The Otter Course at River Oaks Golf Plantation may be one of the most fun 9 hole stretches we get to cover on Tee It Up Grand Strand. There is a little bit of everything on this course. We find water, plenty of sand, tree lined fairways, dog-leg tee shots and shots that require carry over water. It is really a fun 9 hole stretch that also provides a quick stop at the clubhouse midway through the side which is nice for those golfers that want to slip in an extra beverage or 2 during the round!
We start with a fairly docile par 4 that plays at 365 yards from the white tees. Remember, we look at playing the course from an amateur prospective so all yardages and from the middle tees and tips are based on the weekend hacker mentality. The tee shot can be somewhat demanding as the landing area is somewhat narrow with trees and a bunker guarding the right hand side and left of the cart path is a stream on out-of-bounds. Once off the tee the fairway is wide open to a slightly elevated green. It is a large green sloping back to front. We do not want to be above the pin and have to putt back down the green. That is a recipe for a 3-putt for sure.
The 11th hole is a short par 4 that has birdie chance written all over it. A solid tee shot to a wide fairway leaves a short iron or wedge for most golfers. Green light special for shooting the pin. We should not walk away with more than par on this hole.
The par 3 12th hole is a 148 yard hole that always seems to play longer than the yardage. Take the right club, hit a solid tee shot and make sure to get the par. There is some slop to the green so make sure to pay attention to what side of the green to hit.
No.14 is a great hole that has a stream running down the right side of the fairway and pinches the landing area tight. This par 4 is only 305 yards long so club selection off the tee is important. Pick something that will hit the narrow fairway. The mounded and slightly elevated green is a tough target to get a shot close. Even though this is a short hole, par is a good score here. Now run into the clubhouse and get a drink before heading to the par 5 15th tee box!
The 467 yard par 5 15th hole has water all the way down the left side through the green. A smart tee shot favors the right side leaving a good angle to layup and leave a wedge shot into the right to left sloping green. Birdie is possible here but par is a good score.
No.17 is the number 1 handicap hole on this side. The 366 yard dogleg right around water is visually intimidating off the tee. The green is not in view from the tee box and through the fairway left is bad news. Hit to the corner and play a short to mid iron to the small elevated green. Par is a great score and a bogey is not terrible either.
The par 5 18th hole finishes this side with a decent shot a birdie. Tee shot is narrow with trees and water right and River Oaks Drive on the left. Be sure to layup on the left side of the fairway on the second shot to leave a wedge shot for an approach over a bunker that is front left to a flat green that is receptive. Do make a mistake and par is in the cards for sure.