Occupying a lovely spot on the South Carolina coast between the Waccamaw River and the Atlantic Ocean, the golf course at DeBordieu Club has hosted many regional events since it opened in 1987, including the Carolinas Mid-Amateur and Carolinas Senior Amateur Championships.
“Not as flashy as some Dye designs, but well worth seeing,” is how Daniel Wexler describes the course in The American Private Golf Club Guide. The author continues: “DeBordieu Club has long rated among the Myrtle Beach region’s strongest tests, its nearly dead-flat site transformed by all manner of artificial mounding and bunkering into a tough and interesting layout.
Some of its best holes come early, first of all at the all-carry 170-yard 4th (whose shallow green angles around the corner of a pond), then especially at the 430-yard 5th, which plays from an elevated tee to another waterside putting surface. The 212-yard 8th features some imposing bulkheading of its pond-guarded green.
Play moves to a back nine headed by strong par fours like the 427-yard 13th (a dogleg left around a massive waste area), and the 449-yard 17th, which is menaced by water down its entire right side. And then there is the 566-yard 18th, a dangerous par five with more right-side water, but also a large waste area precisely where one would like to aim their second.”
Visibility is the calling card for many courses that dot the broader Grand Strand area stretching from Brunswick County, NC and heading as far south as Georgetown. Unfortunately, so much of the golf that exists in the area is at the same caliber level as those culinary giants McDonald's and Burger King, respectively.
DeBordieu is a quality challenge. Water penalty areas abound and those having driver yips will face big time numbers on the scorecard. Yes, there's housing that works its way into the scene but the usual intrusive nature is not as claustrophobic as so many others in the area.
The opening two holes belie what's in store and it's best to get a jump on the course and build momentum.
The tests come early on -- the water fronting the par-3 4th is fun to play. The par-4 5th that follows is also a quality hole -- again with water hugging the right side of the green. The par-3 8th and par-5 9th conclude the front side with a fine balancing act.
The Dyes understand playing angles and constantly force to the forefront the key in getting tee shots in the right position. The layout is not overly long but when one is facing a more challenging approach angle the wherewithal to score consistently will be a constant issue to overcome.
The inward half starts off in a rather pedestrian fashion with holes 10-12. However, the final 6-hole stretch really picks up momentum and the closing two holes -- the par-4 17th and par-5 18th are top notch and worthy of special note. The Dyes have always excelled in visual intimidation and the last two holes really do creep into a golfer's brittle psyche. You just have to block out the negative thoughts and get things going in a positive manner. Easier said than done.
DeBordieu is not bulletproof overall -- there are a few holes that serve merely as connectors. However, there's enough architectural heft with a number of the hole to keep one's attention. The Dye effort in those specific instances really provides plenty of design sizzle to win the day of golf here.
M. James Ward
DeBordieu is, for lack of a better term, a rather typical Dye course without a lot to distinguish the course from others in the area. Lots of water hazards to negotiate and no particularily memorable holes. I actually like the nearby, and similar course by Nicklaus design at Pawley's plantation.