Bob Bestler

Group’s list of favorite golf holes in South Carolina missing one local icon

The “Waterloo” No. 13 at the Dunes Club is a par 5 that winds around Lake Singleton.
The “Waterloo” No. 13 at the Dunes Club is a par 5 that winds around Lake Singleton. For The Sun News

A group of 15 amateur golfers, several of them in the S.C. Golf Hall of Fame, recently selected their favorite 18 golf holes in South Carolina.

That is no easy task as any golfer would know. At best count, the Palmetto State has approximately 6,600 golf holes from which to choose and it appeared from comments accompanying their choices that aesthetics played an important role.

Their favorite hole, as reported by the Charleston Post & Courier, was No. 18 at Hilton Head’s Harbour Town. The 18th borders picturesque Calibogue Sound and the historic Harbour Town lighthouse, and is easily one of the most iconic holes on the PGA Tour.

I’ve played the hole several times, but my most lasting memory was the day I walked off the green ecstatic that I had just parred it. Then I looked at the scorecard and remembered it was a par 4, not the par 5 I had just made. Rats.

They also put the par-3 seventh hole at Harbour Town on the list, commenting that it was “a beautiful hole surrounded by live oaks and magnificent bunkering … A very picturesque hole.”

Other holes most golfers would recognize are two from the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, the par-3 17th and the redesigned par-4 18th (”Walking up to this hole with the ocean on one side and the gorgeous clubhouse ahead of you makes you sad that the round is over.”).

The Grand Strand put three holes on the list, each one deserving enough:

▪ No. 18 at the Dunes Club, with the comment: “It’s tight off the tee with an approach over water into a well-bunkered green.”

▪ No. 14 at Grande Dunes Resort Club: “A beautiful par 3 on the intracoastal with a predominant wind left to right going toward the water … A true test of golf with nature.”

▪ No. 6 at King’s North: “Nicknamed ‘The Gambler,’ you can drive to an island fairway or play the long way around.”

The one hole that was missing – and that is on most every such list I’ve ever seen – was No. 13 at the Dunes Club, a sneaky mean par 5 that winds around Lake Singleton.

The hole is so famous that I still have a Bud Light beer can on my bookcase that features the Waterloo Hole and this description: “Plan on hitting this green in three measured shots. This two-tiered green tends to yield many 3-putts.”

I like to think No. 13 earned even more local fame (notoriety?) during one of the Senior Tour Championships played at the Dunes Club during the 1990s.

That would be the day after Lee Trevino scored a nine on the Waterloo and told the world that it was the worst hole on the course.

Holding court on the driving range before the next day’s round, Trevino drew a rough picture of the hole in the dirt for all within earshot (including a certain columnist from The Sun News).

“I’d make it a par 4 and put condominiums right there,” he said, pointing to the green.

When someone pointed out that Golf Digest had listed it as one of the best holes in the world, Trevino remarked: “Golf Digest? What does Golf Digest know about golf holes?”

Let it be noted that Mr. Trevino parred No. 13 the second day and as he walked off he waved back at the green and told the assembled gallery: “It’s a great place for condos.”

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.

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