I stopped by Starbucks for a coffee and something to eat before heading over to Cahoon Plantation. I was going to use my VSGA card which allows me to pay the $29 cart fee after 11am but I found a time on Golfnow for $28 at 12:30pm so I booked that one instead. Part of the fun on golf trips is bargain hunting for tee times and I found a good one here. The course normally goes for $62 before 11am and $50 after so I saved some money booking this one! I enjoy trying to figure out the best way to match up the tee times so that I spend the least possible amount of money. I considered playing it on Sunday afternoon, but there was supposed to be an event then so I snatched up my $28 time as soon as I knew that I heading to the area. I got there early but didn’t get out right away because it was plenty busy. I think I caught the tail end of all the groups going out for the day as the parking lot was filled and the clubhouse was packed with people. I chipped and putted for about 45 minutes which I think might have helped my game a little compared to my morning round.
From my research about the course I could not decide if I wanted to be excited to play it or not. Everything indicated that the course was in an average location but that it was in great shape. Sure enough, when I got there I found that the clubhouse is smack dab in the middle of a developing residential area. There is plenty of new construction going up all around the course and many of the holes are spoiled by homes. The course even worked its way near a couple businesses on the back nine. I found the routing of the holes about as uninteresting as it gets. The developer seemingly cleared a bunch of land and built homes around a course. In that respect the course reminded me of one of the courses at Hawk’s Prairie in Washington state that I played in 2012. Because of the setting I found my mind wandering at different points throughout the round. Plus, there is a set of power lines that run through the course and detract from the aesthetics.
I played the Blue tees at 71.4/130/6456 and found that the course was pretty player friendly. One thing I would have liked to see is a combo set of tees as there is a big jump back to the Black tees which play 74.5/137/7141. From the Blue tees there are quite a few short holes which gave me a chance to put together a decent score. Because the course was open with parallel holes I got away with some bad swings and could recover. Don’t get me wrong, there are are a handful of holes on the course that could cause a disaster on the scorecard for almost anyone but it would be a course with an upscale feel that I would be comfortable playing with a friend who doesn’t play much. I think the occasional golfer knows that he is going to make some big numbers each round but there are plenty of friendly features and short enough holes where he or she could still make some good scores to be encouraged. The course had the most grass bunkers of any course that I have ever played and it is a feature that I enjoy. I like that there is still a penalty for missing the green but I don’t have to worry about trying to figure out the consistency of the sand at a new course or dealing with a flooded bunker after all the rain. The course has some elevated greens and mounding on the holes which give it an open and inviting feel when playing but added a visual challenge. Some of the more memorable holes (and I use that description loosely here) had water hazards in play and I found the back nine more challenging.
The 1st hole is a 371 yard par 4 that right away sets the tone for the day. It runs parallel to the 9th and has an elevated green and a generous fairway. The 3rd has another elevated green before the 4th is a fun par 3 that plays 160 yards. There is water right and a bailout area left but missing left leaves a tough chip. The 6th is a 294 yard par 4 that has a split fairway and probably could be driven from the tee under the right conditions. The 7th is a 503 yard par 5 with some water in play but it a gives a chance for someone to go for the green in two. The 10th is a solid par 3 across some water that would only come into play after a very poor shot before the 11th, a 356 yard par 4, played as one of the tougher holes of the day for me. While the hole isn’t long it played into a stiff wind and I actually had a long iron into the green after a decent tee shot because the ball was going nowhere. The green has water short of it so I needed to catch my approach solid. The 15th is a short par 3 that plays to a green that slopes from right to left. I made a bogey hitting a decent tee shot because I had trouble putting on the sloping green. The 18th is a 534 yard par 5 that is the best hole on the course. The hole is a double dogleg with water on both sides of the fairway but someone would have to hit it far offline to find that water. The water of concern is short of the green, but I managed a par on it and didn’t crisply hit every shot.
The course was very nicely conditioned considering all of the rain. The elevated greens drained well and had some speed to them. I enjoyed putting on the greens and found myself confident that I could make a putt if I put a good stoke on it. The fairways were nice, but had some divots so it looks like the course gets a lot of play. The tees were flat and in nice shape. I ended up enjoying my afternoon as I got paired up with someone who played a similar game so that encouraged me to hit some better shots. I don’t see anything special about the course, but if someone is on vacation and wants to play a nicely conditioned course then I would say that this one is a good fit, especially for $28.