Willbrook Plantation Golf Club

Willbrook Plantation Golf Club

Willbrook Plantation – A Top Grand Strand Track and The Ladies Choice in Myrtle Beach

Willbrook Plantation

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

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may have gone unnoticed, are marked with large yellow flags, so the “I didn’t know there was water there” defense is no longer valid.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.

Willbrook Plantation

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.

Favorite Par 3: Number 17, 160 yards (White Tees). This hole may be easier from the back two sets of tees than the forward two, because you won’t have the large tree to deal with. The water in front of the tee should not come into play; if it does, you may want to get a lesson from Head Professional Kevin McGuire. A back pin location will probably require an extra club.

Favorite Par 4: Number 10, 356 yards (White Tees). Remember that Lynyrd Skynyrd song with the line: “Oak tree you’re in my way”? That seems to be the mantra on a number of holes at Willbrook, but none more so than on the par 4 10th hole. Not once, but twice. Off the tee you’ll need to avoid the large oak between the water and the fairway; hit the tree and there is a good chance it’s going in the water. Your best play is down the left side, This takes not only that tree out of play but also the large oak that guards the right side of the green. You’ll just have to clear two greenside bunkers on the left. Your choice: trees or sand?

Favorite Par 5: Number 3, 520 yards (White Tees). Number 3 is both challenging and appealing to the eye. With sand dotting the landscape down the right side, your best play off the tee is up the left. This is easier said than done as Mr. Maples planted a large oak tree near the edge of the fairway, so to maximize your distance up the left side, you’ll need to hit a draw. For the majority of players, this is going to be a three shot hole. As long as you keep your layup shot in the fairway and leave a manageable distance for your approach, you can score well here. A single greenside bunker guards the front left while two grass swales make for an interesting up and down from behind the green.

Pro’s Pick: Number 15, Par 5, 538 yards. A long tree-lined par 5 with a creek running through it that cuts the hole in half. If you’ve been waiting to show off that new draw shot, now’s the time to use it. Any drive landing in the left half of the fairway off the tee is going to provide the best angle into the green. Play your layup shot over the creek, avoiding the two fairway bunkers on the left to set up your approach. You’ll need to fly it on the green to avoid the two front bunkers that guard the putting surface. No wonder it’s rated the hardest hole on the course.

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! For more information or to book a round at Willbrook Plantation, Click Here.

Golf Life Contributor
David Theoret

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

To golfers in Myrtle Beach and those who travel from many miles away, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club is Myrtle Beach golf. Since opening to the public in January 1994, Caledonia has rapidly gained and maintained a reputation as one of the premier resort courses in America. In 2016, Golf Magazine ranked Caledonia as one of the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” and Golf Week placed it on its list of “Top 100 Resort Courses in America” for 2016 and 2017.

Its history can be traced back to a Scotsman, Dr. Robert Nesbit, who named it what the Romans called his homeland: Caledonia. Dr. Nesbit was the husband of Elizabeth Pawley, whose family owned a significant amount of property in the area (Pawleys Island).

In the early 1800s, Caledonia was one of the largest plantations in the area and the impressive avenue of live oaks that leads to the clubhouse steps still welcomes all who enter her gates. Although the original plantation house burned to the ground in 1931, descendants of the family continued to own and operate Caledonia until 1940. The current owners purchased the property in 1971 to use primarily as a hunting and fishing preserve, still today a gathering spot for their Thursday dinner and socializing.

In 1994, the late, great golf course architect Mike Strantz was commissioned to work his magic on the plantation land. A shaper for Tom Fazio, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club was Mike’s first solo project. He applied his artistic talents to the land, making great use of the beautiful oaks, ponds and streams he was dealt, and adding in green complexes that included imposing sand bunkers and surrounding waste areas to create a very challenging – yet very fair – golf course. In adding to the aesthetics of the course, thousands of semiannual flowers bloom every year about Masters time, creating unrivaled beauty.

A quick look at the scorecard tells you that at 6,526 yards from the back tees, Caledonia is not likely to overwhelm the long hitter. But consider that it’s a par 70 course and the rating/slope from the tips is 71.8/138, and you quickly learn this course is no pushover. In fact, the White Tees at 5,710 yards (67.6/127) will show most golfers a challenge and a good time.

Caledonia Golf

Ask any newcomer to the course which hole was their favorite, and the majority will choose Number 18. It’s a 377-yard par 4 that requires something less than driver off the tee. The goal here is to avoid the water and leave yourself a second shot, over water into an oddly angled green that has two tiers. The top tier tends to funnel back towards the water. Bunkers surround the green and to top things off, you may have a gallery watching your approach and putt from the balcony directly behind the green. It’s fun and intimidating at the same time!

