Dale Dunlop is “The Maritime Explorer,” and he’s traveled the world and written about it from his home base in St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia for more than three decades. South Carolina and its Lowcountry have been among Dale’s countless global visits, which have included golfing excursions to each of Mike Strantz’s masterpiece designs at Caledonia and True Blue.
Dale’s love for Strantz’s work prompted him to offer his own hole-by-hole insights he gleaned from his experience at Caledonia. Here, in the first of three parts, is Dale’s take on the first third of his Caledonia journey:
Hole 1 – “It runs down the right side of the entrance way and at just over 300 yards is a pretty benign start. I like that – who wants an eight on the opening hole?”
Hole 2 – “The course starts to bare its teeth on #2, which plays over 500 yards and requires three good shots in a row, a semi-miracle for me. This hole is a good example of many of the Myrtle Beach courses that are somewhat inland with the typical Carolina pines lining the fairway.”
Hole 3 – “This is where the course really starts to get interesting. This 156-yard par three is all carry with no room on the left and very little on the right. It’s a very large green so even if you make the carry, a three putt is not out of the question.”
Hole 4 – “No. 4 is a short par four dogleg right that plays longer than the yardage. The landing area to make the proper approach shot to a very small green is not that large. A wood off the tee is the sensible play.”
Hole 5 – “I really like this hole because it’s perfect for my left-hand fade, (actually slice more often than not). It’s the toughest hole on the front nine, but that’s because it’s a very difficult driving hole for right-handed golfers, which is the vast majority. There’s an elevated green that’s pretty small. Four is a good score here and five should be acceptable for most.”
Hole 6 – “The second par three and another beauty to look at. The biggest problem here is avoiding the branches of the trees that protect the green on both sides. It’s not very long, so a good high approach will take the branches out of play, but still it’s a visually intimidating tee shot.”