The par 4 14th at Wedgefield provides split fairway. The safe play is with a long iron or short wood right of the far water. Over the trees and left of the water is daring, but a well struck ball leaves a relatively short approach.
green complex is at the end of the short par 5 10th hole, where a wide landing area gives the golfer ample opportunity to try to negotiate the greenside bunkers in order to reach the putting surface in two shots. There is also about 10 yards of grass maintained at fairway height at the back of the green, allowing for a decent variety of possible shots. However, this green is the exception to the rather mundane green areas at Wedgefield.
Quality of Par 3s: 4 ~~The par 3s at Wedgefield are quite mediocre, with almost no variation among them. From the rearmost tees, they play from between 203 and 217 yards. Had it not been for a downwind breeze on the 13th hole, I would have hit the same club on all four holes, which is a terrible waste of an opportunity by the architect to challenge the player's creativity (and his own). If pressed I would say that the 13th is best among them, owing to its more challenging green complex, with traps guarding both sides. Overall, however, the par 3s at Wedgefield are sadly uninspiring.
Quality of Par 4s: 6 ~~ The two-shotters at Wedgefield are certainly better than the one-shotters, but they are still less varied and interesting than at Wedgefield's rivals a few miles to the north (such as Caledonia, True Blue and Pawleys Plantation). Thankfully, there are no forced lay-ups to speak of, except for the 14th hole. The Club touts it as the "signature" hole, but it is in fact a failed attempt at a risk-reward as the low-handicap player cannot carry from the back tees the tall pine trees guarding the corner (However, it is worth the risk from the more forward tees). Wedgefield lacks a compelling short par four, but offers a few decent longer "half-par" two-shotters, such as the 440 yard 5th hole and the 455 yard 12th hole. These two were my favorite par fours on the course, as their length, mostly, posed the greatest challenges. The rest of the par fours are all between approximately 375 and 435 yards long and are not terribly varied.
Quality of Par 5s: 7 ~~ The par 5s are Wedgefield's strongest holes. The golf course begins with an interesting par 5 that requires an uncommonly accurate second shot to negotiate a beautiful live oak at the dogleg's right corner. A successful shot leaves a wedge approach shot. The other long holes allow the golfer to play aggressively in order to have any eagle chances. A drive in the fairway on the 17th hole means that the player is left with a very attractive shot through a chute of high wetland reeds to a large green with the wide marsh in the background (see photo accompanying yesterday's posting). The remaining par 5s -- holes 4 and 10 -- offer two more interesting chances to gain ground on par.
Routing of Golf Course/A Good Walk?: 6 ~~ Wedgefield is not as spread out as most real estate-based Low Country golf courses, but some lengthy green-to-tee journeys would make the course a tough walk on a hot South Carolina day. Also, despite the abundance of live oaks, many holes have such wide playing corridors that shade is extremely difficult to find, even on the cart paths.
Overall Rating: 6 ~~ Wedgefield, which provides five sets of tees, is a throwback to the early days of Myrtle Beach area golf. Although its layout can be a little mundane at times, there are enough holes of interest -- especially the par 5s -- to make for an entertaining round. And with summer greens fees below the $50 rate, longtime visitors to the area certainly will feel as if they are back in the 1970s. It is good to see the owners making welcome investments in improving the course and facilities, and I look forward to returning in a year of two to give Wedgefield another try.