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Monday, June 20, 2011

Leopard's Chase Matures

Leopard's Chase Golf Club: 5 Things You Need to Know

Leopards Chase 047.jpg
Tim Cate used bunkering to help create dramatic visuals at Leopard's Chase.
Leopard’s Chase Golf Club was the fourth Big Cat to join the pride at Ocean Ridge Plantation, but it’s first in the hearts and minds of many Grand Strand golfers.

The layout has been regarded among the area’s best since its 2007 opening, and the course’s popularity continues to rise. Before you challenge Ocean Ridge’s most fearsome cat, here are five things you need to know.

If You Like The First 3 …: Tim Cate co-designed Lion’s Paw, and he was the solo architect of Panther’s Run and Tiger’s Eye before crafting Leopard’s Chase, regarded by many as the facility’s best course. Leopard’s Chase is Cate at his best – yawning waste bunkers, dramatic visuals and a stern, but fair test of golf. Cate’s name isn’t well known outside of the Carolinas, but he is an outstanding architect and Leopard’s Chase is a jewel.

Best of the Best:
Despite its youth, Leopard’s Chase has piled up honors. The course was ranked among the top 10 new courses in America, upon its opening, by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. It’s also among the top 5 courses in North Carolina by Golfweek, and Golf World readers ranked Leopard’s Chase among the top 50 public courses in the nation.

This Cat Bites:
Visually Leopard’s Chase is a memorable layout, but players can’t get too caught up in its beauty. It’s the most difficult course at Ocean Ridge and places great value on shot placement.

Those Aren’t Rocks!:
One of Cate’s signature design traits is the use of locally harvested coquina boulders to enhance the course’s visual appeal and create contrast. The ancient boulders are filled with fossils, and sharks and mastodon teeth, providing a glance at the animals that used to roam the grounds.

Drive For Dough:
The L93 bentgrass greens are large and quick, but the driver holds the key to success at Leopard’s Chase. The ability to put the ball in the fairway is the most vital component of a successful round. Leopard’s Chase is longer than its counterparts and while the fairways are sufficiently wide, miss them at your own peril. Hit it straight and enjoy one of the Grand Strand’s best courses.

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