Willbrook Plantation: Underrated. Overlooked. Underappreciated.

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Course Spotlight: Willbrook Plantation

Underrated. Overlooked. Underappreciated. You choose the word but they all apply to Willbrook Plantation Golf Club, one of the Waccamaw Golf Trail’s quiet stars.

Twelve courses make up the WGT, including four that have been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest, but Willbrook is a layout deserving of your attention.

Architect Dan Maples carved a memorable design through a stunning tract of Lowcountry land that was once home to a thriving rice plantation. The landscape at Willbrook is defined by sprawling live oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and alligators, everyone’s favorite prehistoric reptile, are everywhere.

When your attention turns to golf, the layout is equally compelling. Maples managed to design a course with water on 15 of 18 holes that is playable throughout.

The water, while always lurking, isn’t overbearing as forced carries of substance are at a minimum. With that being said, you better arrive on the first tee ready to play.

A 400-yard par 4 (white tees), the opening hole at Willbrook is the course’s toughest. The preferred line requires a drive up the left side but that brings water into play. Drives up the right side, regardless of length, will often leave players blocked on the approach by trees.

Survive No. 1 and you may be on your way to posting a good score, and Maples provides the opportunity to finish with a flourish.

Willbrook’s final two holes (the par-3 17th, followed by a memorable 515-yard par 5) are two of the easier holes on the back nine, so finishing with a couple pars (or, dare I say, better) isn’t out of the question.

Willbrook also pays homage to the property’s rich history, so take time to read the signs posted periodically that chronicle the land’s past. It’s another facet of a day your group will enjoy.

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