|The Wild Dunes Resort offers a couple of 18-hole Fazio courses for public play. It’s generally accepted that the Links - six years older than the Harbor layout - is the better of the two tracks at a marvellous 36-hole complex.|
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There’s an element of empathy with this course on the Isle of Palms. Unintentionally, the Links course at Wild Dunes Resort, just outside Charleston, joins the small list of notable courses which finish on a par 3. The effects of erosion necessitated a redesign of the oceanfront 18th hole from a 501-yard par 5 to a 188-yard par 3. In May 2015, the course closed to renovate greens, cart paths and the irrigation system. It opened again for business in October, but the lingering impact of Mother Nature has cast a shadow over this coastal course. The last renovation took place in 1989 when the resort was pretty much in Hurricane Hugo’s bull’s eye. With all that said, the course is disappointing and not Fazio’s best layout. The housing developments have multiplied to the extent that they now line most of the fairways, especially on the front nine. There are just too many bland forgettable holes here, and although the last few holes offer scenic views of the coastline, the architecture doesn’t stimulate the senses. The finishing par 3 pales in comparison with the original par 5 closing hole, which is now just a distant memory never to be seen again. The par 3 is a mass of sand and feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere – however the green is located at the dog-leg of the original par 5, and everything beyond the green is a sea of neglect and lost fortunes. The before and after photographs will make you gasp. The golf staff clearly has heavy hearts as they lost an epic closing hole to the merciless coastal erosion.
December 22, 2015