Warriors Ponder Name Change Amid Willbrook Plantation Tranquility

My rule of thumb in the old days is that I would “know for sure” about a golf course when I reached the 11th hole. That’s where the many impressions, sight, scents and playability factors would have piled up high enough for me to know whether I loved the place or liked the place. (In those rare cases where I didn’t like a course at all, I’d figure it out pretty early.)
This happened today at Willbrook Plantation in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, as the Golf Road Warriors foursome cavorted through its opening round of the weeklong campaign. Yes, it was Hole No. 11 where I was convinced that the Willbrook experience was and would be highly positive, even memorable—only wrinkle is, we started on No. 10. So, call it affection at first sight, in the form of extremely friendly and capable staff people answering our questions—we usually ask them four at a time—and directing us around.
No. 10 at Willbrook is a par-4 that some would call a dogleg right, except this course has a lot of tempting peek-a-boo doglegs that might (or might not) reward, or at least tolerate, a drive blasted hard at the corner, with a little fade or draw to help it settle in the clear. I took some medicine for trying the brave line the tenth, but rose to the challenge on a couple of similar holes later in the round and stole some yards in the process.
For a layout that keeps to its Lowcountry profile and really doesn’t have elevated tees, it gives you lots of good and varied looks as you play your drive. Bunkers are pulled back from the greens but still affect your shotmaking considerably. Three or four holes have the kind of green contouring—No. 9 is a prime example—that you’d like to know about before hitting in for the first time. It’s subtle but it moves the ball around after touchdown and affects the first part strongly.
We did nothing but enjoy this course—from the 6300-yard whites, with Bermuda rough that penalizes fairly stiffly, given rainfall amounts this season. Dragonflies and monarch butterflies accompany players around, there’s a salt tang to the air, you keep hitting your ball and finding it, then hitting it again—all with a spring in your step.

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