Dale Dunlop is “The Maritime Explorer,” and he’s traveled the world and written about it from his home base in St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia for more than three decades. South Carolina and its Lowcountry have been among Dale’s countless global visits, which have included golfing excursions to each of Mike Strantz’s masterpiece designs at Caledonia and True Blue.
Dale’s love for Strantz’s work prompted him to offer his own hole-by-hole insights he gleaned from his experience at True. Here, in the second of three parts, is Dale’s take on holes 7-12 of his True Blue journey:
Hole 7 – “#7 is another good looking par three with a large tiered green. Not a hard hole if you avoid missing right. Otherwise forget trying to get close to the pin from green side bunkers – just as likely to fly the green and land in the bunker on the other side. Don’t ask me how I know this.”
Hole 8 – “Beside the tee at #8 there’s (a) sign (reading “164 Yards to Fairway Over Rock”). Makes sense until you try to spot the rock from the tee. Hopefully you’ll have a pair of binoculars handy. The hole is a severe dogleg right and if you just hit over the right side bunker you’ll be fine. Once you get up there you’ll see the rock hiding behind a clump of grass.”
Hole 9 – “The third par 5 on the front is by far the longest and, in my opinion, nastiest … After you hit a smoking drive like I did, you are faced with (a lengthy second shot to clear the waste area) … No choice but to hit a wimpy 9 iron to the edge and then try to hit a decent 150-yard shot over the crap to a tiny green with traps all around it. This should be a par six. You don’t return to the clubhouse after the front nine, so make good use of the cart girl.
Hole 10 – “… Another gruesome par 5. Not as hard as #9, but right up there. Trust me, it’s a lo-o-o-ng way to the end of the first part of the dogleg. (A decent drive) meant firing over the waste bunker to get close enough for a decent third. Also, you can see houses on the left. The front nine is virtually free of any distractions which is one of the reasons I really liked it (despite the evil par fives). The back nine has houses on a few holes, but nothing compared to a lot of Myrtle Beach courses.”
Hole 11 – “#11 is another all carry par 3, but short enough that it shouldn’t be a problem for most golfers. Again, it’s the club selection that is everything. By now there is no doubt that most golfers will have had to hit at least a few shots from the hard packed waste bunkers. I wish I had some good tips on how to accomplish these shots, but I can’t help other than to say ‘Don’t skull it.’ That always draws a favourable response from my playing partners – not.”
Hole 12 – “I really enjoyed playing this hole. As you can see a mostly wide fairway. It’s followed by a dogleg right to a small green. Nothing to it.”