On this edition of Tee It Up Grand Strand we discuss playing strategy for playing a golf course that has water on 16 of its 18 holes. Farmstead Golf Links is a Willard Byrd and David Johnston design that is set on 480 acres, the links-style layout follows the land’s natural contours. Fairways are framed by native grasses and pristine lakes, providing many memorable visuals and a course that allows golfers to use their creativity. To play well here it takes some imagination and patience on some holes and aggressiveness and guts on other holes. Farmstead provides golfers with just about everything they could want in a round of golf.The highlight and talk of Farmstead is always the par 6 18th hole because of its uniqueness and length, but there are many other really good and challenging holes around the course. The challenge starts right out of the gate with the first three holes all falling in the top 10 handicap holes on the course. The first hole is a mid-length par four with a waste bunker that runs the entire right hand side of the fairway. A solid tee shot down the left side is required and also provides a good angle into the green. If golfers can start with a par they should consider themselves off to a really good start.
At 392 yards from the white tees, the 2nd hole is the No.1 handicap hole on the course. Golfers tee off out of a shoot with water along the right side to a dog-leg right fairway. Once reaching the fairway the second shot requires hitting over a stream about 100 yards short of the green which is small and protected front left by sand traps. It takes two really good golf shots to get to this green in regulation.
Up next is the par 3 third hole that plays at 149 from the white tees. It is not the yardage that makes this whole tough, but the shape of the green and the position of the green side traps that give it its teeth. The green is long and runs back to the left from the tee. The bunkers are along the front left of the putting surface making it an intimidating target if the pin is middle or back. The water short and left does not really come into play but visually it another thing for golfers to look at from the tee box.
As you can see the last hole on the course gets most of the attention and is talked about, but golfers better be ready to play the minute they step on the the first tee at Farmstead Golf Links or the scorecard will not look so good right out of the gate. It does get the golfers thinking and aware of the quality test of golf that is before them.