Caledonia Golf

I asked several members and Assistant Professional Mike Foley the same question and, interesting enough, all agreed that the risk/reward par 5, Number 8 was their favorite. At 512 yards from the Blue Tees, a well-struck drive off the tee over the left fairway bunker on the right leaves you with a decision. The rest of the hole plays downhill and a good drive will leave around 225 yards to the green. Again, it’s downhill, which makes it play shorter, however there is a pond in front of the green that you must carry. Something else to consider is pin location. If it’s front, it is slightly above water level. If it’s a back pin, the upper level of the green sits about four feet higher. It’s the ultimate risk/reward hole on the course.

Caledonia #10

My favorite was Number 10, a 531-yard par 5 that I almost reached in two. Fairway bunkers on either side create a narrow landing area for your drive and the waste bunker dotted with grass islands that make up the right side of the fairway is an imposing obstacle to overcome on your layup. The double-tiered green demands a good long look if you want to score well here – unfortunately I did not!
Even the short par 3, 9th hole (110 yards/Blue Tees) requires a certain amount of distance control and accuracy. Although it’s short, it’s all carry over sand, and with the green being very shallow, the two back bunkers see a lot of play.

Number 7 is a short but interesting hole. It plays 346 yards from the Blue Tees and, with a right-side pin placement, 9 out of 10 players will have to play their approach shot over or under a massive moss-draped oak tree. Find the fairway bunker on the left off the tee and big numbers await.

Caledonia Golf

These are just some of the holes I have fond memories of, however I’m sure every hole out here has special meaning to somebody. After all, Caledonia realistically has 18 signature holes. No houses infringe on your play; it’s just you, nature and that darned little white ball.
After your round, do what many locals and other golfers do and visit the restaurant in the Old South-style clubhouse. They have a tremendous menu and, of course, your favorite post-golf libations. Now it’s your turn to sit in a porch rocker and offer encouragement on fellow golfers’ approach to the 18th green.

No round at Caledonia is complete without a souvenir of the day’s events and the pro shop can hook you up with a hat, shirt or towel from your favorite designer, complete with the Caledonia logo.

Caledonia’s mission is to provide each and every golfer with a unique experience that will let them reflect back on their day with fond memories of their Lowcountry experience. For more information on Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, give them a call at (843) 237-3675 or Click Here.

Golf Life Contributor
David Theoret

Golf Life’s TOP TEN Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Golf Life’s TOP TEN Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Golf Life’s Top 10 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is coming up and if you’re scrambling for what to get him and at an affordable price then Golf Life’s Top Ten Father’s Day Gift Guide is for you. Here in no particular order is what we recommended you get good ole dad for his special day!

1 – NEXBELT “THE BELT WITH NO HOLES”

Nexbelt is a belt with no holes. PresciseFit technology allows 1/4 adjustments for maximum comfort.  You will no longer need to worry about punching new holes allowing your belts to last even longer. Just cut to your size using scale in back. Nexbelt offers a variety of designs and styles to choose from. Don’t just choose the style belt but also the belt buckle. One buckle even has a flip down revealing a ball marker and divot tool.

Price: $50 and up

2 – ORANGE WHIP SWING TRAINER

The Orange Whip is a perfect gift for dad. This training tool can help stretch out your golf muscles before a long 18 hole journey and helps stretch you out so that you can get in a few good practice swings and build your momentum before you even take the first drive on hole 1. This training tool helps you feel and learn if you’re swinging too fast so you can make the proper adjustments. You can also check out their short game tools like the new Orange Whip Wedge and Putting Wand

Price: $109

3 – SWING JACKET TRAINING AID

Is Dad have issues with his golf swing? Get him a Swing Jacket and he could be hitting the fairways in no time. This golf training aid is a jacket that will help you memorize a more powerful, accurate, easy to repeat golf swing. Perfect to use while practicing in his living room or out on the range. Need more convincing? The Swing Jacket is endorsed by Top teacher Jeff Ritter. 

Price: $179

4 – BENDER GOLF GLOVES

Bender golf gloves are a great affordable gift to get dad. The gloves provides a comfortable and breathable fit for any golfer and is made with the very best leather and synthetic materials. Bender golf gloves also have different designs and colors, for example instead of just a solid color there is the american flag glove which is made of a smooth stretchy spandex material that is just as comfortable and breathable as the leather. Add some color to your dads golf game!

Price: $9.99 and up

5 – 4 YARDS MORE GOLF TEE

This frictionless tee reduces friction at the impact of your drive.  Imagine the possibilities in your golf game with 4 yards more! The flexible 6-prong tip reduces resistance and allows for better contact. These golf tees are so durable they are built to last over 100 drives. They come in a variety back or packages of tees with the same height. Help dad get more distance and control off the tee by getting him some 4 Yards More Golf Tees.

Price: $5.99 each

6 – HWEDGE HYBRID WEDGE SET

HWedge is a hybrid wedge that helps get the ball more in the air and has the ball stop sooner. It’s sure to take more strokes off your game and give your shot more accuracy. The idea behind a hybrid wedge is that the weight is back and low like a hybrid with a wedge’s face. It makes your shots very smooth and it feels great. This wedge puts the ball more in the air with more spin for a more accurate shot.

