The Links Course at Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms, South Carolina was Tom Fazio’s first solo effort. Originally built in 1979, the Links Course recently completed a six-month, multi-million dollar renovation.
At the heart of the Wild Dunes Links Course renovation was rebuilding and expanding the aging greens. With changes in agronomy and the game over the last thirty years, the greens were deemed too small, and too severe. The renovation included increasing the square footage of the greens from 62,000 to 115,000 square feet and making the breaks more subtle, to accommodate faster and smoother surfaces. Some new bunkering was added to frame a few of the holes.
The redesign also added 300 yards to the length by moving some tees and greens. A new irrigation system, six mile of new concrete cart paths, a 6,000 square foot practice putting green and new grass topped off the course improvements. A new clubhouse restaurant should reopen by the end of November.
Sadly, one major change to the layout was scaling back the 18th hole from a par five to a par three. The original had simply been reclaimed by the sea.
Wild Dunes Director of Golf Jeff Minton said that because the shoreline continues to erode, the decision was made to build a well-protected finishing par three finishing hole. Minton hopes that the course will eventually be able to build it back as a par four or five, but it is a waiting game.
In the meantime, the par three is really spectacular, with a 185 yard shot over sandy dunes to an elevated green. Once on the greens, there are spectacular views of the ocean.
Mrs. GolfBlogger and I were thrilled to be asked to be part of the Wild Dunes Links Courses’ relaunch festivities. We enjoyed great South Carolina hospitality from the amazing Wild Dunes Resort staff, staying in an amazing ocean view condo. I played the course; Mrs. GolfBlogger got to ride on the resorts many miles of bike paths. The food was terrific and we were treated to some wonderful activities, including blacksmithing and cigar rolling demonstrations, a boat cruise and skeet shooting.
I’ll have a complete review of the course (it was a lot of fun) and of what we saw of the resort shortly.