The starting hole provides a beautiful vista for the golf experience at Palmetto. The tee is adjacent to the historic clubhouse and the 14th, 15th and 18th greens are visible from the elevated tee. The 1st hole is protected with large bunkers on the left and right of the fairway typical of MacKenzie design bunkers evident throughout the course. The second shot is slightly uphill to a green that has more width than depth. There are greenside bunkers on the left and right and a hill behind the green.
This is a relatively short par 4 that parallels Whiskey Road. The fairway is guarded by bunkers on the right and the left, and a large cross bunker at the end of the fairway some 270 yards off the tee. The second shot must be played to an elevated green that slopes from back left to front right. Many shots end up short and on the upslope to the green.
The third hole plays long for golfers of all skill levels. The tee shot is guarded by pines on both the right and left sides of the fairway. Even with a long drive one is presented with a difficult second shot. The green is guarded by a large cross bunker starting about 65 yards from the putting surface and extending for 20 yards, a deep bunker on the right and a rather sharp drop-off on the left. The green has a false front rendering the front third of the green unusable for hole placement. This is the #1 handicap hole on the frontside.
The deep ravine in front of the tee gives the name to this hole. The use of the natural terrain to create a very interesting hole is evident. This is the only hole on the course with no sand bunkers. The large slope from left to right emphasizes the importance of favoring the left side of the fairway on tee shots. A side hill stance is likely on the second shot. There is a large swale on the right side of the green and the back of the green is guarded by a steeply sloping hill.
The elevated back tees provide another vista of several holes characteristic of the Palmetto. The 5th hole is one of the most challenging on the course with a long tee shot and second shot required to reach a severely sloping green. The triple level green is elevated and protected by a bunker on the right and several mounds. This green has the most severe slope on the course and can require considerable imagination to correctly judge the speed and direction of a putt. This is a very memorable hole that always generates post-round discussion.
This is the first of the three par fives at Palmetto. It is relatively short and two well played shots can result in an eagle putt on the green. Two fairway bunkers on the right narrow the fairway in the landing area for long drives. Approaches to the green are guarded by trees, a fairway bunker on the left 75 yards from the green and a deep greenside bunker positioned on the front right. The two-tiered green has some subtle breaks and severe slopes which often disappoint those overly eager to get back a stroke.
This hole has been included in a number of collections of famous golf holes around the world. The small green, hanging on the side of a hill, has a large bunker starting at the front and running along the entire left side. On the right is a deep depression dropping sharply some 15 feet. A shot to the right can be the most penal on the course, often costing two or more shots. The green is relatively flat but subtle breaks make putts difficult to read.
This hole plays slightly downhill with the fairway sloping dramatically to the left. There are woods and a very deep fairway bunker on the right and two fairway bunkers on the left. The green is guarded by mounds on the left and back right with a large greenside bunker on the right. This is another hole that demonstrates how skillful use of the natural terrain yields a very interesting and picturesque result.
Due to the uphill terrain this hole plays much longer than the listed distance. The green has a large mound on the left behind a deep pot bunker. A large pine on the right side of the green overhangs a bunker which stretches along the entire right hand side. With the hole tucked on the back right, the tee shot will challenge the best of players. The backside of the green drops off so that a long shot will yield a difficult chip back to a sloping green.
Tall pines line the left of the teeing area and the fairway is guarded by a bunker on the right running the full length of the landing area. There is a cross bunker on the right side of the fairway about 300 yards from the tee that can come into play for long tee shots. The second shot looks fairly wide open but the fairway narrows considerably 70 yards from the green with long bunkers on both sides extending toward the green. These bunkers aren’t visible from where the second shot is played. Even if the player lays up, the third shot is to a modest size, typically firm green which drops off in all directions. The putting surface, with its subtle breaks, is one of the most difficult to read on the entire course.
From tee to green this hole drops over 100 feet and is most picturesque. The kidney shaped green slopes from right to left and is guarded by bunkers on each side with a mound behind the middle of the green at its narrowest point.
This dogleg par 4 has two sets of tees, one with a long carry over the pond and the other with a shot through a narrow chute of trees. The left side of the fairway is protected by both a pond and a deep bunker strategically placed at the corner of the dogleg. A shot too far right and long results in the next shot being blocked by trees about 30 yards from the green. The green slopes from back to front and is guarded by deep bunkers on both sides of the green. A downhill putt requires a delicate touch.
Ben Hogan called 13 one of the best par fours in America. It plays long and uphill all the way. Trees line both sides of the fairway. The green, perched on the top of the hill, is protected by two mounds on the left side and a large, deep bunker on the right. This is the #1 handicap hole on the backside.
This is the longest hole on the course. It is named for an old dried up creek which meanders through the middle of the fairway and is in play for the exceptionally long player’s tee shot and the average players second shot. There is a bunker, stretching across two-thirds of the fairway, which catches many errant second shots. The green is bunkered on the right and falls off sharply on the left. Almost all putts run toward the pond on 15 even though the green appears level.
The tee shot is hit across a small pond and uphill to an undulating fairway. Bunkers guard the fairway both right and left. The green is surrounded by mounds on three sides and is protected with a slight ledge in front. It slopes, from front right to left rear, and requires a delicate putting touch. This is a high risk, high reward hole that is drivable for the longer hitters.
The longest of Palmetto’s par threes, the tee is located behind the clubhouse. This hole is the first of the ‘top three’ or ‘the loop’ as 16, 17, and 18 are known. The elevated green is fronted by a swale stretching its full length. It drops off into a bunker on the right and into mounds and hollow areas on the back. The left front is protected by a large mounded bunker located about 15 yards from the green. A three on 16 is an excellent score.
As the name indicates, the fairway slopes severely from the tee. The drive is the only blind shot on the course. Woods line the entire right side of the hole and the left is guarded by a row of pines. A well placed fairway bunker on the right will catch wayward drives. The second shot is over a dale to a large green that slopes from the left to the back right. A mound and bunker on the right and a large bunker on the left protect the putting surface. The undulations on this green yield a number of very difficult hole positions.
This short hole provides what appears to be a somewhat easy finish to an otherwise challenging round. The fairway is guarded by a stand of pines on the left. There are two bunkers on the right and a small stand of pines beyond the bunkers. The green is guarded by bunkers on both sides. The most severe hole location is at the back of the green and requires a delicate touch with the second shot and putter.