CALABASH, NC – In 1989 the original developers of Brunswick began accumulating land and their dream for a Southern heritage inspired community was realized. Starting with just 135 acres Brunswick has grown to a community of 1200 residents, more than 1500 dues paying property owners and 27-holes of golf.
From the very beginning golf course architects Willard Byrd and Clyde Johnson were charged with seamlessly blending a classic golf course into the planned community. Mission accomplished as the course utilizes the natural terrain and beauty of the land. Although the community is somewhat large, the single-family homes and condominiums do not intrude on the course.
Located just 10 or 15-minutes from North Myrtle Beach, Brunswick Plantation is conveniently located off US 17 N. The drive to the clubhouse is quite nice with well-landscaped and trimmed shrubbery highlighted by seasonal flowers in full bloom. The clubhouse is quite dramatic and very impressive.
The Sunday morning we played was very busy. A few large groups were all arriving within minutes of each other. Throw in some residents and a few of us unattached golfers and the bag drop had their hands full. Hats off to the “Curb Crew” and Starter. They did a great job loading carts, answering countless questions and getting everyone on their way.
Anticipating a rather lengthy round, I was somewhat surprised when we arrived at the first tee and had an open fairway all the way to the green. As we took our approach shots, I looked back and just then a group was arriving at the tee box. For the remainder of the round our foursome was neither pushed by the threesome behind us, or waiting for a group in front of us. With as hectic as the bag drop seemed, the round was quite peaceful.
We had the pleasure of playing the Azalea – Magnolia for our 18-holes. At 6397 yards from the Blues and a 71.2/128 rating there is a noticeable difference from the White Tees in yardage (6074) and rating (69.5/124.) Make no mistake about it this tract is a challenge from all tee boxes. I can attest to that fact.
The Azalea nine is an exceptionally well-trapped course. The hazards were well placed to catch errant tee shots, but were fair and in good shape. The green side bunkers were also well kept. The Magnolia nine was equally trapped, but they didn’t seem as penal. Maybe, I just started hitting a few fairways and an occasional green.
Water hazards do come into play on a few holes, but there are no forced carries. A driver isn’t always necessary at Brunswick where accuracy and shot making are more relevant than distance. The course is not particularly well marked and I had difficulty with distances. Bring your range finder. It will save some strokes.
The course was in great shape. The condition of both the fairways and greens are the strength of Brunswick Plantation Golf Links. The fairways were quite verdant and the Bermuda greens although due for a cutting, rolled true.
The course is not particularly long with the Par 3s averaging less than 150-yards from the White Tees and 170-yards from the Blue Tees. Likewise the Par 5s are not intimidating with their length with only one exceeding 500-yards from the White and Blue Tees. Although the Par 4s do show some length from the Blue Tees, Brunswick Plantation is really a shot makers challenge.
Each Par 4 and 5 requires accuracy off the tee. The majority of the holes are doglegs and if your tee ball isn’t placed on the correct side of the 150-yard markers, suddenly you’re adding another club or two to the approach. And that’s where this course steps-up to bite you.
The greens are quite generous and an errant shot may leave you a very long putt. After a front nine of putting 6-9 foot putts for pars and bogeys, it will wear you down. It never ceases to amaze me how accurate drives can make putting a whole lot easier.
Give Brunswick Plantation & Golf Links a try, but do bring your A-game.