But we put Tidewater’s long-time head pro, Chris Cooper, on the spot.
After wrestling with his answer, Cooper provided his list of the course’s three best holes.
– The par 3 third hole offers golfers their first taste of Tidewater’s stunning visuals. No. 3 plays just 160 yards from the tips, but its challenge isn’t measured in distance. A long, three-tiered green is framed on the left side by Cherry Grove Inlet and fronted by some of the course’s meanest bunkers. Throw in the wind coming off the nearby Atlantic and the challenge is considerable.
“You don’t want to hit it in bunkers short of the green,” Cooper said. “They are huge. So hit enough club to get over them. Once you are on the green, putting is the challenge. If you aren’t on proper level there is probably 3 to 4 feet of elevation. A two–putt par is a great score. “
– The dogleg left fourth hole is prettier than it is challenging, and that’ saying something. Cherry Grove Inlet runs the length of the left side of the hole and the fairway slopes from right to left, funneling balls toward the water. While a waste bunker will catch shots on the ground, hitting an approach from the sand is daunting.
The preferred play is to drive the ball in the right side of the fairway, leaving a downhill approach to heavily bunkered green with a mid-iron (the hole plays 430 from the tips, 400 from white tees).
“People don’t always feel the wind,” Cooper said. “Make sure you hit enough club.”
– The par 3, 12th hole bookends the third, playing the opposite direction along the Inlet. The 12th is the more challenging of the two holes at 189 yards from the tips (145 from the whites), and it requires players to carry water to reach the peninsula green.
“The left side of the green gets a lot of action,” Cooper said of the strategy employed by most players to mitigate the risk posed by the water. “Four is a good score there.”
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