At Lady's Island Country Club near Beaufort, the fees are cheap but the golf isn't
BEAUFORT, S.C. - Lady's Island Country Club offers challenging golf at poor man's prices. Keep in mind the objective - varied golf on excellent fairways and greens - and overlook the rest.
Obviously, the course has concentrated on the bare essentials and left the rest a little scrubby. The cart paths are gravel and tree-root infested. A few tee boxes are lumpy.
But the golf. The golf course is as good as anything around, and $20 will buy a round after 2 p.m. At most, you'll pay $39.
What you can expect at Lady's Island
"It's long, tight and challenging, and it's in the best shape I've seen it in in 21 years," said Bobby Greene, a 6-handicap player.
Owner Jeff Fisher's objective is clear: "The best public access and layout in northern Beaufort County."
There's nothing to lose with this course. It starts off with a challenge and doles out more at an even tempo. No. 1 requires a long, straight drive to reach the dogleg left. Don't go too far or you'll wind up sandy.
The second shot isn't a picnic, either. A gnarly water hazard picks up nearly where the sand trap leaves off and escorts you almost to the green, except for that right-side bunker. There aren't hazards on the left, but there isn't much room, either.
The No. 5 par 3 will hurt you if you drift left over the large pond; you'll end up in one of two green-side bunkers. The No. 11 par 3 seems to be an optical illusion. Hitting the green on the 150-yard hole is harder than it looks.
Two of the four par 5s are long, straight tests of endurance. From the whites, No. 3 is 530 yards, and 17 is 548 yards. No. 8 is a short par 5, 450 yards, but it is tight as a drum from the second shot on. A deep ditch runs along the right, a pond is on the left and a bunker is nestled in the front left. If a ball runs off the right side, it's likely going to get wet or leave you clinging to the side of the hill for a pitch shot up to the two-tiered green.
No. 10 is a witch. It's a long tee shot between two bunkers to open up room for a long second shot to the elevated green that is well guarded by sand left and right. No. 16 has lots and lots of trees right, a marsh into the fairway from the right side and a pond on the left.
If you survive your tee shot, the second shot is a piece of cake. The green is not. It's one of the course's largest, and it runs off to the rear left and right middle.
Lady's Island Country Club: The verdict
It's the best deal around, and it's all about the golf. Service is adequate, but overall, you get much more than you pay for.
"It's straight-forward, but there's enough trouble to keep you thinking," said Jack Shaffer, a 15-handicapper. "A straight shot is what you need on this course."
With five tee boxes "it's as much golf course as you can handle," Fisher said. He's been trying to get the word out that "conditions are dramatically improved from 10 to 12 years ago." The course has good "bones," and now it's in great shape and priced at a steal.
To warm up, the club has a basic driving range with target greens and flags. The putting green is in good shape but pretty flat. The sand practice area is a little scraggly but helps you get the practice time in.
June 9, 2009