Thought it best to offer a summary of February (although it's not over just yet), I didn't dare to wait any longer as details will become more foggy with time. The weather has been the big issue... kind of a repeat of January. The rain has been non-stop for sure. Playing a round off the path just doesn't happen.
Here's my list of places played during February with a brief narrative for each:
Brunswick Plantation - My home course, played twice, conditions continue to improve here under the recent change in ownership and management. Really good and healthy overseed, roughs are dormant, green speed is excellent. The staff is continuing to perform some bunker work to improve drainage and redefine some edges.
Thistle - Played in January and February, good overseed in the fairways, greens are painted and VERY quick due to dormancy. Another Tim Cate beauty that just meanders and takes you on a memorable golf journey. Always love playing Thistle.
Eagle Nest - Had not played this track for nearly 20 yrs. It used to be a staple in the rotation back in the condo/golf pkg era with the family. Played on a day when rain was imminent, we played as a twosome in 2 hrs 20 min! The overseed is a bit thin and probably reflects the budget. Recent bunker work is very good. Not sure why they spent $$ on ski-slope tees that can stretch the course to 8100 yds! Yikes, who plays that set of tees? The 'best 3 finishing holes on the Strand' did not disappoint although #16 needs some man hours around the green.
Farmstead - This is an often overlooked course. The design is really good, interesting, nice mix of long, medium and short holes. The most special long hole is #18, a par 6 that stretches to 767 from the way-back tee (we played at 646, made a nice up/down par). The staff here is so courteous and welcoming. The property actually winds through NC and SC at various locations. Current conditions are very good to excellent. Trust that it will be drier on my next visit.
World Tour - My first visit to World Tour, it came the day after a ridiculous amount of rain and the day after the tornado that rocked Ocean Ridge. The course was soaked. #1 was a temporary par 3 as the first 200 yds was under water. Conceptually, a World Tour sounds intriguing, could be really fun... but a lot of the fun was taken away by the wetness. Many of the famous holes show some bones of being there however each will understandably fall short, especially if you have ever been to the real course. Augusta 11, 12, 13, 16 are in the rotation. It's fun to think you are playing that hole, but we all can imagine what the true experience would be and World Tour will not provide full satisfaction.
Arcadian Shores - This is an old Rees Jones design, former Golf Digest Top 100 in the 80s, course routing is excellent, the bunker designs are so good, Sunday ultra dwarf greens are exceptional, up/down challenge is very difficult. I think this course dates back to the early 1970s so we can call it a Grand Strand oldie. This was always one of my first courses played when visiting. I still love going back to this course, especially now that a reinvestment has been made by the ownership.
True Blue - After nearly 40 years of coming to the MB area, this was my first trip around True Blue. I've played other Strantz courses and those where his influence is evident when working for Fazio. I'll quickly state this is my favorite Strantz design (I've not been to Bull's Bay, yet). Huge generous fairways, bunkering that is stunning, greens designed so singularly over 18 holes, par 3 and par 5 holes that are memorable, deceiving distances... this course has it all. The big knock on Strantz is his designs are costly to maintain. I concur that maintenance of the bunker and waste areas here is a mammoth task, probably too much as there are many areas that would not see a machine, it will take hand raking to buff it up. Visually this place is impressive, no question. Conditions are very good here although the overseed on the greens might be a bit thin for the tastes of some. Can't wait to play it again.
I'll follow up with more as the winter unfolds.
More on Feb 2021, additional rounds to complete the month:
Crow Creek - My 2nd time this season, the bent grass greens were simply terrific for this round as they had been cut and rolled before our play. It was CPO due to all the rain so not a lot of fun off the tee... no bounce and roll in the lush overseed. Pace of play was so good, front nine was 1hr 35 min, back nine 2 hrs 10 min.
Arcadian Shores - Another 2nd outing this season, conditions continue to be very good, we were off the path on most holes. We played as a twosome, played thru a slow foursome on the 3rd hole and then it was clear sailing, played in 3 hrs 40 min.
