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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wild Wing Avocet Shines In The Crowded Myrtle Beach Golf Market


Avocet Course at Wild Wing Plantation

The Avocet, designed as a signature course by the team of Jeff Brauer and Larry Nelson, the Avocet presents creative contouring, elevated tees and greens, and an all around uniqueness that cannot be matched.

The opening hole, a 402-yard par-4, sports grass depressions in lieu of sand bunkers around the green. The par-4 sixth hole features a three-tiered, double green shared with the par-3 17th. The 362-yard ninth, considered by many to be the signature hole, has a double fairway bisected by a line of grass and sand pot bunkers.

Here, each hole is memorable for it's enjoyment and playability and golfers come back to this favorite year and after year.

The South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association name The Advocet South Carolina's 2002-2003 Golf Course of the Year.

Wild Wing's Avocet Course cashes in on popularity, uniqueness

CONWAY, S.C. (May 7, 2003) -- The third time was indeed a charm at Wild Wing Plantation. The crown jewel of this 72-hole facility - the Avocet Course - was the third to open here in 1993. The Larry Nelson, Jeff Brauer designed layout is first on most golfer's lists, however, when it comes to booking a tee time.

"Avocet is our premier course and that is simply based on popularity," says general manager Tim Tilma. "Falcon has the big name designer in Rees Jones and anyone who plays regularly at the beach is familiar with Willard Byrd, who designed the Hummingbird and Wood Stork. But Avocet is the favorite among players because of its uniqueness."

That uniqueness is evident right out of the gate. The opening hole, a 402-yard par-4, sports grass depressions in lieu of sand bunkers around the green. The par-4 sixth hole features a three-tiered, double green shared with the par-3 17th. The 362-yard ninth - considered by many to be the signature hole - has a double fairway bisected by a line of grass and sand pot bunkers.

"It may not be traditional but it is memorable and playable," Tilma says. "It is easier than the Falcon and more dramatic in the looks you get. Let's face it, the general golfing public likes big fairways and big greens."
Actually, Nelson and Brauer give a somewhat warped yet under appreciated nod to the game's architectural origins with their non-conventional design approach. For example, the large depression on the front left part of the green on the aforementioned ninth is a recreation of the "Valley of Sin" on the 18th green.

No. 18 at the Avocet CourseThe architectural allusions continue through the back nine: the par-3 12th hole is a mirror image of Scotland's famous and often replicated Redan style hole. The 453-yard par-4 18th, dubbed Cape on course guide, was modeled after the famed C.B. Macdonald cape hole at Mid-Ocean in Bermuda. The hole sweeps left with water down the entire left side. It tempts players to cut off as much of the hole as they dare in order to shorten what is easily the most difficult approach shot on the course.

"Strategically, it is one of the better holes on the course," Tilma says.
Tilma has been with Wild Wing from the beginning and had the good fortune to pick the brains of the various course designers represented on site as they developed their routing plans and layouts. He says that despite Avocet's historical underpinnings, Nelson and Brauer's goal was to create a playable, enjoyable course that would garner repeat play.

"Larry Nelson said that you could play the course with a putter," Tilma says. "This is basically true, with the exception of a few holes."

No. 5 at the Avocet CourseOne of those being the 308-yard par-4 14th. This reachable two-shotter has most golfers thinking driver and not putter. From the Magenta and White tees, the hole plays 283 and 265 yards, respectively (and temptingly). Taking the gamble means ripping your tee shot over water and a series of pot bunkers to a green bisected by a large ridge running front to back.

"If you can carry 210 yards of water off the tee it's an easy decision," Tilma quips. "The wind is also a factor on how you play that hole. On certain days, the thought of going for it barely enters your mind. On other days it is hard to get the thought out of your mind."

Avocet's playable, thought-provoking design has made it one of the most popular rounds in the Grand Strand. But Wild Wing owes much of its overall success to two non-architectural rudiments: course conditions and liberal replay policies.

"It has been a goal of our owner to provide consistent conditions and service, even during down times," Tilma says. "We know our main product is the golf and we invest in that no matter what the economy is like and no matter what season it is."

Wild Wing was one of the first Myrtle Beach golf properties to use bentgrass on its greens. Tilma says there are no plans to abandon the firm, true-rolling surfaces in favor of one the popular ultra dwarf Bermuda strands that are sweeping the beach.

"We have convinced our owner that our greens set up apart," he says. "The reason we can pull it off is no secret - we have four courses. We can rotate play around as needed to protect the greens and perform maintenance."

Golfers who prefer 36 holes a day - and you know who you are - relish Wild Wing's pre-booked replays. Not only can you play the course of your choice in the afternoon at a reduced rate, but the tee time is guaranteed up front. If you have a little time to kill between rounds, Wild Wing houses a state-of-the-art practice area including a 50,000-square foot putting green and a 30-acre driving range.

Wild Wing Resort VillasStay and play

Wild Wing Resort Rentals offers two bedroom, two bathroom villas with two double beds per person. The villas have a large living room, cozy dining area, full kitchen, washer/dryer, cable TV and outdoor pool.


Wishbones answers the call with some of the best golf course eats in the Grand Strand. The stylish restaurant is located in the clubhouse overlooking the Woodstork Course. For casual fare, the Players Pub is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and diner.

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