It has been a cold and long winter without golf, and I was looking forward to a March trip to South Carolina. But my wife, bless her heart, has convinced me to head south next week to attend the annual meetings of the property owner association and golf club at Pawleys Plantation, where we own a vacation condo. Along the way, I intend to visit and review a golf community each day and, if weather permits, play golf for the first time in three months. And I will still get to play golf in the Myrtle Beach area in March.
Here is the tentative list of golf communities I will review on my drive south:
Bayside Plantation, Shelbyville, DE
This will be my first visit to a Delaware golf community, and even though many people will not consider a community so far north as a place for retirement or a vacation home, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course has received positive reviews and the community's proximity to the ocean makes it a solid summer vacation venue. Although New Jersey is an entire wide bay away, the ferry from Cape May, NJ, to the charming town of Lewes, DE, provides excellent and frequent service and cuts out more than hour of time and the many headaches of traveling the awful New Jersey Turnpike.
Kilmarlic Golf Club, Powell's Point, NC
In my 20s, I played Outer Banks golf for the first time, in Kill Devil Hills, site of the Wright Brothers first flight. It whet an appetite for coastal golf that is now four decades old. I don't know much about Tom Steele, Kilmarlic's architect, but I do know the course was good enough to host the North Carolina Open championship twice in the last five years. Being chosen for that honor in a state that boasts the Pinehurst courses and so many other great ones says something about Kilmarlic.
To be determined (Raleigh area)
I have asked a local real estate agent who specializes in golf real estate to suggest a location for me to visit on the east or south side of this growing metro area. There are many to choose among.
River Landing, Wallace, NC
This will be a return visit to the community, which was built and continues to be owned and developed by a local family. Against the tide, they have continued to add amenities including 18 more holes of golf in the last couple of years. Some of the 36 holes by respected architect Clyde Johnston roll along the Cape Fear River. River Landing's proximity (about an hour) to both Raleigh and Wilmington, two interesting but very different cities, is another plus.
I will be in the Myrtle Beach area next weekend. If anyone has a particular course or golf community they would like me to check out, send me a note.