Palmetto may well of been the biggest surprise of 2018 for me. I had heard great things about this untouched classic gem that flew very much under the radar and in the shadow of its Augusta based neighbor however, the course, the club and the general vibe there was absolutely wonderful. It’s characterized by fairly small and undulated greens putting a premium on solid ball striking and short game. Many of the greens have fall offs that make you really think twice if not shake in the knees when you are about to hit your approaches.
The routing is tight and compact and even though it’s a hilly property this is very much a walking course. It’s also most certainly not without it’s fair share of old school quirk which is something I love. If there was an area to be critical about that would be the tightness of the property and feeling they had to cram in a couple holes to finish off the round. These holes work their way around the clubhouse and while they do provide an intimate feel and a kind of interconnectedness to the course I’m not sure they are ideal. The holes themselves were still very interesting.
Being there in cooler temps the dormant Bermuda provided lightening fast greens and extremely comical putting experience I will not soon forget. I consider putting my favorite part of the game and on the 6th hole, which is one of the toughest on the course and a long par 4 that plays uphill to a deep two tierd green sloping back to front, I managed to hit the green in two, landing on the right front portion. The flag was back left and about 45-50 ft away. My putt was uphill and at the end up onto the upper tier. The ridge ran slightly diagonal away from my position and the putt was about a 15 ft breaker so not easy by any sense of the word. It left and I had a great feeling about it as I watched it slow and nearing the hole having read the break correctly, or so I thought. About 2.5 ft away from the hole while slowing the ball took a hard turn left and almost came to a stop, then started slowly moving, worst feeling ever. I watched it pick up speed slowly to the slight drop to the lower tier and I’ll be damned if that ball didn’t work it’s way all the way back down and passed me 25 ft to my left then roll back off the green and 30 yds down the hill.
I guess you had to see it. And that’s how you go from a 3 to a 6 rather quickly Palmetto style.
I can’t emphasize enough what a great course it is. If you ever have a chance to get there I’d jump on it immediately. You won’t regret it and make sure you also take a look at their old locker room. This is where the likes of Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson came every year to play in the Devereux Milburn Memorial Trophy event.
Date: October 15, 2019