5 Things You Need to Know BEFORE Playing Caledonia

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by Chris King

Golfers with an even passing familiarity with Myrtle Beach have likely heard of Caledonia Golf & Fish Club. The layout is ranked among America’s top 100 public courses by Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella and the list of accolades goes on.

But you get the point. Caledonia is a bucket list course.

If you are planning to tee it up at Caledonia, one of the Waccamaw Golf Trail’s anchor layouts, here are five things you need to know before you begin play:

— A quick glance at the scorecard leads many to believe Caledonia is short, and, looking at raw numbers, that’s not an unreasonable assumption. The white tees are 5,710 yards, prompting many players to play the 6,121-yard blue tees. On the surface, 6,121 yards is a manageable number for the vast majority of players, but Caledonia is a par 70 that includes the diminutive, par 3 ninth hole (110 yards from the blue tees). I’m not trying to tell you the layout is overwhelmingly long, but at 5,710 yards, the course plays more like 6,100 and the fairways are relatively tight. If you typically play from the white tees, do the same at Caledonia.

— This was Mike Strantz’ first solo design and it launched him to architectural superstardom, before cancer tragically cut his life short. Caledonia is set on less than 120 acres of land but the layout never seems crowded, a testament to the quality of Strantz’ work. The layout is equal parts art and architecture.

— The tight quarters at Caledonia didn’t leave room for a driving range, though there is a nice short game area. If you want to warm-up, and it’s always a good idea, leave time to go to the range at True Blue, which is less than a mile away. It’s not the hassle you might think and you will want to be loose on the first tee.

— No matter how you are playing, enjoy your surroundings. From the drive down the alley of oaks, which rivals any entrance in golf, to the unforgettable 18th hole, which rests in the shadow of an antebellum-style clubhouse, a round at Caledonia is an experience. Enjoy it, regardless of what your scorecard says.

— Lastly, there is no reason to be in a hurry after the final putt drops. Leave time to have lunch in the clubhouse and enjoy watching everyone else attempt to navigate the 18th hole. It’s an ideal way to end a day at Caledonia.

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