Maybe it was in a magazine, possibly a brochure, but you remember reading it somewhere. Now youre standing on the 17th tee, staring across Morgan Creek to the long, dogleg left that stretches out along seemingly endless marshland, and you know exactly why one of the first golf writers to see this hole dubbed it The Marsh Monster.
The Harbor Course at Wild Dunes Resort was crafted by the same architect who designed the resorts original Links course. But thanks to the site and an obvious effort on his part to distinguish the two, Tom Fazio created a totally different challenge when he fashioned the younger sibling, largely from a long narrow strip of land along the Intracoastal Waterway. Dont be fooled by the yardage, just 6,359 from the back; the par-70 Harbor Course, with its tight corridors often flanked by water, wetlands or both, offers plenty of challenge, as its 131 slope and 71.4 course ratings attest. From the very first hole, a narrow par-5 with water left tee to green and a small green perched tight against the lagoon, Fazio lets you know exactly what lies ahead. Hazards help define every hole, with four holes playing directly along the Waterway and two more island hopping across Morgan Creek, the body that houses the courses namesake Wild Dunes Yacht Harbor.
Youve negotiated most of the trouble and have but two holes between you and a decent score. But these two present the sternest test yet. The Marsh Monster 17th is 464 yards, with wind and marsh threatening every inch. The 18th offers little respite, with the tidal marsh still to the left. Its 30 yards shorter, but thats little consolation, considering how the already narrow fairway gets even stingier as you near the green.
This may be the little brother to the Links, but theres nothing small about the challenge.