We imagined that golf season was winding down in Buffalo-Niagara, so our attention momentarily turned to domes, trips and television. However, Mother Nature in the guise of El Ninyo disagreed, so we golfed through December 23rd, took a break, and returned to the course in January. To keep the appetite whetted, I’m going to offer up a new series on eclectic eighteens across the USA. The only thread tying them together is my having played them. That, and the fact that all of the courses are worthwhile. You’ll never play them all in one sweep, as I once did, but when you find yourself in these regions, know that these courses are worth your money and your best game.
Over the border from North Carolina, not far from Charlotte, is the community of Tega Cay. It’s a rolling area above Lake Wylie and home to 27 holes of golf. Tega Cayis a planed community, with housing at the forefront. The golf course winds through the neighborhoods, although not in a manner so outlandish as to cause frustration. There are many downhill tee balls, offering those moments of elation as the orb soars before descending earthward.
The architect should be given credit for finding a healthy number of sites for green pads. Typically located on elevated flats, the putting surfaces are not easy to get to, nor are they impossible to access. In other words, you hae to golf your ball. Fairways are wide enough to allow for a bit of loose driving, although a few of them meander in such a way as to limit the options from the tee. I’m speaking of the 90-degree dogleg variety, or the serpentine trace with sand on one side and water on the other.
Tega Cay is not a bruiser of a course. Assuming you have a decent day of driving, you’ll find yourself within range of the majority of greens with a mid-iron or less. Par fives allow for one foozle, so again, not back-breakers. Play to the high side of the fairways and greens, and you will be rewarded. Incidentally, there is a third nine, the Cove, which serves as a stand-alone nine. It does not get rotated in with the other two for 18-hole play.
Until today, I’d never played a course that had been completely decimated by a hurricane. Wild Dunes and much of Charleston area were decimated by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The Harbor course was eviscerated, and what there is today is a complete rebuild. Holes 5-12 were reconstructed by the late Mike Strantz, but they don’t bear the signature flair that the artist developed later for his own work.