Tidewater was designed by Ken Tomleson and opened to rave reviews in 1990 and is currently ranked #41 in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses. Known as the “Pebble Beach of the East” Tidewater has some spectacular holes that play along the tidewater marshes next to the inland waterway. In addition to some great golf, just riding the cart is a unique experience with 8 miles of cart paths that wind in, around and through marshes, across natural areas, along the tidewater marshes, and through a beautiful neighborhood.
Tidewater can play very treacherous if you can’t hit the ball consistently fairly straight and manage your club selection. You’ll find a little bit of everything at Tidewater that will test your skills – forced carries, dog legs, tight fairways, rolling fairways, marshes, and more. The course was designed to blend in with the environment and reward strategic thinking, risk taking, and shot making skills. For example, the #1 handicap #4 is a 430 yard dog leg left that rewards risk takers off the tee (miss it and you're in the marsh or waste bunker that runs the entire length of the hole) and the second shot is downhill to a green protected by the marsh, 6 bunkers, and the waste bunker.
The front nine seems more traditional and straight forward than the back and it has 2 beautiful holes that play along the tidewater marshes which are not only very scenic but fun and challenging. For example, #3 is an outstanding 160 yard par 3 to a slightly downhill very well guarded (6 big sand bunkers) odd shaped green with some huge undulation and slope toward the marsh – target golf at it's best.
The back nine is close to a perfect 10! Fun, scenic, and challenging – with dog legs, water on 4 holes, well protected greens, natural areas, forced carries, narrow landing zones, plenty of trees, and other fun stuff that will challenge your nerves and shot making skills.
The Tidewater Golf Club greens are about average size with both minor slope and small to severe undulation. They were about average speed and we found them easy to read – putting didn't seem to be an issue when we played. Most of the greens were still recovering from the severe winter and as such had some damage. We were told that normally the greens are near perfect and fairly fast.
The fairways have a range of elevation changes and are tree lined, generous to tight, and sprinkled with soft sand bunkers and some beautiful homes. The fairways were in very good shape with a few rough spots thanks to the harsh winter. Tidewater is very well maintained and manicured.
Bottom line – a must play course and in this shot-maker’s paradise, you’ll experience a world-class layout, immaculate fairways, greens that rival the finest in the country and a natural setting that’s sure to inspire. With challenges on every hole and ample rewards for the well-placed shot, this is one course that will bring you back again and again.