Golf Course Review: Grip It and Rip It at Wicked Stick

June 29, 2013

The front nine gives players a taste of links style golf. The holes are wide open, providing ample room off the tee. Players typically have a shot at the green even after an errant drive and anyone playing from the proper set of tees should have manageable approaches.

Daly and Clyde Johnston, who did the heavy architectural lifting, afford players the opportunity to get off to a good start. The first two holes at Wicked Stick are short – 336 and 340 yards from the tips – and present genuine birdie opportunities before the layout stiffens.

The par 4, sixth hole, with out-of-bounds on the left and water on the right is the course’s hardest. On a layout full of wide fairways, No. 6 is relatively narrow and there is no place to miss. That’s followed by the gargantuan (from the tips) 265-yard, par 3 seventh hole. The length of the hole was famously decided upon when Daly clubbed a three iron from the spot of the current tee box to the middle of the green while the course was under construction.

Wicked Stick’s back nine has a parkland feel to it, with more trees lining (but not crowding) the fairways. The home nine is highlighted by its two par 5s.

The 611-yard, 11th hole is the fifth longest along the Grand Strand, and one players don’t forget. The 18th is a 528-yard par 5 that presents risk-reward choices and is a great way to finish a round. 

With its open layout, Wicked Stick is an ideal place to begin a Myrtle Beach golf trip, allowing players a chance to get their game tuned up and maintain their confidence.

Another of the course’s underrated perks is its location. Wicked Stick is built just off of Highway 17 Bypass, so it’s easily accessible and relatively close to the Atlantic Ocean, insuring a nice breeze.

Wicked Stick, now under the management of Jack Himmelsbach, receives its greatest endorsement from repeat players, who are the heart of the course’s business.

“We have about 15,000 players that come back ever year,” head pro John Thomas said.

The Verdict: Wicked Stick is a playable design that pleases the game’s most important constituency – players. If a good time, good service and good conditions appeal to you, so will Wicked Stick.

Have you played John Daly's Wicked Stick Golf Club?

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