Caledonia Golf & Fish Club – Played 2014
- Rankings: Golf Digest Public #97, Golf Magazine Public #27
- Location: 369 Caledonia Drive, Pawleys Island, South Carolina
- Year: 1994
- Architect: Mike Strantz
- Course Access: Public
- Walking Rules: Carts Available
Score Card Information:
- Pintail: 6,526 yards, Par 72, 71.8 Rating/138 Slope
- Mallard: 6,121 yards, Par 72, 69.5 Rating/342 Slope
- Wood Duck: 5,710 yards, Par 72, 67.6 Rating/127 Slope
- Redhead: 4,957 yards, Par 72, 68.7 Rating/124 Slope
The second of three courses I played on a May trip to Myrtle Beach was Caledonia Golf & Fish Club. It was the first solo design by Mike Strantz, who also did Tobacco Road and the renovation of Monterey Peninsula Country Club (Shore). Unfortunately, Mike was lost far too young to cancer. His courses are always interesting and different.
I thought I would share some information about the course. It was built on the site of a former working rice plantation. The entrance has many mature live oaks (about 150 years old!) on the way to its antebellum-styled clubhouse. There are no houses on the course, which gave it a very secluded feel. The name of the course stems from what the Romans called Scotland, the home of the original property owner.The current owners purchased the property to use primarily as a hunting and fishing preserve. This aspect of the property still exists in the private fishing club. The whole property has a very hostpitable feel and offers a definite lowcountry feel.
I was playing with a couple from Nebraska, who were some of the nicest people you could hope to meet. We talked golf, college football, and traveling all day. They made the day infinitely more enjoyable. Our fourth was a guy from Massachusetts who reminded me of all my family from New England. He was hilarious and a great cart partner. Overall this was one of the best random pairings I have had. We chose to play the Mallard tees and all yardages are from those markers.
Hole 1 – 376 yards – Par 4
It had rained quite a bit the day before we played. This close to sea-level the course was bound to be wet, but it actually drained better than I thought it would. The first tee shot has some bunkers to maneuver around, but a good drive should carry them.
A fade works really well off this tee. My draw didn’t like those two trees up the right side.
This is textbook Strantz to me. He is a master with bunkering and creative green complexes. This is a huge waste bunker, that is more visual hazard than actual. The two bunkers on either side of the green are the bigger issue.
Tough tee shot on this hole with the bunker right and trees left. A nice draw off the bunker will work just fine.
This is another tough tee shot on a stout hole. The best line is a fade off the tree seen in the middle of the picture.
I loved this little hole. Depending on where the pin is, the hole can play a lot of ways. On this particular day, there is a bailout on the right of the green or you can be daring and take on the flag over the deep bunker. This tee shot makes you think.
This hole is a little quirky. You are hitting right under and through these oaks. It was visually stressful.
This is a pretty open shot. Just tee it up and bust one out there.
Just another great par three. The green is partially blind and shallow. Club selection is crucial here.
The tenth tee shot comes out of a chute. Once past the hazard though the hole opens up considerably.
This shot requires focus with trouble around the green.
A draw here will set up a good approach shot. The bunker next to the hazard is not really in play. If you can see what looks like a rock in the left side of the bunker, then you are looking at an eight-foot alligator. The maintenance guys said anytime they get to twelve feet they remove them. Um, just my opinion, but no need to wait until twelve feet!
This hole bends to the left after you pass the tree line so make sure you get it out there enough to have an open shot.
Another hooker’s nightmare hole! Any tee shot a little to the right of the bunkers leaves you in great shape.
This is a very formidable hole. It is long and pretty tight. A straight driver is the only strategy here. Luckily, I saved the best one of the day for this hole.
This hole fits a power fade off the bunker up the left side. Be careful not to go through the fairway on the left.
The final version of the phenomenal one-shotters. This is a raised green surrounded by sand. It calls for precision.
This hole requires a solid tee shot. The water on the right is in play.
As you can see, Strantz really emphasizes green complexes and bunkers. Caledonia is a target course, but it doesn’t try to trick you. I had a blast playing this place and really enjoyed all the shots the course provided. Even though the distance wasn’t ridiculous, I hit most of the clubs in my bag evidencing great shot variety.
My playing partners made for a great day. If you are going to Myrtle Beach, I would definitely recommend adding this course to your itinerary.