Talking GolfGetaways, Ep. 113: Caledonia, True Blue and Bulls Bay make for a memorable Mike Strantz threesome
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Talking GolfGetaways, Ep. 113: Caledonia, True Blue and Bulls Bay make for a memorable Mike Strantz threesome

A gator tends the flag at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club near Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Photo by Darin Bunch / Golf News Net)

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If you’re a regular listener of the “Talking GolfGetaways” podcast, you know how co-hosts Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch bow before the genius of the late architect Mike Strantz. In Episode 113, Mitch and Darin reflect on their recent South Carolina Strantz trifecta— Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, True Blue and Bulls Bay.

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Darin traveled cross-country to enjoy a Strantz-a-thon that began (not surprisingly) at Tobacco Road up in Sanford, North Carolina (subject of numerous previous podcast episodes) and then drove south to the highly acclaimed and Top 100-ranked Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, on the southern end of the Myrtle Beach Grand Strand.

Mitch & Darin begin their conversation by thanking Caledonia/True Blue Director of Golf Bob Seganti for helping to arrange a stellar itinerary — and by discussing the memorable, and sometimes magical, layout at Caledonia (the first solo Strantz design). They talk about why Caledonia stands as the perhaps the best representation of Strantz’ early design prowess, as well as the finest example of lowcountry golf you’ll find (including one of the great 19th Hole clubhouse views in all of golfdom). They then share the various design elements at Caledonia, discuss the visual beauty, prevalent wildlife and use of extraordinary landscape — and explain why they both feel so strongly about this strong example of the designer’s early work.

Moving just a few miles away to another Strantz gem, the often-underrated True Blue (sister course to Caledonia), Mitch and Darin continue to detail Mike Strantz’ growth as an architect (True Blue was his fourth solo design) and share their views on why True Blue may be the more playable of the two courses, featuring a more wide-open layout and generous landing areas off the tee while maintaining compelling shotmaking requirements into its beautiful greens complexes. Details about Darin's round at True Blue with a visiting couple demonstrate the course’s remarkable attraction — and this segment ends with a description of yet another memorable clubhouse (with overlooking the 18th green with its iconic blue metal roof) at the heart of Strantz’ work, a theme that continues down to Bulls Bay as well.

But first, Darin’s overnight stay on Pawleys Island is certainly worth noting — the under-the-radar but most hospitable Inlet Sports Lodge in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. He describes the comfort of the spacious rooms (with plenty of amenities to suit golfers and fishermen alike), the low-key atmosphere and the great food at the Costa Coastal Kitchen & Bar next door — all of it within 15 minutes’ drive of Caledonia and True Blue (and other terrific courses on the south end of Myrtle Beach). Inlet Sports Lodge is one of Mitch’s Top 18 Places You Can Stay, and it’s well worth the honor for golfers looking for a “home base” on a South Carolina golf getaway or buddies trip.

Mitch and Darin then drive on down the highway about an hour to Awendaw, South Carolina — home (literally) to Mike Strantz and Bulls Bay Golf Club, his last original course and the only solo private-club design in his portfolio. Mitch (who has played Bulls Bay many times) and Darin (making his first Bulls Bay appearance) compare and contrast Bulls Bay with Strantz’ other designs, commenting on the stunning clubhouse that dominates the landscape (in an ode to Shinnecock Hills) sitting atop a manmade 70-foot-high hill. Combined with a variety of hole designs featuring a wide range of tee-shot options, a peaceful lowcountry routing and trademark Strantz greens complexes, the golf (plus great service) at Bulls Bay would make anyone yearn for membership.

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About the author

GolfGetaways

GolfGetaways

The GolfGetaways crew of Darin Bunch and Mitch Lauarance have decades of golf travels and adventures to share, which they do here at GNN, on their "Talking GolfGetaways" podcast.

“Talking GolfGetaways with Mitch Laurance & Darin Bunch” is sponsored by 2UNDR.com (#AssetManagement) and can be found on GolfNewsNet.com and across the Golf News Net platform. New episodes post semi-regularly (for the most part, except when we’re traveling or golfing or generally having other kinds of fun). “Talking GolfGetaways” is also available on audioBoom, iTunes and Stitcher.

Follow us on Twitter @GetawaysGolf and @MitchLaurance, and use #TalkingGolfGetaways and #2HaggisBags to hit us with your favorite golf-travel stories and recommendations — you just might make it onto a future episode of “Talking GolfGetaways.”