Carved through dense woodland on the southern shores of Lake Grenada, the Dogwoods course at Hugh White State Park is a hilly Gary Roger Baird layout that demands accurate ball striking and a sharp short game.
The Dogwoods opened with a lot of great PR and fanfare. Unfortunately, the course has backslid. When I played there earlier this month many of the bunkers where now grass bunkers. Many of the ones that were not going to grass were full of leaves. The layout is pretty good, but the conditions were frustrating at best.
The first hole is welcoming, slightly uphill par 4. The second is a short gimme par 3, with 4 bunkers short and left of the green. The 3rd is a slight bender downhill left with bunkers on the inside corner, favor the right. The 4th is the first par 5. Big hitters can get home in two. The green is tucked left and protected by front left greenside bunkers. The 5th is a long par three with the green stuck on a ledge and six bunkers short. The par 4s 6 and 7 are good birdie opptys. The par 5 9th is the number one handicap hole. Fairly straight and uphill with the green tucked left. Favor the right off the tee. If you are left, you will be fortunate to be gobbled up by the fairway bunkers, if you are not fortunate there is a sharp drop off into the woods.
The 10-13th holes all go left. The 10th is a par 4 with a water carry and bunkers on the inside elbow. Favor the right side. You tee off out of a chute on 11. The left is shorter, but favor the right. The short par 4 12th is driveable. If you are going to go for it aim at the front right side of the green. Good risk/reward hole with a multi-tiered green. The 14th is a short par 5 that is reachable. Favor the right side off the tee. There is a creek on the other side of the fairway ridge and the second shot must carry a couple of large bunkers. The 14th is a straight hole! Yes, it is a long par 3. The 15th is a long par 4, pretty straight. The 16th is an uphill par 3, take an extra club to carry the half dozen bunkers. The 17th is another reachable par 5, pretty straight and uphill with most of the trouble left. The 18th drifts right and the green is protected by a large front bunker.
I was extremely disappointed. Granted it was end of season, but I got the feeling they had given up. Could be a good track, but I am afraid they may be on the wrong side of the maintenance curve. I will not be going back, even if you paid.