The Dream 18 of South Carolina: Hole no. 13 - The 18th hole at Caledonia Golf Club

Todd Welden, PGA


Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010 | 2:09 p.m.

To be a great golf course, you need a great finishing hole. It's the lasting impression golfers have as they leave their round, it's the hole they are looking forward to as they pull up. A great 18th often means a great golf experience.

Here at Caledonia Golf Club, we are fortunate to say the least. Our entire layout is widely acclaimed as one of the best, but our final hole is something truly special. We are honored to be included in "The Dream 18 of South Carolina," and hope you see us on many of the lists we've already been included on, and hope we continue with the accolades in future "Best of" lists as well.

On paper, the 18th is not so intimidating. It's a straightforward par 4, only plays 383 yards from the tips, and offers a wide fairway and large green. Oh, if we only played golf on paper.

As you stand on the tee box, you'll notice the water down the right. Lots of it. It should seem fairly obvious that you should avoid that water, but I can tell you that the water level rises at the end of each day from the golf balls that are plunked into it. Still, a fairway wood or long iron should suffice as a tee shot for most players. That's because the fairway ends and the water cuts in front, separating that fairway and the massive green.

The green itself is almost 55 yards long. You would think that means a generous landing area. And it does. Sort of. When a green is that long, it can mean up to a four club difference on your approach shot. So with the distance precision that is needed, the bunkers left and short and the water right and in front, there really is no room for forgiveness.

Oh, and did I mention the huge balcony we have on our clubhouse which sits just above the green? Yes, more often than not, you might have a large gallery watching your approach shot - and you may very well get applause as you walk up if not knock one close. And you may hear it if your shot finds the sand or worse, the water.

But the scenery, the challenge and the atmosphere make this one of the most exciting and fun holes, not just in South Carolina, but that you’d find anywhere. We've had thousands of golfers tell us the same thing. But just don't take our word - or theirs, we hope you get a chance to find out for yourself.