Pawleys Island, S.C., Caledonia Golf And Fish Club

Aug 1, 2014
2014 / July 2014

The Caledonia Golf and Fish Club is a favorite among most golfers who visit the Myrtle Beach area and is on the top list of places to play with my group. The course, previously a Southern rice plantation, has the true old Southern feel, with a driveway lined with live oaks and Spanish moss. Beautiful plantings throughout the course add to its charm and attraction.

The land was initially purchased in 1971 by local investors under the company Ponderosa, Inc., as a playground for their obsession with hunting and fishing. But in the 1990s, the golf boom was in full swing and they decided they could gain more money by shooting balls instead of lead pellets. The par-70 course, designed by the late golf architect Mike Strantz, opened in 1994 — fulfilling Strantz’ dream of an old plantation course with modern bunkering and greens.

We assembled two foursomes made up of mostly Philadelphians, with one New Yorker in the mix to shake things up. Four of us were born and raised in Drexel Hill, Pa., which is the home of Caledonia’s director of golf, Bob Seganti. I teed it up with Jimmy Sprat from New York City and Bobby Hancock and John Ecklund of Drexel Hill. We left the “turtles” in the second group — Gerry Patrick of Drexel Hill, Mike Donahue of Philadelphia and two new attendees to the trip, Neil Curran and John Kennedy from the Philadelphia Main Line.

Hole 2 | 571 yards, par 5
Caledonia eases you into the course with a relatively simple first hole. But after that, the course separates the men from the boys, which Hole 2 does by securing the title as the longest hole. It is actually a sweeping and gentle turn to the right as you approach the green, but you will need three near-perfect shots to get there. Bunkers come into play on nearly every shot, but Strantz was fair, as there are plenty of landing areas — even though I saw Bob traipsing around under the trees on the left. I kept my composure after destroying the first hole and parred 5 with grace.

Hole 8 | 528 yards, par 5
As the song “The Gambler” says, “You have to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em,” and Hole 8 is a gamble. Hold ’em if you think you can clear the three bunkers on the right so you can be in position to reach the green in two. Otherwise, fold ’em and lay up left to turn this hole into a traditional par 5. Bob and Jimmy took out their big guns and succeeded, while John and I took the more traditional route (whether we planned it or not). The approach shot is a beauty with a green protected by a pond in front. The green is also two-tiered to add to the difficulty.

Hole 9 | 118 yards, par 3
This should not be difficult, as it is very short, but it is a “looker’” — exceedingly beautiful with live oak trees framing the back hole, which became the inspiration for the course logo. A nimble touch is required; every shot that hit the green rolled off into a bunker or, like mine, into a planting bed. A tricky little hole which deceives many golfers.

After the front nine, one of the high points of Caledonia is a stop to see John Rush, who creates the course’s signature fish stew, which he ladles out to golfers. John told me it is a secret recipe passed down from the original gentleman who held the position until recently. It is a fine touch to the Caledonia experience, spicy and warm to prepare one for the back nine.

Hole 11 © Francis X. Gallagher

Hole 11 © Francis X. Gallagher

Hole 11 | 167 yards, par 3
I find this a beautiful but challenging par 3; a creek runs diagonally from in front of the tee box to the left side of the fairway in front of the green, where it opens into a pond. It is a very pretty hole with azaleas and other flowers blooming all around where our balls were scattered like Chiclets. I am always amazed how a ball can find this creek or some undesirable lie to destroy your efforts at par. I get a kick out of the yardage book that simply says to take an extra club.

Hole 16 | 417 yards, par 4
This is the most challenging hole on the course and has a slight dogleg to the right. Strantz added a bunker on the left side to toy with you as you try to place your drive to approach the green, making par a near impossibility, as John discovered when he dumped his drive there. Toss in a pond on the right of the green and, well, some in my group were ready to take up fishing over golf!

Hole 18 | 383 yards, par 4
The key with 18 is to power your drive, keeping it left of the pond which cuts across the right side. Your approach then is a slight 90-degree turn to the green and the clubhouse with plenty of spectators waiting for you to dump your shot in the pond, which wraps around three sides of the green. As you can imagine, there were a lot of great shots to the green, one by Bobby Hancock, and other less brilliant approaches, such as mine, which stayed dry but landed past the green on the left. As expected, our foursome played with such speed we had to wait a good 30 minutes for the second group, aka the “turtles,” to join us for a drink on the deck of the Caledonia Clubhouse.

Caledonia Golf and Fish Club

369 Caledonia Drive
Pawleys Island, SC 29585
tel 843 237 3675
fishclub.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Sep 18, 2019

Joint Venture between American Airlines, Qantas Gets Green Light

Three years after an initial rejection, in mid-July the U.S. Department of Transportation approved a joint venture between American Airlines and Qantas Airways.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 18, 2019

New Delhi Package Offers

This New Delhi property offers visitors four options to pass the time.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 18, 2019

Family Get Together in Malaysia

The Hotel Jen Johor Puteri Harbour has excellent offers for families who need to make some quality time on the road.

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 18, 2019

Get a Short Stay in Marrakech

Guests staying in Marrakech for two nights should take advantage of this offer.

Feature
Sep 18, 2019

Qantas Expands Business Lounge at Singapore Changi

Qantas reopened its Business Lounge inside Singapore’s Changi Airport after a renovation, expansion and addition of a new dining area.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

Daily
Sep 18, 2019

New Loft-Style Villas Coming to Four Seasons Resort Maldives

Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.