By Charlene S. Mixa
“Exciting and Challenging Award Winning Golf”
Glistening dunes, crashing waves, and marsh vistas all blend together to create a wonderful island retreat at Wild Dunes Resort. Nestled on the northern tip of Isle of Palms, a lush barrier island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, the Resort offers a year-round menu of golf, tennis, salon and boutique services. From just lying on the beach to partaking in one of the many resort activities, Wild Dunes is a top destination for families, couples, golfers, tennis lovers and event planners. Recognized among the “Best in the State” for South Carolina Wild Dunes celebrates the game of golf with 36-holes of challenging golf at the Links Course and the Harbor Course. Memorable vacations are found at the tip of the Isle of Palms!
Before our round of golf we take a quick spin around Wild Dunes with its beautiful barrier island setting. Visitors enjoy breathtaking views and fine Southern Comfort in addition to an extensive variety of accommodations from the Boardwalk Inn to condos to vacation homes. The Resort achieves any traveler’s desire. While the Village Plaza has a terrific selection of shops, eateries and services, the action is at The Grand Pavilion and its panoramic ocean views. With pools, the beach, a café and bar this is definitely the gathering place. A busy time, we see families and couples enjoying the water as well as biking along the miles of bike paths. Bicycling seems to be a preferred method of transportation at Wild Dunes.
Today, our golf skills are being tested by the Tom Fazio seaside masterpiece, the Links Course at Wild Dunes. Actually Fazio’s first it is still recognized as one of the world’s best golf courses. Wild Dunes Links Course is situated between the bay and the Atlantic Ocean beach and is Resort golf at its finest. This Scottish style links course features several finishing holes that border the bay and the Atlantic Ocean for spectacular views. The first few holes have nice open fairways, known as the most beautiful fairways found in the Lowcountry. We greatly appreciate the GPS in the cart to find the nuances of these holes, especially as we get to the back nine. Natural hazards are incorporated on some holes of the front nine, especially on the No. 4 a par-3 over a large marsh and No. 8 a par-3 over a lake. The front nine is a fun, yet challenging.
Like Jekyll and Hyde, the back nine is exactly opposite in personality of the front nine. Built atop massive sand dunes, No. 10 has a rolling fairway where shots are hard to spot. It is cart path only, so we have a lot of hiking up and down hills until we reach the green. Fairways and greens intertwine among the dunes creating demanding and exciting golf holes. No. 12 a par-3 is scenic with the green hidden in a cove among the dunes. With three finishing holes on the ocean, these are stunningly set among the dunes along the Atlantic Ocean. No. 16 is a picturesque par-3 surrounded by palm trees, dunes and tall grass. No. 17, a par-4 and No. 18, a par-5, each parallel the shoreline with out of bounds on the left. Accuracy is important for these holes and paying attention to yardage for carry over grassy knolls is a must. Hurrah! I par the ocean holes, to have a fantastic ending to a day of golf at the Links Course.
Players of every skill level will find the Links course challenging. There is also the Harbor Course available to test a player’s golf acumen. While it is about 30 minutes from historic Charleston, most guests will enjoy Wild Dunes as an island get-a-way and never venture out. Of course for those who do, Charleston offers many historic and fascinating attractions. It’s Isle of Palms golf at its finest, and an ideal place to spend a Charleston golf vacation.
If you go:
Wild Dunes, 5757 Palm Blvd., Isle of Palms, SC 29451; 888.778.1860; www.wilddunes.com