Grande Dunes Resort Club is home to five holes that play along the Intracoastal Waterway and the stunning par 3 14th attracts much of the attention, but the two-shotter that follows shouldn’t be overlooked.
Set along a bluff overlooking the waterway, the par 4 15th offers beauty and significant challenge. For an insider’s look at the hole, we talked with Grande Dunes General Manager Joe Dipre.
“It’s my favorite hole on the course,” he said.
The 15th fairway is wide and undulating, creating a variety of possible challenges, which is part of the appeal for Dipre. The waterway runs along the right side, but the handiwork of the Army Corp of Engineers doesn’t present the hole’s biggest challenge.
Grande Dunes is less than a mile and a half from the beach and the wind coming off the nearby Atlantic can dramatically impact how the hole plays.
“If the wind is into you, it’s an extremely long hole,” Dipre said. “If it’s down wind, it becomes a sand wedge in. I have hit everything from a 56 degree to a 3-iron based on the wind.”
We asked Dipre for advice on how to play his favorite hole – which range in length from 355 to 486 yards, including the 400-yard white tees – and here are his three keys to success:
(1) Not surprisingly, identifying which way and how hard the wind is blowing is vital off the tee. Hitting the fairway is an imperative, so if the wind is at your back, it might be worth clubbing down to ensure you are in the short grass. If it’s blowing hard in your face, good luck!
(2) When playing your approach to the undulating green, missing short is better than long. From the middle on back, the putting surface runs away from you and toward the hazard associated with the Intracoastal. There are big numbers to be made over the green and recovery is easier in the front.
(3) Dipre’s third tip is about your mental game: understand that bogey isn’t a bad score on No. 15, especially if the wind is in your face. Be willing to take your medicine and don’t try to play hero golf, because opportunities for birdie may await on 16 and 17.