The course features 18 truly remarkable, memorable and playable holes. Players of all skill levels will find satisfaction in a round at Pine Forest. Depending on which of the five different sets of tees played, the course can either be the most difficult golf course in the Charleston area or it can literally be a “stroll in the park.”
Those that find driving the ball well to be a strength of their game, might want to consider the challenge of the blue or black tees. Although generously wide fairways await the golfer, water can come into play off the tee on at least eight holes and will test the mental courage of all golfers. Elevated greens can make a golfer think twice about club selection, which doesn’t happen often in the flat lands that lend the Lowcountry it’s trademark name. Speaking of greens, most are tiered which lends to a lot of creativity when playing the short game shots.
Although the course could boast having several different signature holes, the 12th, dubbed “Little Augusta” would be at the top of everyone’s list. The green complex is amazingly similar to the infamous par 3 twelfth hole at Augusta National. As a matter of fact, holes 11-13 is Pine Forest’s own version of “Amen Corner”. The 11th is a reachable par 5 and the 13th is a short par 3. The challenge on these holes is to successfully navigate the longest lake on the course, which fulfills the duty of Rae’s Creek in Augusta.
However, with wide rolling fairways that lower handicapped players will still find demanding and approach shots into elevated, undulating greens filled with challenging putts, it is little wonder that the entire golf course isn’t called “Little Augusta”! Higher handicappers can play from shorter tees and rely on superior course management skills to navigate their way through the course and find success. Make your tee time today and enjoy one of the best golf experiences in the Lowcountry.
- Golf Digest Magazine awarded the course four stars in its 2002 Places to Play edition and nicknamed it “The Hidden Gem of Charleston”.
- The four star ranking places Pine Forest in the top 5% of all non-private courses in the United States and making Pine Forest the highest rated non-resort course in the Charleston area.
The golf course is a Par 72 layout designed by Bob Spence, who is the lead designer for Davis Love III.
- The course features five sets of tees ranging from the extremely challenging championship tees (6,905 yards with a course rating of 73.9 and a slope of 138) to a more manageable gold tees (5,782 yards with a course rating of 68.7 and a slope of 121). Meanwhile, the ladies tees measure 4,990 yards with a course rating of 70.8 and a slope of 115.
- The tees, fairways and rough are all 328 Bermuda and the greens are Tifdwarf with an average stimpmeter reading of 8.
The Club at Pine Forest’s History
The current golf course was built on the grounds of Pine Forest Inn’s Hunt Club. The Pine Forest Inn was one of the first resorts in the United States dating back to 1891. The Inn also had a golf course as early as 1891 making it one of the first seven courses in the country.
Hole 1 – The Wake Up Call
The best drive is down the left side, which will avoid a pot bunker on the right. Water is approximately 300 yards off the tee so long hitters might consider a 3 wood. The second shot demands a mid iron into a large two tiered green with a blind lateral hazard on the left side.
Hole 2 – Waterloo
Out of bounds and a grass bunker guard the left side of the fairway. Consider a 3 wood off the tee. The second shot is into a small two tiered green. Hitting the correct tier is a must.
Hole 3 – Around the Bend
A reachable par 5 with a drive that should turn slightly with a gentle fade. This dogleg tempts the player to favor the right side of the hole. Do so with extreme caution. This small green is lined by a lake in front. A good chance for a birdie.
Hole 4 – The Monster
A long, difficult par 4 dogleg left. A drive short left leaves the player in a grass bunker with a high lip and without a view of the green. A good drive starts down the right side with a slight draw. The second shot demands a long iron into a slightly elevated green. Be aware of a small inlet in front of the green. A par is a great score here.
Hole 5 – Amen
A short par 3 hole with a large green. The easiest hole on the course and a welcome rest after the fury of the first four holes.
Hole 6 – Straight As An Arrow
A straight par 4 hole with a very wide fairway. Two tiers divide the green, which is the largest on the course. Depending on the pin placement and wind direction, club selection can vary by as much as three clubs.
