Lion’s Paw Golf Links was the original Big Cat Course at Ocean Ridge Plantation and the stunning par 3 third hole is where this ferocious feline really begins to bare her teeth.
Playing a stout 178 yards from the white tees and requiring a carry over a large lake surrounded by gleaming oyster shells, No. 3 is equal parts beauty and beast.
When viewed from the air, the wide shallow green and surrounding sand traps resemble a gigantic lion’s paw print, providing a striking visual that has made it one of the area’s most photographed golf holes. Beauty aside, these features also allow players little margin for error when taking aim at the green.
For the faint of heart, there is bailout room to the left and to the back of the putting surface, but these areas are ringed by bunkers, so while not every wayward shot will find a watery grave, other risks lurk in the shadows. Add a little wind into the equation and golfers will need to trust their swing to find success on a hole that rewards good play far more than it doles out good fortune.
And, if this hole wasn’t memorable enough already, down the right-hand side of the lake you’ll find a collection of majestic, ancient oak trees, at least one of which is home to a giant bald eagle that has been known to swoop down on occasion and snatch a fish out of the pond!
If you’ve played Lion’s Paw, let us know how you played No. 3. If you’ve yet to take on this formidable Big Cat, you need to join the hunt right away.