Date Played: July 17, 2017
5.0 out of
The Heritage Club is all about gracious, tasteful living. Look at the houses along the course and you’ll know what I mean; graceful estates that exemplify southern plantation living. Driving to the golf course you get the sense that you’re in store for something special.
Your day at the Heritage Club begins at the gated entrance and a drive beneath majestic oak trees leading to a Southern Colonial clubhouse overlooking the Waccamaw River. This 18-hole Dan Maples masterpiece is built on the site of the True Blue and Midway Plantations, where over 600 acres of magnolia trees, 300-year-old moss-draped oaks, and fresh water lakes and marshes have been transformed into a golf course and community that rival the finest in America. It’s no wonder that the Heritage Club was ranked #33 in 2009 by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” and has received 4 ½ stars in “Best Places to Play”.
At the Heritage Club, you can choose from 5 sets of tees that measure between 5,201 and 7,118 yards. Your level of enjoyment on this championship track will begin with your ability to choose the right set of tees. Bite off more than you can chew, and you’re in for a long day. The White Tees at 6,310 yards carry a course rating of 71.1 and a slope of 127 and provided a fitting challenge.
The front nine is predominantly woods and trees, and Maples (not the trees) does a great job of using trees to shape holes and many tee shots. It’s not uncommon to stand on the tee box and wonder what you’re going to do about that lone tree standing between you and that ideal tee shot. On the back nine, you’ll encounter more water – it comes into play on at least 5 holes. All holes culminate on large, well-undulated Champion Bermuda greens that are often guarded by water, trees and/or sand. The greens are in superb shape and roll true at a moderate pace. An abundance of flora and fauna can be seen as you make your way around the course including, crepe myrtles, azaleas alligators and bald eagles. But that’s nothing compared to the golf!
Number 1: Par 4, 369 yards (White Tees). The first hole is memorable because it sets you up for something you will encounter many times off the tee – a tree in your way! Fade it gently around the tree sticking out into fairway 200 yards down on the right and you’ll set yourself up for a short pitch into a two-tiered green. This is a good starting hole, especially if you can maneuver around the tree.
Number 5: Par 4, 384 yards (White Tees). It’s about a 200-yard carry over the bunkers on the left. Get caught up in the bunkers or the mounding that surrounds them and you’re looking at some pretty funky lies. A good tee shot will leave an approach under 150 to a Trillium-shaped green with many subtle undulations. It’s not uncommon to have to measure the break in a putt by feet instead of inches.
Number 13: Par 3, 175 yards (White Tees). A long par 3 that is all carry over water. The long,, slender green angles away from the tee, making front left and back right pin placements a challenge. Two small bunkers on the back-side of the green shouldn’t come into play, at least you should hope they don’t!
Number 18: Par 5, 470 yards (White Tees). Heritage Club saves the best for last. Unless you’re a true long-ball hitter off the tee or a masochist, this is a three-shot hole. Push your tee shot left and you’ll likely find the water. Hit a stellar drive and you’re still looking at about 220 to the green with a 60-yard wide pond that guards the front. Best to lay up and hit a pitch shot in. Beware, there’s water right. This is a challenging finishing hole.
Heritage Club has a practice center that includes a full-length grass range as well as chipping and putting greens. Inside the clubhouse, you’ll find a nicely stocked pro shop, men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers and a restaurant/lounge with outdoor patio that serves breakfast, lunch and all your favorite libations.
The Heritage Club isn’t a course that lets you come out and just bomb away off the tee; you need to think your way around and hit placement shots if you want to score well. This is especially true on some of the doglegs where, if you hit it short or long of the dogleg, you’ll have no clear shot to the green. Like any Lowcountry golf course, Heritage Club has its share of sand and marsh carry shots, with mild elevation changes.
I’m told that the Heritage Club does over 65,000 rounds a year and in my mind, there are a couple of reasons why. First off, the golf course is incredible – well maintained, challenging and friendly. Secondly is the staff – always smiling, helpful and willing to answer any question. Thirdly, is the fact that your greens fee includes a breakfast buffet, lunch with a wide variety of options and two free beers or fountain drinks during or after your round. You can make a day of it!