Hole 7 – The Gravity Well
Another fairly straight par four hole with a very generous landing area. A lake borders the right side of the fairway and will catch a missed tee shot. The second shot requires a middle to short iron to a green surrounded by grass and sand bunkers. The hole tends to play slightly longer than the stated yardage, so play an extra club into the green.
Hole 8 – Swirling Winds
The tee shot requires a carry over water to a deceptively large green. The prudent tee shot favors the left side of the green because it slopes the ball back toward the middle of the green. Grass bunkers short and long guard the right side of the green.
Hole 9 – Tall Carolina Pines
Architect Bob Spence took a very low wet area and turned it into gentle rolling hills reminiscent of courses in the Pinehurst area.. The best tee shot is down the right side. The fairway bunker on the left is not in play except for long hitters. This par five can be reached in two shots. Players electing to lay up need to avoid a blind grass bunker on the right side of the fairway. The green is fairly deep providing a great birdie chance.
Hole 10 – Double Trouble
A great par four hole that demands a good tee shot in the fairway. A creek winds across this hole twice, once off the tee and again for the second shot. The left side of the hole is lined by the creek and a sand bunker. The tee shot must carry 190 yards off the tee in order to clear the first creek. The second shot usually requires a long to middle iron depending on the wind. The green is the flattest on the course and runs left to right away from the player.
Hole 11 – Narrow Neck
A par five reachable in two shots. Water lines the entire right side of the hole. The creek is blind off the tee so be careful because it slivers back to the fairway at 300 yards off the tee from the back tee creating a narrow landing area for players attempting to get home in two shots. The second shot must stay away from the right side to avoid the steep slope and creek guarding the right side of the green.
Hole 12 – Little Augusta
Only 360 yards, but demands exact precision for both the tee shot and approach. A well struck 3 wood should leave the player approximately 100 yards to the green. The green is modeled and shaped after number 12 at Augusta National, one of the most famous holes in golf. Guarded by a lake in front, this horseshoe shaped green measures only 9 yards in the center and 12 yards wide on the sides, making it one of the narrowest greens in the world. The second shot demands a high shot played to the correct portion of the green. Many good players will purposely hit the ball over the green and attempt to get up and down.
Hole 13 – The Chameleon
A medium length par 3 hole requiring the player to hit the correct tier of the green or face a severely sloping putt. Each pin position for this hole severely changes the character of the hole. In fact, the far right pin position on the hole may be the most difficult on the golf course.
Hole 14 – Right Turn
Another short par four that does not require a driver. An elongated bunker and water hazard guards the right side of the hole. The tee shot either needs to be a straight shot or a slight fade as out of bounds is to the left. Consider a three wood or long iron and aim at the 150 marker. For the second shot, a lake fronts the green. Be sure to take an extra club for the right hand pin position due to the severe bank fronting the green.
Hole 15 – Wastelands
A straight par four where there is plenty of room to hit the driver. A long waste bunker guards the left side of the hole. The second shot requires a mid to short iron to a green fronted by a grass bunker. The green is again two-tiered, so proper club selection is a must in order to get the ball close.
Hole 16 – Double Jeopardy
A true par five hole reachable only to the longest hitters. Again water lines the entire right side of the hole. The tee shot should be played up the left center of the fairway. A drive of 230 yards is required from the back tees in order to clear the deep grass bunker. There is more room to the left than it appears from the tee. Usually the player is safe hitting a long iron or three wood for their second shot. The lay-up, or lay-back shot, should favor the right side of the fairway to give the player the best angle at this multi-tiered, elevated green.
Hole 17 – The Terraces
This severely sloping green features three tiers and an elevation change of over ten feet. Club selection is key to hitting the correct level of the green.
Hole 18 – A Long Way Home
From an elevated tee box, the golfer can see the entire hole that doglegs slightly from left to right. A driver is a must on the tee shot due to the length of the hole. However, the entire left side of the fairway is out of bounds. The second shot usually requires a long iron or wood for most players. The green is generous and is guarded by a bunker and canal on the right. Four is a great score on this hole.