Golf Course Review: Leopard’s Chase Leaves Golfers Purring

June 22, 2013

The back nine, with its three par 5s, is full risk-reward opportunities and offers an outstanding finish. Water is visible on eight of nine holes, but it isn’t as impactful. Instead the environmentally sensitive areas and waste bunkers are the more dangerous hazards.

The par 5 11th is a prime risk-reward example. An environmentally sensitive area dissects the fairway twice, the first time 275 yards from the white tees, setting up a decision on the second shot. From the end of the fairway, the green is approximately 200 yards out but it requires a carry over 70 yards of wetlands. The alternative is to pull out a wedge and layup between 125-150 yards from the hole.

To further complicate matters, players that reach the tip of the fairway, have to contend with two bunkers fronting the left side of the green.

Number 14 is another reachable par 5, and one of the course’s best holes, but 17 is a monster (585 yards from the tips) that is unreachable in two.

A 439-yard par 4, No. 18 is Leopard’s Chase at its best. A waste bunker on the right, a beach bunker on the left and a water fall gliding over the trademark coquina boulders conspire to create one of the Grand Strand’s most memorable finishing holes.

Leopard’s Chase is the toughest of the four courses at Ocean Ridge, but it’s a challenge golfer’s embrace. The fairways aren’t narrow, but between water, waste bunkers and trees, drives that stray too far offline, are punished.

“It’s a challenge, but you want to come back and play again,” Bill Long, Ocean Ridge’s director of marketing, said. “You come here and you are going to see things you don’t see at other courses.”

The Verdict: Leopard’s Chase is a great course and certainly among the best in the area. It’s a layout you will want to play repeatedly. If that’s not enough, Leopard’s Chase offers tremendous value given its place in the market. It’s a Big Cat that always leaves golfers purring.

Have you played it? Share YOUR review on the Leopard's Chase page!