Meadowlands - Another 2nd outing this season, this time we could get off the path as my round in January was swamp-golf. Conditions were very good, green speed was a bit slow for my liking, there was a little bounce in the fairway.
Prestwick - It has been about 30 yrs since I last played Prestwick. This is a Pete and P.B. Dye creation with all the typical design features that you would expect on a Dye course; cross bunkering, timbers that anchor and prop greens, tiered fairways that slip away to waste areas and roughs, wooden bulkheads, grass and sand bunkers that have harsh and penal slopes. I was surprised on the conditioning of the course, some holes overseeded some not, several top dressed fairways, painted greens that were slow, and tee boxes that were beat. The Dye design is the key here as it makes up for the shortcoming on conditions. I'm not a big fan of Dye courses due to their penal nature but I do enjoy this course. #9 & #18 are real gems and difficult pars.
It good that you are checking more course off your played list.
You added good descriptions of the courses.
I don't think True Blue likes to overseed too much.
Maybe the wetness will result in good spring conditions, as long as it
Thanks for a great report!
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Thanks @dch1950 for reporting about a nice selection of courses!
Just too bad the weather wasn't on par with the courses you did play!
Quebec City, Canada
Interesting report - thank you. Question about Brunswick - do they still have internal out-of-bounds on some holes? I have always felt that if your ball is on the golf course it should not be out-of-bounds.
Thanks for such an interesting February golf report. Please, for those in charge of the weather, stop this rain! January and February were not on par with the two previous years.
Brunswick Plantation - I appreciate to learn about those bunker work on this course. Drainage is very important in bunkers and even more in the fairways.
Thistle - Like for Brunswick it seems they have done a good overseed job on the course. I really do not like to play on painted greens but it is a lot better than to shovel snow presently.
Eagle Nest - I like to know that they worked on their bunkers at Eagle Nest. They are budget conscious there. Not surprised concerning the pace of play. I made it often inside 2hrs 30 min. The secret is to play before 8 am. The slower groups are in the afternoon. For the ski-slope tees, i think that is just a marketing tool. I have never seen someone playing from these golf tees. The last three holes are the longest for the area. The 16th hole is not one of my favorite. The 17th and 18th hole are very nice holes. It is fun to finish a round with a par 3.
Farmstead - This course has received a lot of positive comments over the years. One of the favorite on this discussion forum. I like also the golf course design. Conditions are always on par and better.
World Tour - It was very wet when you play there. Sorry for you.
Arcadian Shores - Rees Jones has made a great routing there. With all the reinvestment- new clubhouse, new cart path- this course has turn the corner since at least three years. It was very wet when you play there. Sorry for you.
True Blue - Glad that you have played True Blue after all those years. I think that Strantz was influenced at the beginning by Fazio. Mike Strantz has made many beautiful courses. True Blue and Caledonia are two of them. True Blue is a very different design than Caledonia. Many like True Blue more than Caledonia.
We will follow your trip report over the weeks. Good golf!
''It's just golf, let's have fun''
Good report. Thank you!
Question about Brunswick - do they still have internal out-of-bounds on some holes? I have always felt that if your ball is on the golf course it should not be out-of-bounds.
I can't remember what holes you are referring to at Brunswick, with OB.
There are times where a course needs to have internal OB, when it's
better to play down the wrong fairway, on purpose or by accident.
They created OB left of #18 at Waialae CC Sony Open for that reason.
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Thanks for the report on your trip. To bad it was so wet but better then not playing cause of snow. Look forward to another report when you go back to MB.
Let the Big Dawg Bite!!!
Thanks for the report, great variety of courses. Too bad for the wet weather but as many have mentioned, much better than snow.
Thanks for taking the time to report.
Thistle is on our schedule for the end of April. Been at least 7 years since we last played there and looking forward to our return.
Thanks for sharing enjoyed the read on some course I have played and not played yet.
Great to read about these courses. I've played them all but Brunswick.
I hope to play that soon.
"King Of The Mid-tiers"
Good report on the courses you have played, thanks .