Must Play On The Grand Strand
Well I'm finally in sunny North Carolina away from the cold, chill and snow of the Ottawa area. Hanging out at the beach transitioned to my first round of the year and first round here in North Carolina on this my second annual March Break trip to Coastal Carolina. Tuesday round the boys and I were out to conquer Oyster Bay Golf Links part of the Legends Golf Courses. The weather was perfect and the boys were exciting for our first round of the year. Ted Ciesla from ColdFusionGolf was in the area and I invited him along for the round (his first as well with new clubs).
Oyster Bay Golf Links is set in a beautiful part of Coastal Carolina with great views. The drive up to the course we knew we were in for something special.
The course was packed and our tee time of 12:36 was perfect for enjoying the sunshine. Unfortunately because of the plethora of business we were squeezed off the back nine and got to tee of on #10. I realize lots of courses do this when its busy but I still find it a drag especially playing a new course you don't get to tee of on the first.
Challenging Layout with a variety of holes
We decided to play from the white tees which plays to 5576 yards, pretty short for the whites but definitely a good decision considering the first couple of par 4s we played. Number 10 a difficult tee shot that you must be left of the bunkers and #11 where you need a good drive or you're looking at a double bogey or worse.
Oyster Bay was in pretty good condition considering the type of the weather the area has had so far this year. The tee boxes were pretty uneven and very patchy most times you could find a level area to tee your ball up. Fairways were also pretty good as well with some patchy areas on a few holes.
The greens at Oyster Bay are pretty tough and I was still shaking my head after the round as to the consistency of the Bermuda grass (pretty different from bent grass that's more common up North). What makes the greens tough is the many undulations plus where the pin positions are for that day. A few positions where are bit crazy (to close to some drastic slopes isn't fair for the average golfer imho).
A unique feature of the golf course at Oyster Bay is the number if par 3s. Totally 5 on your scorecard #15 and #17 on the back 9 are fun short holes that can test your swing. Number 15 is open and the wind can play havoc with your tee ball even though it only plays about 135 from the whites. Number 17 defined by a copious amount of oyster shells is why the course is aptly named Oyster Bay. A tough island green to hold, your shot must land soft to stay on this long narrow green.
The staff at Oyster Bay were great from the lads getting our bags set up in our carts to the starter that gave us the run down on the course and sent us out on the 10th tee. The cart lady was awesome very accommodating with our beer selections and she made sure to stock up on the cold ones that we fancied that day.
We really enjoyed our first round in North Carolina. Oyster Bay is one challenging course even from the white tees. The fact that no hole is the same at Oyster Bay is great for any skill level of golfer. With a healthy dose of longish par 4s and short par 3s the course will challenge all golfers. Views were great with an abundance of wildlife from alligators and turtles to birds of prey. Although the course was a bit rough around the edges with spotty tee boxes and fairways Oyster Bay is a must play for any golfer playing the Grand Strand.