I have maintained for the last few years that Arrowhead Pointe might be one of the most underrated courses in the US. A little public course in the middle of nowhere right along the Georgia-South Carolina border that doesn't have any cell service on it, but it is worth the drive and being disconnected from everyone/everything for a few hours. The 3rd hole is the first great hole; a mid-length Par 3 playing into an amphitheater setting with a nicely undulating green. The 5th and 6th provide a glimpse as to what you'll see on the back as they dive along the Savannah River. #5 is a great downhill risk-reward Par 5, while the 6th is perhaps the hardest Par 4 on the course. Once you make the turn, there's not a bad hole on the back. The 10th is another great risk-reward Par 5, the 11th serves as a decent bridge hole to the 12th which kicks off one of my favorite stretches among golf courses I've played.
13-17 all play alongside the river in some shape or form. The 13th is a tough Par 3 where you hit over an inlet of the river. The 14th is as scenic a hole as you'll find and is the "pointe" of Arrowhead Pointe. The 15th is a Par 3 you can get a shot back on while looking at the river as your backdrop. The 16th is a fun Par 5 that requires you to carry part of the river. The 17th then plays sharply downhill off the tee with the Savannah all along the left. Similarly to Cypress, the 18th can kind of be seen as a letdown, but the holes proceeding it are so good that I choose to give it a pass.
My only criticism of the course is that there are a couple of instances of hazards, particularly bunkers, being placed on the wrong side of the hole. The 8th is the best example, which plays as a dogleg right and has a fairway bunker to the right... in which the view is straight into trees. That bunker adds excessive penalty to a placement where plenty of punishment exists already. The 14th has another bunker like that, except it lies left of that fairway. Those things excluded, Arrowhead Pointe is the best hidden secret I've ever played. I have it ranked 4th on my personal ranking of courses behind Tobacco Road, Pinehurst #2, and Valhalla... and Olympia Fields is 5th.
Date: July 26, 2018