I played the Yeamans Hall Club for the second time on 11/5/2019. Due to the rain in the morning, we saw standing water on two fairways as we arrived. In addition, we were told that the greens were being over-seeded this year to ensure pristine surfaces for the upcoming season. I mention this because the green speeds were slow, feeling like there were 7-7.5.
This golf course, designed by Seth Raynor, is all about the greens and the green complexes. A second issue was the heavy amount of mosquitos due to the morning rain and cloud cover. Our threesome felt like we were under siege all day. Eventually on the 15 hole, despite the 70 degree temperature, I put on a rain jacket to keep their attack confined to my face and neck. So for me, given those green speeds and mosquitos, I felt as though I did not get the true experience.
Because it is a wonderful experience on practically any other day.
I was eager to go back remembering how much I had enjoyed it when I played it in late October, 2006. Since then Tom Doak and Jim Urbina have both worked on restoring the golf course with Mr. Urbina getting appropriate credit for much of the recent work. The condition of the golf course has substantially improved from my previous visit as a result of different grasses and tree clearing.
This golf course and club are a step back in time with a lovely clubhouse, a separate building for the locker room and another separate building for the pro shop. The entrance to the clubhouse has wonderful large oak trees in the circular drive. It is beautiful, much like the golf course is also beautiful.
The fairways seem wider than most of the other courses designed by Seth Raynor. There is plenty of room available to you off the tee on this 6783/6280 yard course. We opted for the 6280 after talking with the head pro as he said it would play around 6600-6700 due to the conditions.
The course is primarily straight with only a couple of dogleg holes. There are few, if any, blind shots either from the tee or with the approach shot. This course has everything right in front of you. It is an easy walk with only a few rises and falls in the fairway as you work your way around the golf course. Much like Secession Golf Club, this is one of the more pleasant walking experiences one will have on a golf course.
As mentioned, the “star” of Yeamans Hall Club are the green complexes which are varied, maddening, tricky, and fun. Nearly all of the greens are squared off and many of them also have severe false fronts. The amazing greens begin with the very first green which has a huge punchbowl swale in the middle of this very large green. This swale is not as dramatic as some of his other punchbowl greens such as at Fox Chapel but it is deep enough to vary much influence the type of shot or putt you have to hit depending on pin location. One can run their ball onto the first green or if you want to come in via air, the size of the green can mean a difference of 2-3 clubs. The first several greens do not have false fronts but have swales to consider.
The bunkers are typically edged off but are shaped in a way to offer a chance at redemption.
One of the few doglegs is the short par 4 second hole, going to the left with three bunkers down the right side and one on the left side of the fairway. But there is a lot of room between these bunkers on this par 4. The green has a ridge line running through it.
The third hole is the shortest par 3 on the golf course at 144/127 surrounded on all sides by bunkers with a view of the Cooper River behind it. The green is sloped back to front with a bit of a swale in the middle.
The fourth is a long par 4 of 494/410 with three bunkers to consider for the tee shot, including a narrow gash bunker in the middle of the fairway. There is another bunker well short of the green and two to either side. This green has the first false front on the golf course. It is a difficult golf hole due to the green, which is large but treacherous.
Five sends you back towards the first green completing a circle of holes 2-5. Bunkers are scattered throughout this medium length par 4 with another raised green and false front. The fairway bunkers do offer a chance to go for the green unless you are too close to the mounds on the backside of them.
Six brings a sort of redan green at 186/173 with a steep bank on the back side of the green bringing a ball back down to the middle or front of the green. It is not a pure redan as the green is not tilted much right to left. There is a bunker both front and back of the green. It is a fun hole.
Seven is a par 4 of 428/409 playing about 30 yards longer as it is uphill. It requires a tee shot over water but the pond is mainly for looks. The two bunkers in the fairway are the real danger on the tee shot. The green is once again large and has a false front. A left side pin placement requires an approach shot to carry the small bunker on the left front.
Eight is a downhill par 4 of 427/402 with another bunker in the fairway and left side. This might be the only hole on the golf course where a long drive might lead to a blind second shot due to the valley before the next fairway bunker. The green has fall-offs on all sides and has a lovely view of the Cooper River. It is a more difficult hole than its 11 index would imply.
The front nine is completed by going back up the hill in the opposite direction on the first par 5 of 527/508. After the drive, the rest of the hole is on level ground with a fairway bunker right an obstacle for the second shot. The green is almost a perfect rectangle with bunkers on either side, with another false front and a slight tilt to the right.
Ten is a short par 4 playing straight to a raised green protected by two bunkers. I felt this was the easiest hole on the course.
Eleven is another straight par 4 to another perfect rectangular green with a bunker left and behind the green. There is another false front on this green.
Twelve is a short par 4 with a green protected by three bunkers. The green is raised with a false front. It was perhaps the easiest green to read since the third hole.
The thirteenth is a longer par 3 of 196/161 protected by two bunkers well short and a steeper false front.
Fourteen is likely the most famous hole on the golf course. This straight par 4 of 409/380 has a very elevated green so if you miss short left or in the bunker left side front of the green you will have a blind shot. The green tilts right to left and front to back a bit. It is the best green complex on the course.
Fifteen is a longer par 4 of 448/425 requiring a slight uphill tee shot to avoid the two bunkers on the right. This is a very squared green with bunkers right and left side and a false front.
Sixteen is the longest par 3 at 227/194 with a false front and two bunkers on each side of the green. A miss to the right can bring trees into play.
Seventeen is a par 4 with fairway bunkers to consider to this slightly raised green which also has a swale.
The second par 5 ends the round with a downhill tee shot and second shot requiring one to navigate around some bunkers on this 532/504 hole that normally plays shorter than the yardage when it is dry and fast. There is a large bunker right and a smaller bunker left of the green which has a tier in it as well as a false front.
The Yeamans Hall Club is a second shot golf course. A good player on a good weather day can do very well here, but if you get offline with your approach just a bit, recovery becomes very tricky.
The routing is very good in terms of moving in multiple directions and taking advantage of the few changes in terrain. However, I do wonder whether a few more holes with doglegs would have helped the interest. Placing fairway bunkers in the fairway does give the appearance of having a dogleg with a suggestion as to which side might be better, but I did find that I stood on nearly every tee and said, "just go straight."
Date: November 06, 2019