Date Played: July 19, 2017
4.0 out of
When Willbrook Plantation opened in 1988, golf course architect Dan Maples referred to it as “One of my best”. The ladies seem to agree. In fact, Golf Digest named Willbrook Plantation as one of America's Top 50 Courses for Women in 2010. Golf for Women Magazine has ranked the course as high as 25th in the US for women. However, all the guys I spoke with describe it to be a challenging layout, as well. In 2006, Golf Digest awarded Willbrook 4.5 stars in their "Best Places to Play."
Willbrook Plantation is built on land that was once two Carolina plantations, dating back to 1798 as evidenced on their logo. As you make your way around the course, you’ll see several historical markers denoting the various historic points of interest. One tells about the mounding built by slaves in the 1700s that served as the property lines between plantations. All kinds of non-golf related facts that add to the round’s enjoyment.
Willbrook Plantation plays 6,722 yards from the back tees with a rating of 72.4 and 133. The White Tees at 6,292 yards (70.3/129) provided a great test for me. Ladies play from 4,981 yards (68.3/120). Pick the right set of tees and when it doubt, do what Jack says and play it forward.
The golf course at Willbrook Plantation weaves its way through lowcountry marshes, and natural grasses. Along the way you’ll encounter centuries-old oak forests and a blend of wildlife you don’t see at other venues. It’s not uncommon to see the occasional deer, hawk or alligator during your round. The course is very player-friendly, especially for those that have never played the course. Water hazards that may have gone unnoticed, are marked with large yellow flags, so the “I didn’t know there was water there” defense is no longer valid. Water is very much a part of the action at Willbrook Plantation; you’ll see it in some form or another on at least 14 holes, although it only comes into actual play on about half of them.
There are several holes at Willbrook that could be considered “signature-worthy” but here are my choices:
Most Memorable Hole: Number 6, Par 3, 127 yards (White Tees). A challenging island green gets your attention on this short par 3 hole. A large bunker guards the left side of the green and two grass swales guard the far end, so if you miss the green left, up and down becomes an arduous task.
Last Word: It’s easy to see why Willbrook Plantation is consistently ranked one of the top courses in the Myrtle Beach area. Accuracy is at a premium, especially when avoiding large trees. It’s not the longest course on the Strand, but it is going to make you think your way around it. It’s also very peaceful and serene on the course; I think this is what Mark Twain was talking about when he said, “a good walk spoiled.”
In addition to the course, Willbrook has a great practice area and a grill that is popular with both visitors and locals. In fact, when I asked several players on the course which hole was their favorite, the majority said it was the 19th!