Ocean Ridge Plantation: Panther’s Run Course (Ocean Isle Beach, NC on 04/06/17)

After a stormy night we were up early for a morning tee time on the Panther’s Run Course! When we looked at the forecast prior to our arrival, this morning’s round looked like it might be a washout. I guess storms moved out quicker than expected so we got to play! But, it was super squishy. The sky was gray when we started, but the wind picked up and the sun started shining on the back nine! Wow it was windy, just look at some of the pins!

Panther’s Run is the second course that opened at Ocean Ridge Plantation and the first of three at the resort, designed solely by Tim Cate. Because of the tough conditions we played from the white tees, which are 69.6/124/6267. I didn’t get a great feel on how playable the course is because of the conditions. The wind ate me up on the front and then I somehow found lightning in a bottle and rattled off a bogey free 33 on the back nine. That was my scoring highlight of the trip! It is pretty rare that I flight shots in the wind, but I managed to pull it off.

Compared to the other courses at Ocean Ridge, I found there to be less water and fewer greenside bunkers on Panther’s Run, which was nice. Still though, plenty of sand. I noticed a couple grass bunkers, which I always like for multiple reasons. One of which, is that they are easier to play from than sand bunkers! I also found there to be plenty of space off the tee and only lost one tee shot, on one of the tighter driving holes. The toughest part of the course might be positioning the tee shots to allow a clear approach to the greens. There are a couple quirky doglegs that might be tough for the average golfer, especially on the approach if you don’t have a comfortable angle.

I’d call Panther’s Run a community course with some good holes, but I didn’t find the course all that memorable. Most of the holes have homes close by which seemed to overshadow the course design. If the course was in a more natural area, I think would have been a little higher on it!

The 2nd and 4th are the best holes on the front nine, if you ask me! The 2nd is a shorter par 3 that plays to an angled green, protected by water. The green angles from front left to back right, with the hazard coming into play if you don’t get just the perfect distance and direction! The 4th is a mid-length par 4 that doglegs left. If you hit the ball straight, you run the risk of going through the fairway and into a bunker. From there you’ll have to carry some water to get to the green. Depending  on the tees you play, you might consider laying up with a draw.

I liked the back nine a little better. For whatever reason, it seemed to flow better from one hole to the next. The 15th, at 357 yards has to be one of the signature holes on the Panther’s Run course. From the tee, the green is straight ahead but water runs all down the right side and therefore will scare tee shots left, towards some mounding. The green is tough to get at, at least with a mid iron, because it angles best for a draw but the water had me trying to fade one in there!

The 17th was another of my favorites on the back nine. It is a 162 yard par 3 with a green in a natural area, flanked by hazards right and left. There aren’t any bunkers so it allows you to hit whatever shot you want! I flighted an iron down and chased it back to the pin, just the way I dreamed it up.

The conditions on Panther’s Run were fairly average, and I realize that we didn’t see the course on its best maintenance day after all the rain! The bunkers were mini hazards and our group lost three or four balls in them throughout the round. I wish course designers would take torrential rain into consideration by using fewer bunkers! Alright, I’m off my soap box! I noticed a few different grasses in the fairways and the greens had some different grasses as well. Just based on my one time playing here, it seemed Panther’s Run got less maintenance love than the other courses.

Panther’s Run was a fairly playable course, but I found it to be a notch below Tiger’s Eye and Leopard’s Chase, which were my favorites at Ocean Ridge Plantation.

#1 (362 yard par 4):

#2 (150 yard par 3):

#3 (371 yard par 4):

#4 (378 yard par 4):

#5 (482 yard par 5):

#6 (171 yard par 3):

#7 (357 yard par 4):

#8 (353 yard par 4):

#9 (518 yard par 5):

#10 (361 yard par 4):

#11 (143 yard par 3):

#12 (341 yard par 4):

#13 (493 yard par 5):

#14 (396 yard par 4):

#15 (357 yard par 4):

#16 (492 yard par 5):

#17 (162 yard par 3):

#18 (380 yard par 4):


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