The par-five 15th at Willbrook Plantation is as solid and attractive a hole as you will find in the Grand Strand – one of my favorite!
Picture closely cropped green fairways bordered by lots of water with centuries-old oaks and hanging Spanish Moss, punctuated by flashed bright white sand. This description belongs to the Willbrook Plantation Golf Club actually located in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina about forty-five minutes south of Myrtle Beach. The layout represents one of the delightful surprises that the A Position’s Road Warriors uncovered – and the more that I reflect upon my experience, the more I enjoyed it as a special layout.
Set in a residential development on the site of two old rice plantations, the setting is so natural and peaceful that the housing never intrudes on the golf experience. In fact, Willbrook Plantation was featured on the television show, “Nature Scene” for its serenely natural ambiance. Historical markers abound around the course as the site was once busy with slaves helping to produce crops. Today golfers ride around in sublime golf conditions that range from open meadows with expansive fairways and numerous ponds that transcend into shadow dominated alleys of thick trees.
Several holes at Willbrook Plantation feature expansive waste bunkers as shown here on the 363-yard 13th hole.
Dan Maples designed this very playable layout with few forced carries, an attribute that accounts to why “Golf for Women” annually rated Willbrook Plantation as one of “America’s Best Fifty Courses for Women.” Lest you think that means that the layout is a pushover, the challenge starts with a stout first hole. At 428 yards with trees blocking a direct route to the green, the hole doglegs slightly to the right and demands two strong and sure shots if you hope to be putting for a birdie. In fact, this hole along with the par-five 15th are included in “The Top 100 Holes in the Grand Strand!”
At 6,722 yards from the tips, the very strong players will have to throttle back from the tees, but you must hit fairways if you choose to score well. While some holes are relatively narrow and require that you work your tee shots both left and right to avoid the overhanging trees, it is just as critical that you avoid the thick Bermuda rough. Until the cooler temperatures arrive, your ball will typically fall right down to the bottom of the roots making any long escape from it a rare occurrence.
A sensibly small, but comfortable clubhouse, well-appointed golf shop, putting green, and driving range are also available, but perhaps the nicest feature is the friendly, professional staff. I found the service excellent and my fellow Road Warriors were quick to agree with me.
The finish from the 14th hole on requires some stellar shot-making and the fifteenth is an exceptional par-five. In fact, as I reflect back, the entire course proved a delight. Though not particularly long, steady accurate shot-making is a prerequisite though average players can get around rather easily provided they are relatively accurate. Willbrook Plantation is a course I take joy in recommending whether for its natural ambiance, flow, beauty, or challenge. The best praise may be that it is a course I could enjoy playing everyday and you will too!