|The fairways at True Blue Golf Plantation, one of architect Mike Strantz’s earliest designs, wind their way around an old indigo and rice plantation.|
True Blue Plantation and sister course, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club are the only two companion courses by the same designer to make Golf Digest’s list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses”. Both layouts are “must plays” by designer Mike Strantz, the creator of another fabled course, the unique and sometimes controversial Tobacco Road in NC.
Built in 1994, Caledonia was rated the 5th “Best New Public Course in America” by Golf Digest. With a 4 ½* rating, Caledonia has often been compared to Augusta National for its floral beauty and exquisite styling. Time only permitted that we play one course on this stay so we opted for True Blue and were not disappointed but I definitely want to come back to tempt my fate on Caledonia
True Blue was built on a Colonial indigo and rice plantation that is lined with tall pines and live oaks offering surprising elevation changes for the area. Completed four years after Caledonia, it was immediately recognized as one of the “Top 10 Best New Public Courses” by Golf Digest and is still ranked as the “#1 Public Course in the Myrtle Beach Area”. True Blue has wide fairways, rolling terrain, large greens with water on 7 holes and more sand than the “Sahara Desert”. This course is a true test of skills. There are 5 sets of tees from 4995 to 7126 yards so pick the right yardage to suit your game. You may think you can ‘overpower’ this course but be forewarned that the par 5’s are all three shot holes.
To prove my theory, from the tips the 1st hole is a 624 yard dogleg left that punishes you for being too aggressive. Not only is there a waste bunker all the way down the left side, there is a large bunker on the right side. Once you have run this gauntlet, there is the green side water and series of bunkers that guard this enormous green. Need I say more?
Hole #3 has been billed as one the greatest holes along the Grand Strand. This spectacular par 3 is surrounded by a lake and a beach of sand, made more complicated by a sliver of a green to work with. Good luck!
True Blue will keep you honest but also serves up great rewards both on and off the course. If you need a little ‘sustenance’ after you round, let us suggest you drop by the clubhouse for an outstanding bowl of New England style clam chowder. The best I’ve every tasted and just like the course it will leave you wanting more!
True Blue is a blast to play and one of my favorites in the Myrtle Beach area. The holes are all unique and each presents a different challenge. The teeing areas are very generous and the course really gets down to business at the green complexes. There are any number of slopes and run offs that challenge golfers of all levels. The par 5 5th is great fun. The hole dog legs left around a lake and with any kind of decent drive the hole begs the player to go for the green. The last three holes around and over water are a bit of a let down, and I have never been a fan of the 18th due to the narrow hitting area and steeply sloped green but overall Imthink golfers of all levels would enjoy playing here.