Review: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

This top-quality course boasts an 18th hole which will stay with you all your days

Charlie Lemay's picture
Tue, 24 Jun 2014
Review: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

A grand driveway brings golfers into an even grander, old-south styled clubhouse which has incredible views of the surrounding area. Make sure you sample some of the fantastic food and take a trip to the well-stocked pro shop before you head out onto the course.

It’s a creative layout which presents large, undulating greens guarded by ponds, steams and a host of bunkers. Oak which line the driveway can also be found around then course, giving the club a rustic feel.

Water is prominent throughout and you will need to be able to work the ball both ways if you want to prosper as there are a number of doglegs going both ways.

It isn’t the tightest course I’ve played but you do get punished if you stray off the fairway and the well-placed hazards are ready to swallow your ball if you do get out of position.

With thousands of flowers blooming every year, golfers should force themselves to take time to look around at their environment and enjoy the natural beauty. With no houses in sight, it truly is a course which has gone back to nature and the serene setting is totally unique.

The course is kept in pristine condition and the greens are a pleasure to play on as they roll true and fast.

There is a friendly, jovial atmosphere about the place and the 18th is one of the greatest and funniest experiences I have ever encountered on a golf course – read on to learn more

Par: 70
Length: 6,526 (from the yellows)
Architect: Mike Strantz

Card Wrecker – 16th hole, par 4, 417 yards (from the yellows)

You’ve come all this way and it's so easy to throw away a fantastic round as you come to the finishing holes at Caledonia.

The 16th requires two perfect shots or you will be left in the water or chipping onto a tough green.

Trees and bunkers frame the fairway and water stands between you and the green on your approach shot. It’s a relatively long hole so you will probably be playing a mid-to-long iron over the water.

Put your ball in the middle of the narrow fairway and stick it into the centre of the green to be safe. Walk away with par and be happy with yourself.

Welcome relief – 9th hole, par 3, 118 yards (from the yellows)

If you’re a sluggish starter, you will be pleased to see that the ninth hole plays as the easiest on the course. There’s no better anecdote to a poor start than entering the back nine coming off a birdie.

At only 118 yards from the back tees, you should be looking to land inside ten feet in order to set up a birdie putt.

You have a wide fairway to work with and if you push your shot a little to the right it will feed down to the hole. A large bunker stands between you and the green but golfers shouldn’t be anywhere near it.

Anything worse than par is a bit of a shocker on this one.

Favourite hole – 18th hole, par 4, 383 yards (from the yellows)

To say playing the 18th was memorable is putting it lightly. Not only is it a fantastic hole but the gallery which cheers (or boos) you onto the green will have you in stitches, if a little shaky.

On paper, it shouldn’t be that much of a challenge. Players only need to hit a long iron off the tee and are then left with a short-to-mid iron into the green. Granted, the huge pool of water which you have to fly on your approach is intimidating, but if that wasn’t there, it would play as one of the easiest holes on the course.

The real test comes from the clubhouse. If you are playing late in the day you will undoubtedly  have a gallery of boozy golfers who have stayed on after their round to see how the following groups fare on the 18th.

I’m told it’s not uncommon for locals to make bets on the groups coming down the fairway and when money becomes involved, things get serious.

As players nervously approach their approach shots, an anticipatory hush will descend around the green. As soon as the ball is struck, like a pistol starting a 100 metre race, those watching in the clubhouse will erupt. Punters backing the players will be screaming for the ball to make it over the water while those who predicted a water ball will be hoping for a gust of wind to stop the ball in its tracks.

As a guide, the group of four which came in after us ALL stuck their ball in the water – that’s what pressure does to you.

Make it onto the green in regulation and the cheers will make you grow two inches - stick it in the water and you will be heading to the tough drop zone red-faced.

The green runs towards the water and is hard to navigate. If you take a trip to the drop zone, players face a tough chip which is hard to stop and a putter may be the best option.

Our friend in the group behind delighted the galleries when he stuck his ball in the water. However, he regrouped and managed to stick the impossible chip straight into the hole – cue rapturous celebrations on the balcony and an amateur golfer's career highlight, no doubt.

It’s all in good faith and makes having a few beers after your round a must at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club. 

Watch a video of players trying to navigate their way on the green on 18...unsuccessfully 

For more information, head to Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday or the Caledonia Golf and Fish Club website.

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