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Wing Wing Plantation - Avocet Course, Conway SC

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Conway, South Carolina 29526



Website: www.mbga.com/members/courses/wildwingavocet.htm

Email: wildwing@sccoast.net


This is definitely the best of the four courses at this facility with consistently some of the best greens in town. It features multiple tees, elevated tees, wide landing areas, contoured fairways, double fairways, grass bunkers, moderate amount of sand, strategically placed water, fast, elevated and even a double green serving two holes. In 1994 Golf Digest named it as one of "The Top 10 Best New Resort Courses in America," and in 1997 they named the 14th hole there as one of "The Best 18 Holes You Can Play."

Wild Wing Plantation encompasses 1,050 acres of natural beauty and splendor rarely found. A feeling of serenity exists where nature is seemingly undisturbed by the masterfully sculpted fairways which gently blend with the trees, waterways, and wildlife. This reserve is dedicated to the game of golf, enabling each course to have its own distinct personality.
The vision for Wild Wing Plantation was to produce a multi-course facility that would provide challenging golf in a unique setting; a setting which would appeal to all golfers allowing them to play to, and within, their individual skill levels.

Wild Wing Plantation is a 72-hole golf resort located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and is owned by Hyakumata & Co., Ltd., headquartered in Osaka, Japan. Myrtle Beach is known as the "Seaside Golf Capital of the World." Golfers have their choice of four distinctly different courses with two very important common denominators, quality fairway surfaces and outstanding PennLinks Bent Grass Greens. Golf course architects, Willard Byrd, the team of Larry Nelson and Jeff Brauer, and Rees Jones have all focused their talents to provide Wild Wing guests with aesthetically pleasing variety and challenge.

The 33,000 sq. ft. clubhouse has exceptional dining, a warm ambience and a golf shop revered as having the best selection of apparel and equipment in the area. Wild Wing commits to continue in presenting an unparalleled overall experience with a friendly and professional staff, and with the utmost quality customer services.

Wild Wing Plantation is an experience best appreciated in the company of good friends, although available to the public, there is a spirit of belonging. This camaraderie coupled with a feeling of being far away from the crowds and congestion of civilization, will beckon the golfer to return...over and over again. Come experience the serene setting and great golf of Wild Wing Plantation.

Wild Wing's Avocet
Course cashes in on
popularity, uniqueness
By Shane Sharp, Senior Editor

CONWAY, S.C. (May 7, 2003) -- The third time was indeed a charm at Wild Wing Plantation. The crown jewel of this 72-hole facility - the Avocet Course - was the third to open here in 1993. The Larry Nelson, Jeff Brauer designed layout is first on most golfer's lists, however, when it comes to booking a tee time.

"Avocet is our premier course and that is simply based on popularity," says general manager Tim Tilma. "Falcon has the big name designer in Rees Jones and anyone who plays regularly at the beach is familiar with Willard Byrd, who designed the Hummingbird and Wood Stork. But Avocet is the favorite among players because of its uniqueness."

• Falcon Course
• Wood Stork Course
• More course reviews
• Myrtle Beach golf features
• Feature: Fazio and Dye go head to head
at Barefoot Resortreviews

That uniqueness is evident right out of the gate. The opening hole, a 402-yard par-4, sports grass depressions in lieu of sand bunkers around the green. The par-4 sixth hole features a three-tiered, double green shared with the par-3 17th. The 362-yard ninth - considered by many to be the signature hole - has a double fairway bisected by a line of grass and sand pot bunkers.
"It may not be traditional but it is memorable and playable," Tilma says. "It is easier than the Falcon and more dramatic in the looks you get. Let's face it, the general golfing public likes big fairways and big greens."

Actually, Nelson and Brauer give a somewhat warped yet under appreciated nod to the game's architectural origins with their non-conventional design approach. For example, the large depression on the front left part of the green on the aforementioned ninth is a recreation of the "Valley of Sin" on the 18th green at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. John Daly sank a 65-foot putt from this famous gully to force a playoff with Costantina Rocca at the 1995 British Open.

The architectural allusions continue through the back nine: the par-3 12th hole is a mirror image of Scotland's famous and often replicated Redan style hole. The 453-yard par-4 18th, dubbed Cape on course guide, was modeled after the famed C.B. Macdonald cape hole at Mid-Ocean in Bermuda. The hole sweeps left with water down the entire left side. It tempts players to cut off as much of the hole as they dare in order to shorten what is easily the most difficult approach shot on the course.

"Strategically, it is one of the better holes on the course," Tilma says.

Tilma has been with Wild Wing from the beginning and had the good fortune to pick the brains of the various course designers represented on site as they developed their routing plans and layouts. He says that despite Avocet's historical underpinnings, Nelson and Brauer's goal was to create a playable, enjoyable course that would garner repeat play.

"Larry Nelson said that you could play the course with a putter," Tilma says. "This is basically true, with the exception of a few holes."

One of those being the 308-yard par-4 14th. This reachable two-shotter has most golfers thinking driver and not putter. From the Magenta and White tees, the hole plays 283 and 265 yards, respectively (and temptingly). Taking the gamble means ripping your tee shot over water and a series of pot bunkers to a green bisected by a large ridge running front to back.

"If you can carry 210 yards of water off the tee it's an easy decision," Tilma quips. "The wind is also a factor on how you play that hole. On certain days, the thought of going for it barely enters your mind. On other days it is hard to get the thought out of your mind."

Avocet's playable, thought-provoking design has made it one of the most popular rounds in the Grand Strand. But Wild Wing owes much of its overall success to two non-architectural rudiments: course conditions and liberal replay policies.

Conditions: 3
Service: 4
Value: 3
Design: 3
Overall Score: 3.25

"It has been a goal of our owner to provide consistent conditions and service, even during downtimes," Tilma says. "We know our main product is the golf and we invest in that no matter what the economy is like and no matter what season it is."
Wild Wing was one of the first Myrtle Beach golf properties to use bentgrass on its greens. Tilma says there are no plans to abandon the firm, true-rolling surfaces in favor of one the popular ultra dwarf Bermuda strands that are sweeping the beach.

"We have convinced our owner that our greens set up apart," he says. "The reason we can pull it off is no secret - we have four courses. We can rotate play around as needed to protect the greens and perform maintenance."

Golfers who prefer 36 holes a day - and you know who you are - relish Wild Wing's pre-booked replays. Not only can you play the course of your choice in the afternoon at a reduced rate, but the tee time is guaranteed up front. If you have a little time to kill between rounds, Wild Wing houses a state-of-the-art practice area including a 50,000-square foot putting green and a 30-acre driving range.

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