In 1991, Tom Fazio’s Deer Creek design at The Landings Club became the latest 18-hole layout to emerge at this private golf complex on Skidaway Island, allowing members the luxury of playing six different 18-hole courses at the one location.
In The American Private Golf Club Guide author Daniel Wexler writes: “The Deer Creek design bears the pleasant ‘member course, quality of playing a bit easier than it looks. Though frequently ignoring basic strategic considerations (e.g. placing bunkers on the inside of doglegs when the best angle of approach is from the outside) it does finish in waterside style, both at the 449-yard 9th and the 547-yard 18th.”
The layout hosted the first edition of the Savannah Golf Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018, with Sam Burns from Louisiana earning his first professional win when he birdied each of the last three holes in the final round to defeat his closest rival by one shot. This event in now called the Club Car Championship.
Deer Creek at the Landings Club near Savannah, designed by Tom Fazio in the early 1990's, each year hosts a Korn Ferry Tour Event and the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament. Knowing this going in brings expectations that were met right away. Right off the bat, you notice the low country feel, similar to Harbor Town on Hilton Head Island.
Characteristics of Deer Creek is generously wide fairways, shaved run out areas on many holes, deep bunkering and sloped greens where you rarely have a totally straight putt. This is also a shot makers course where, if you can draw the ball around moss draped oaks, presents you with chances for birdie.
Notable holes on the front side include:
The 1st Hole Par 4 that allows for a possible birdie off the bat if you can give yourself a go with a short iron with a straight drive off the tee between the tall pines each side of the fairway. The green comes with a deep bunker left and moderate slope right to left on the approach.
The 2nd hole Par 3 with deep bunker in front and bunker in back framing a smallish green. End up in either of these bunkers and the up and down requires a definite skill level to come away with par.
Number 9th comes back to the clubhouse with marsh to the left. If you can boom a drive over the right edge bunker, you are left with a well guarded green with watery marsh left. The day we played the pin was far left with a tailing wind which made proper yardage to the pin difficult. Smart play was middle green but both my playing partner and I both chose to “pin hunt” each flying the green with delicate chips to get up and down for par.
The medium distance par 5 14th is a risk reward hole that to reach in 2 requires a second shot over the water guarding the green. Going at it in 3 allows for short wedge to set up a birdie.
The 17th hole is a 197 Yd Par 3 that has a marsh backdrop. The contoured green is protected right by a deep bunker. The green is protected by a sloping green.
The 18th finishing hole has marsh and bunkers to the right for the tee shot. The second shot routes to the right which brings the marsh into play for the second shot. Long hitters can test the marsh in front to reach in two shots. The green is well protected with bunkers front and right. The day I was there the local Men’s Group was having drinks by the clubhouse lawn watching play and reacting to both good and bad play. We finished up and joined the fun crowd watching others finish this beautiful hole.
I came away surprised by the beauty of this course and the way it rewarded a good shot and punished the poor play. There is no doubt that Deer Creek and The Landings are a true golfers club. This is a course that a member could play day after day and continually test his or her golf game. At the same time, Deer Creek is a course that can give up birdies and afford the opportunity of that coveted low round.