Dunes West is a traditional low country design by Arthur Hills, with fairly generous fairways lined with pines, lots of water, sand and undulating greens. It's all right there in front of you and, provided you use your head, is probably a course that can give up a good score.
In my case, I lost my mind on four holes, making sevens-- two of them, thankfully, on par fives. You certainly can't recover from four sevens, especially when you can only manage two birdies. The secret to low scores, at least for old fellas like me, is as much the ability to avoid big numbers as it is the ability to make birdies. As you get shorter off the tee, and now can't reach par fives in two and have fairway woods into some of the long par fours, you have to learn to manage your misses. Today I did a very poor job of that.
Hank, on the other hand, managed his game very well. He let me know where he was intending to try to play his shots, often leaving the second shot short of the greens and relying on his wedge and putter to get the job done, rather than trying for something heroic. He really played within himself and was rewarded with his fair share of pars. He was also very consistent off the tee, missing only two fairways.
I'm sure Hank was quite happy with his game and we might just hook up for another run at Dunes West. It's gettable--we just know it is.
The staff at Dunes West are very friendly and welcoming. I'm quite happy to have purchased a five-play package there. If, by the end of five rounds, I'm still making sevens, I'll have to blame it on what's going on between my ears. Because it's certainly a fair and enjoyable test of golf. You've simply got to miss it in the right places--like any other golf course.