Title: The Magnificent Finishing Hole: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
The enchanting 18th fairway at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, a veritable gem in the Myrtle Beach golfing community, is deservedly recognized as one of the most picturesque finishing holes in the game – a stunning combination of natural beauty, historical allure, and strategic challenge. As a local and an experienced golfer, I am well-versed in the unique thrills this 18th hole offers.
Found in beautiful Pawleys Island, the Caledonia Golf & Fish Club historical property was once a thriving southern rice plantation. Today, it’s one of the premier golf destinations in Myrtle Beach, draped in centuries-old spanish moss-covered oak trees, with an inherent charm that whisks players back to a perceivably gentler, more genteel era.
Caledonia’s course layout is a sparkling showcase of Mike Strantz’s creative genius. The former protegé of Tom Fazio designed the course with ingenuity and daring vision, injecting his modern course design philosophy while maintaining sensitivity to the property’s all-natural contours and vegetation.
Now, let’s talk about the crown jewel of this golfing haven – the 18th hole.
Dubbed ‘The Waccamaw Neck,’ the 18th hole is undeniably stunning, framed by serene marshland and grand oak trees. While it’s not the longest hole by championship standards at a manageable 377 yards from the back tees, this par-4 finisher demands precision over power.
Given its sightline from the tee, the hole tempts players into risking a prodigious drive against the severe dogleg left. Still, many have found disaster choosing this risky path due to the wetland hazards lurking ominously close on the left. Golfers who exercise discretion will find safety in a 200-yard 3-wood or hybrid aimed down the fairway’s right side.
The approach shot across an extension of the same marshland offers an equally thrilling challenge as misjudged distances could easily find a watery grave. The ideal approach shot should land on the geographically elevated green, surrounded by three bunkers thirsting for errant shots. On high tide days, the hole seems more daunting as marshland waters ominously encroach the fairways’ edges, adding a visual treat – albeit a subtly perilous one.
Even as the 18th hole scrutinizes every stroke, it dares golfers to finish strong with a signature style – par here is genuinely deserved. Yet, beyond the game, the hole offers an aesthetic appreciation that will leave players, veteran or novice, absolutely spellbound.
Majestic live oaks tower over the fairway, their Spanish moss swaying gently in the breeze, creating an unforgettable tableau. Vibrant azaleas lace the area with brilliant bursts of color, guiding the golfer’s eyes to the stunning Greek Revival-style clubhouse that serves as an exquisite backdrop to the rolling green.
To the average golfer, it might seem like there is an auditorium watching as you putt on the 18th green. This owes to the clever design of the outdoor patio directly behind the 18th green, providing an amphitheater-like setting. Spectators can enjoy their favorite drinks and catch a panoramic view of the finishing hole, giving the 18th a palpable vibe of golf as a spectators’ sport.
In the kaleidoscopic world of golf, the 18th hole at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club holds a special charm. The marriage of breathtaking views, significant historical relevance, and a sensational golfing challenge creates an unforgettable experience for all who venture to play here.
Despite the trials it poses, the 18th hole at Caledonia invites players to play above their skills and conquer their nerves. It is a test, a spectacle, and most importantly, a reminder of the simple joy that lies in walking a beautifully cultivated golf course in the company of good friends and the spirit of competition.
There’s no denying that the 18th hole at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is more than just a hole on a course; it is a destination unto itself. It’s a splendid finishing hole that adds a dash of drama to the game and remains etched in the hearts of golfers, reinforcing Caledonia as one of the best golfing experiences in Myrtle Beach.