and depressions on the right.
This is absolutely a three shot par-5 for all but the longest hitters. The hole doglegs left near the green so to reach it in two, players need to favor the right side of the fairway to have a clear shot at the green. For those not going for it in two, players want their lay up second shot to be on the left side of the fairway. This gives them the best angle into the green. Laying up on the safer right side of the fairway means players must hit over a greenside bunker and an oak tree protecting the right side of the green.
The longest and most demanding of the par-4s on the course, No. 9 is also one of the most beautiful. It’s a dogleg left with forced carry over water from the back tees to a fairway split by a pot bunker. This leaves players with a choice of going left to cut the distance to the hole for their second shot, bringing Pintail Pond into play. Or, they can aim right of the bunker into a wide fairway but leaving themselves a long iron or wood into the green guarded by Pintail Pond on the left. The green is two-tiered and very large. It sits in front of a large mound that is covered in sweetgrass and other native grasses making it one of the most picturesque and photographed holes on the course.
This hole is played in the opposite direction of No. 1, so if a player was into the prevailing wind on No. 1, they’re downwind on No. 10. Since it plays 421 yards from the back tees, the wind-assist is often needed to reach it in regulation. Canvasback Pond and fairway bunkers guard the left side of the fairway leaving a demanding second shot to an elevated green. From the fairway, the bottom of the flagstick is hidden making the second shot even more difficult. Two deep pot bunkers guard the right side of the green. Par is very difficult if the green is missed to the right.
This is the longest of the par-3s at 205 from the back tees. Players face a forced carry over water to a green that is 50 yard deep running diagonally away from them. A bunker guards the left front of the green and comes into play with a back left hole location. Additionally, a back left hole location allows the player to use a natural “backboard” with the green severely sloping from back to front. Balls going past the hole will often roll back. Since the green is so large, club selection can vary as much as four clubs depending on the pin placement. Original plans for the course actually had two greens on this hole.
Up to this point, all of the par fives have been dogleg left. Now we have a dogleg right. This hole was lengthened considerably in 1997 in an effort to make the hole more difficult to reach in two. Prior to 1997, better players could hit the drive to the crest of the hill in the landing area and the ball would roll for a considerable amount of added yardage. With the tees moved back, drives generally land on the upslope, reducing roll and making the hole play much longer. Additional the bunker guarding the left of the green was reworked into two bunkers and a bunker was added to the front right of the green. Prior to Hurricane Hugo, the fairway bunker on the right was full of pine trees making it a virtual jail. The storm cleared out most of the trees.
This hole was completely reworked in 1997. Prior to 1997, drives would land on a down slope and get substantial added roll distance. The fairway was also devoid of bunkers. In 1997, the hole was lengthened and the fairway was reshaped, sloping to the right causing tee shot to kick toward a new fairway bunker running almost the entire length of the right side of the hole. The best tee shot is played down the left side of the fairway. However, too far left and the ball will find another fairway bunker guarding the left side. The green is elevated and well guarded with bunkers left and right. This hole requires two well-placed shots if a player wants to post a good score.
The green was moved back and to the right in 1997 making it much more difficult to hit in regulation. This change also brings water into play behind the green. The hole was also lengthened during the remodeling. The hole actually went through two changes in 1997. First, sand-filled mounds were added down both sides of the fairway. While esthetically unique, it didn’t play well. So, the mounds were removed and a bunker was strategically placed in the middle of the fairway with a 240-yard carry. Long hitters are faced with a risk/reward challenge of trying to hit the tee shot over the bunker or lay up with a long iron or fairway wood.
The green was enlarged and moved to the right in 1997. A small pond on that side now comes into play if the pin placement is on the right side of the green. This is a very photographed hole with a bunker running from tee to green incorporating tufts of sweetgrass. The remodeling made the hole significantly harder. Players used to hit pitching wedge to 9-irons to a very small green. Now, golfers playing from the back tees will hit long irons into a much larger green. A back, right pin placement makes for a very demanding hole.
In 1997, the tees were moved back 10 yards and the green was moved back 10 yards. However, these changes make the hole play three to four clubs longer since drives now hit on an upslope rather than on top of a hillcrest. So, instead of hitting short irons into the green, players are now hitting mid- to long-irons. The repositioning of the green brought two large oak trees into play. These trees guard the left-front and right-front of the green. Additionally, a deep greenside bunker also guards the right side. The approach shot to this green is one of the toughest on the course. Players missing the green rarely get up and down for par. This is a tough but extremely fair par-4.
This hole, like No. 16 and No. 18, plays into the prevailing wind. This makes for three exceedingly strong finishing holes. The most striking feature of No. 17 is Canvasback Pond that runs the length of the left side. The presence of the pond makes this possibly the most demanding tee shot on the course. The fairway is fairly narrow but the further you can hit the drive, the wider the fairway becomes. Most players will be left with a mid-iron to a fairly large green. Two deep bunkers protect the right side of the green. Collection areas are also in play to the right and rear of the green.
This hole is a “signature” Fazio finishing hole. Usually a three-shot par-5, if the hole is playing downwind, a drive down the left side of the fairway shortens the hole making it reachable in two. This strategy, however, may result in being blocked out by trees on the left, resulting in having to lay up well short of the green. Canvasback pond guards the entire left side of the hole, especially near the green. Many adventurous souls, with eagles in their mind, have found Canvasback Pond and double bogeys on their cards. For the more conservative, the second shot has to negotiate heavy mogaling in the lay up area. The third shot will be a short iron or wedge to a green protected left and right by bunkers and sloping from back to front. A high risk/reward par-5 that is an impressive, beautiful and tough finishing hole.