The course’s fairways offer ample room and the mounding helps keep balls out of the woods, but players that spray drives into the abundant pine trees will have trouble. Burning Ridge’s greens are all elevated and well-bunkered, making it very difficult to get on in regulation from the trees.
“You definitely want to hit the ball in the fairway,” Burning Ridge’s head pro, Derek Aptt, said. “If you get in the trees, you are going to have a hard time making par.”
Players that manage the course, playing percentage golf, are rewarded.
The greens at Burning Ridge are sneaky fast and require careful reading because subtle undulation rules the day.
Above all, Burning Ridge is a fun course to play. A pair of par 5s – No. 7 and No. 15 – play less than 485 yards from the tips so the opportunity for an eagle is there. The second shot on 15 can be a dicey because water runs in front of the green, but if you hit the fairway off the tee, it’s worth a charge.
Burning Ridge opens and closes with par 5s, and both holes are generally regarded as among the layout’s toughest holes. The first hole is a true three-shotter at 571 yards, and it’s ranked as the course’s toughest, according to the scorecard. The 18th, playing 529 yards, is slightly more accessible for low-handicappers, but it’s a three-shot hole.
The par 3s at Burning Ridge offer some of the facility’s most scenic holes. The back nine par 3s – No. 12 and No. 17 – have greens surrounded on three sides by water, and Aptt regards the 12th, which plays 247 yards from the tips and 200 yards from the white tees, as the course’s most difficult hole.
The front nine par 3s are more docile, particularly the 185-yard second hole that gives players a breather after the demanding first hole.
As a group, the par 4s require precision off the tee, particularly the 355-yard, fourth hole that has sand on the left and water on the right.
Keep this in mind: the front nine at Burning Ridge Golf Club is the easier side. The front-side is approximately 240 yards shorter than then back, a number that increases when No. 1, the course’s longest hole by more than 40 yards, is factored out.
“If you’ve never given it a try, come on out,” Aptt said of the course. “It’s one of the best courses on the beach for the value.”
The Verdict: Aptt’s assessment of Burning Ridge Golf Club is accurate. The course is blessed with an outstanding location on Highway 501, and it delivers good golf, outstanding conditions and a staff that goes out of its way to make everyone feel welcome. The renovation project in 2005 reinvigorated the facility and golfers continue to reap the benefits.