Ocean Ridge Plantation: Tiger’s Eye Course (Ocean Isle Beach, NC on 04/05/17)

After an incredible day at the Masters on Tuesday, my two golf friends and I made it to Florence, SC, where we stayed the night! We finished the rest of our drive over to the Myrtle Beach area on Wednesday to check out the Big Cats courses, which are part of Ocean Ridge Plantation. We ended up playing the four courses on the property during our stay: Tiger’s Eye, Panther’s Run, Lion’s Paw, and Leopard’s Chase. There is another course, Jaguar’s Lair, which I think technically is part of the resort. But, it isn’t open right now and I think it has had a troubled past!

The first course we checked out at Ocean Ridge Plantation was the Tiger’s Eye course. We had a mid morning tee time and waited behind a couple foursomes to go off the first tee. It was finally our turn and we crept along to begin. However, play started to move quicker on the 3rd hole! It took about 4.5 hours, but felt longer with so many groups out! I think what caused the problem is that tee times were too close to each other!

We played the amur tees, which are 70.9/135/6628. The other tee names are “saber tooth”, “bengal”, “caspian”, and “tigress”. Notice how the cat theme continues?! All in all, I thought Tiger’s Eye was a good first course to play at the resort. I’m still trying to find a swing early in the year and oddly, I never felt that 135 slope here! Normally I struggle if the slope gets over 130, but it seemed to play closer to 125 for me. I could see having some trouble putting on the large greens and hitting from uneven lies, but I never felt like the course was unfair. If you haven’t swung the club in a while, then Tiger’s Eye would be a solid first choice.

I’d call Tiger’s Eye a player friendly course on multiple levels. First, if you can play to the proper sections of the fairways then I’d go as far as saying the fairways are wide! Except for the tee shot on the 5th hole, I wasn’t concerned swinging my driver. And, that is rare! Even if you do lose a tee shot you may be able to find it and chip it back in play. Additionally, some of the hazards are set back a couple extra paces and there are bunkers on the low sides. That means the ball isn’t guaranteed to go in the water, even if it is heading that direction!

Tiger’s Eye is in a pretty natural setting with pine trees, water hazards, waste areas and just a few homes on the back nine. The course looked great, especially with some flowers blooming this time of year! The front nine is more spread out and has some great holes while I found the back nine to be more average, mostly because the holes are closer and some parallel each other. I found the stretch of back and forth par 4’s, from the 12th to the 14th, a bit boring. The closing holes, from the 15th through the 18th, are strong as they have water in play and would be good match play holes because so many scores can be made!

The par 3’s are the stand out holes at Tiger’s Eye! I wish their distance varied more, but they all are beautiful. The 2nd and the 11th are the best looking! The 2nd plays ever so slightly uphill into some mounding and is framed by pine trees in the background. The 11th, at 155 yards, has an island green! Its green is large enough, but I found it difficult to figure out exactly what the wind was doing.

The conditions at Tiger’s Eye were nice. It was wonderful to play from the overseeded, green fairways! I don’t mind dormant bermuda rough, which was starting to green up here but brown fairways make me sad. Off the fairways, there were some thin patches but very playable. The greens were full, just a touch on the slow side.

For those who may not read my other posts about Ocean’s Ridge, Tiger’s Eye was my second favorite course here. The only thing I’d tweak is adding some more waste areas! Tim Cate, who I hadn’t heard of before, designed the course. Tim is a regional designer and has done other work at the resort and in other areas of Myrtle Beach. From what I saw here, he designed a good course! And, I’m not the only one who thinks that as Tiger’s Eye typically shows up in the listings of the top public courses in North Carolina!

#1 (350 yard par 4):

#2 (165 yard par 3):

#3 (526 yard par 5):

#4 (406 yard par 4):

#5 (380 yard par 4):

#6 (170 yard par 3):

#7 (547 yard par 5):

#8 (375 yard par 4):

#9 (394 yard par 4):

#10 (345 yard par 4):

#11 (155 yard par 3):

#12 (416 yard par 4):

#13 (365 yard par 4):

#14 (370 yard par 4):

#15 (507 yard par 5):

#16 (421 yard par 4):

#17 (181 yard par 3):

#18 (555 yard par 5):

 

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