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Golf at the Golf Club of South Carolina at Crickentree

Bob Gillespie Bob Gillespie
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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Maybe it's because for the first decade of its existence, the Golf Club of South Carolina at Crickentree was a members-only course. Though the Blythewood-area club has been open to the public for more than a dozen years, that image remains - and sometimes, that keeps players away.

That Crickentree is among the most difficult courses in the Midlands, and almost certainly the toughest one open to the public is a given. Built by architect Ken Killian during Columbia's late-1980s golf boom amid pine forests and over rolling terrain, the layout demands length, accuracy and finesse playing into its fast and often severe hybrid-Bermuda greens.

On a recent visit, those greens (converted years ago from the original bent grass) showed a bit of bumpiness from a hard winter. Amundson said the club is now rolling the surfaces, taking out the odd "hops" but leaving them scary-slick. The mostly narrow, twisting fairways make getting there an adventure, too.

The toughest holes are the par-4 fifth, its fairway sloping left toward water and a green guarded by mounds, and the par-4 10th, a tight dogleg-right with a stream running along right side and across the fairway at several points ending at a small, well-bunkered green. The most intimidating hole might be the par-3 17th, with its tee-to-green water carry.

Better players enjoy Crickentree for its challenges, though from the white tees (a shade over 6,000 yards; the course can play a man-sized 7,002 from the back), the course is reasonable for mid-level players, though still difficult.

Bob Gillespie
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.