Jun 26 2009

18th hole returns to Wild Dunes

The 18th hole on the Links Course at Wild Dunes

The 18th hole on the Links Course at Wild Dunes

It was another sweltering hot day for the Lowcountry on June 12, but that didn’t deter several groups of golfers from enjoying the first day of the return of the 18th hole at Wild Dune’s Links Course. After erosion took a large bite out of the famed oceanfront hole, it took close to twenty months to restore the course to its former grandeur. But the wait was entirely worth it. Framed by a 180 degree view of the wild Atlantic ocean, the redesigned portion of the Links Course includes both the 17th and 18th hole. Tom Fazio, the original designer of the course, took a personal interest in the project since the Links Course was the golf architect’s first solo design. To ensure that everything went to plan, Forrest Fezler, one of the original course designers and president of Fezler Golf, stayed close to the resort and monitored the course’s construction; along with Fazio design associate Bryan Bowers and senior design associate Andy Banfield.
“The 17th and 18th holes of the Links Course are two of the most spectacular finishing holes in the south east,” said Fazio. “Playing on the ocean and amongst the dunes is as premier a location as you can get. It was true when the course was designed more that two decades ago, and it’s still true today.”
“It’s pretty unique,” said Jeff Minton, director of golf for Wild Dunes. “Every day, there’s different wind, different conditions. It’s similar to the original hole in that it’s a dogleg to the right and someone who’s played it before will recognize the shape, but all the club members who’ve had a chance to play through agree that it’s even better than before.”
The dunes along the course’s ocean facing side, as well as around the southern end of the green, have been built up to their maximum height to ensure the course’s protection against any future erosion, but the view remains unhindered. “There are great views of the ocean from all sides,” said Minton, “Even more than before.”
In honor of the reopening of the 18th hole, Charleston residents are invited to be a “friend” of Wild Dunes for the summer and enjoy the Friends Program rate of $85 per round of the Links Course for the months of June and July. Tea times are available beginning at 11am, 48 hours in advance. For more information, visit www.wilddunes.com/golf or call 886-2002.

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