Available in lofts of 50 degree, 55 degree, and 60 degree. This club is also USGA conforming and legal so your stickler golf friends can’t pull a rulebook on you for this one. Your short game is going to improve immensely and it will help you recover from sand and rough.

Hwedge

For more information or purchase visit www.HWedge.com

Price: $129.95

7 – LEVELHEAD PUTTING TOOL

Levelhead from Iron-Lad Golf is a ball marker that reads the greens. This ball marker is unique because it maintains the size of a regular ball marker and gives you feedback on whether on your balls lie is hitting uphill, downhill or any directional break. When you set it behind your ball and line it up with the hole it will show you how much break is on the line. It’s a great product for anyone’s bag and especially for dad.

Price: $19.99

8 – SIGHT BALL

This Ball can help dad get better, and does so with the most precision of any golf ball you can use. Take it on the range, or the golf course for a practice round. This ball can help improve your long or short game by helping with your focus, accuracy, stance, and aim. To use it you simply point the targets at whatever you’re aiming for and now you have a target. You can use this ball to help with your stance and help you see the line that you are hitting on. This ball is great for helping with alignment and helping you stay on target for the most accurate aim for your shot.

Price: $15 for 6-pack

9 – MISIG MOST IMPORTANT SWING IN GOLF

The MISIG is a device that will help improve your golf game. Called the Most Important Stretch in Golf, this rod device allows the golfer to feel the pressure of proper take away, structure and loading. After doing just a few stretches, you will feel it in your shoulders, back and hips. This training aid will help increase degrees of back swing and range of motion that will help you improve and have stronger golf shots.

Price: $79

10 – READYPUTT PUTTER COVERS

ReadyPutt is basically a Putter Cover that provides the added convenience of a Golf Ball Cleaner. You will no longer need that bulky towel to take to the green. The Tri-Layer Ball Cleaner technology is built to remove debris from your ball. Place the Tri-Layer Golf Ball Cleaner under a water source to absorb and maintain a wet cleaning surface throughout your round. The ReadyPutt also has a magnet built into the cover to hold your ball marker or divot tool.  The ReadyPutt comes in many different colors and can fit blade or mallet putters.

Price: $24.99

If you didn’t see anything in our Top Ten list that your dad might like then head over to our Discount Deals Page and perhaps you will find them something over there and we can help you save some money while doing it.

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Dave Pelz Backyard is Tribute to Golf

Dave Pelz Backyard is Tribute to Golf

Golf Life got the opportunity to visit one of the most amazing backyards ever created. We show you a golfer’s paradise or what top teacher Dave Pelz calls his backyard.  Watch the interview with the legendary short game guru and his son, who run Dave Pelz Synscapes.  Together they have built possibly the most amazing private golf properties of it’s kind.

Come on along it’s going to be a fun ride.  Dave Pelz states, “I’ve lived on golf courses all my life and my son who built this backyard said, you are no longer living on a golf course, you’re living on golf!”.

Full Swing Golf Indoor Simulators

Full Swing Golf Indoor Simulators

Full Swing Golf Simulators

Several golfers get to enjoy year round golf. The Golf Life team is not one of them. That is where a Full Swing Golf Simulator comes into play. Full Swing Golf has created 3 distinctive series, designed to find that sweet spot between your ultimate wishlist and budget. Thir simulators are so good that Golf Digest named them the 2016 best golf simulator.

Full Swing Golf

SIMULATOR MODELS

S2 Series

The S2 series features a easy design for DIY installation and greater space compatibility. The S2 simulator includes 15 amazing golf courses, including Bethpage Black, Firestone, and Torrey Pines. If you want more than the 15 preloaded courses, there are several additional championship golf courses available to add on and play.

The simulator also features a standard resolution projector with 4500 lumens, a i7 touchscreen laptop, quite hitting screen and the patented dual tracking technology.

The S2 series also has the option to have the Showdown Golf Package added on. This package includes several head to head competitions for challenging your friends.

Full Swing Golf

S4 Series & S8 Series

The S4 Series and S8 Series includes everything in the S2 Series but with more options and add ons. Depending on your budget and space will determine which series is perfect for you. The Full Swing Simulators are perfect for the home or business.

The Full Swing Golf team consists of several Pro Golfers. Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Jordan Speith and Patrick Reed are just a few names enjoying and trusting the technology within a Full Swing Golf Simulator.

Head over to Full Swing Golf now to learn more about their exciting simulators.

 

 

Jay Golden is the Funniest Man in Golf

Jay Golden is the Funniest Man in Golf

Jay Golden: Funniest Man in Golf

Listen to the most entertaining interview in Golf Life history. Jay Golden gives us a great story about Arnold Palmer and does an amazing Muhammed Ali impression from the PGA Show in Orlando!

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