The Preserve at Verdae – Played December 2016
- Rankings: None of the four lists
- Location: 650 Verdae Boulevard, Greenville, South Carolina
- Year: 1990
- Architect: Willard Byrd
- Course Access: Public
- Walking Rules: Carts Available
Score Card Information:
- Black: 7,021 yards, Par 72, 73.7 Rating/138 Slope
- Blue: 6,734 yards, Par 72, 72.4 Rating/133 Slope
- White: 6,180 yards, Par 72, 69.6 Rating/125 Slope
- Gold: 5,494 yards, Par 72, 66.7 Rating/112 Slope (Men’s), 71.6 Rating/124 Slope (Women’s)
- Red: 5,022 yards, Par 72, 68.7 Rating/116 Slope
Once the Clemson football regular season was over a buddy and me decided to tee it up on a Saturday. He hopped on GolfNow to get a deal and we certainly did. We were able to get this tee time for $15 a person.
I have known the director of golf here since before I was a teenager. I also worked here one summer as a cart boy. I have plenty of connections to it.
That being said, I don’t play it a lot. It’s not my favorite course because I think it has some silly holes. It doesn’t fit my eye and I don’t usually recommend it to people.
One positive of the course relates to out of towners. The course is attached to an Embassy Suites. If you are in town visiting you can’t beat the convenience of walking to the first tee from your hotel room.
I have highlighted a few holes from our round to give you a feel for the course.
Hole 3 – 400 yards – Par 4
The third is the most difficult hole on the course. The hole starts from an elevated tee and continues to a slightly angled fairway. If you miss the fairway you will be in serious trouble. I am always the most nervous on this tee ball.
The approach shot plays over wetlands to a smallish green guarded by bunkers. The hazard wraps around to the left and all the way around the back of the green. There is really no bailout area except for the greenside bunker.
The fourth is an uphill, dogleg to the right. The approach shot can be seen below.
This par three is the longest on the course. A creek bisects the fairway short of the green, but it should only come into play on shots flared to the right. The prudent play here is to get the ball in the middle of the green. A par is a great score here.
This par four usually plays shorter than the yardage. The landing area is a down slope that propels well struck tee shots closer to the green. The wide fairway and relatively easy green make this a great birdie opportunity.
The do or die carry here is daunting. The green has a small false front making ample carry imperative. Sorry about the washout with the sun.
This is a scary tee shot for players whose miss is to the left. I always choose a long iron from this tee to prioritize accuracy. The hole plays downhill so it is not quite as long as the card says. There is slightly more room on the right than appears in the photo below.
This is a short hole that plays even shorter because the second shot is straight downhill. Usually this is a 200 yard shot followed by a wedge. The green is quite shallow. It is protected by a creek in front.
I also wanted to highlight the double flags. The back nine had large diameter holes setup. It was fun to play to the large cups, however they were put in some crazy positions. It seemed to counteract the objective of helping make the game easier.
The final hole is a great birdie opportunity. Normal drives will land on a down slope aiding distance. Too far right will get you in trouble as there is a steep drop off to the previous hole.
The green is perched above the fairway. The putting surface is multi-tiered making for difficult work for the flat stick. Any shots landing short of the green will roll back a ways before coming to rest.
We had a great time playing this round. The weather was cold, but not near as cold as it was predicted to be. Once we passed a group on the fifth hole we were able to get the round in right at three hours. I can’t ask for more than that on a Saturday.