The Masters is upon us. There will be no patrons, azaleas won’t be in bloom, and there is the possibility of chilly weather.
It’s the Masters and we are always happy to watch the world’s best players compete in legacy-defining events. The most decorated Masters champion of them all, Jack Nicklaus, also left his mark on the Myrtle Beach golf scene as the architect of Pawleys Plantation and Long Bay.
With Jack heading to Augusta to hit the ceremonial first tee shot, we thought it was a good time to look at the Golden Bear’s six most recognizable Myrtle Beach golf holes, one for each green jacket he won.
1. At the top of the list is the 13th at Pawleys Plantation, a short par 3 (pictured right) that plays to a peninsula green exposed to a saltwater marsh and the winds off the nearby Atlantic. This is one of Myrtle Beach’s five most recognizable holes and one people will continue to discuss for decades to come. It plays less than 100 yards but the challenge is substantial.
2. There is nothing easy about Long Bay’s closing hole, the dogleg right 18th. This 368-yard doozy plays around a lake that swallows anything that cuts. The more you challenge the dogleg, the shorter the hole becomes and I don’t need to explain the risks in trying to cut a dogleg that plays around water. There are no guarantees on your approach to a green bordered water either.
3. Sharing an enormous double green with the 13th at Pawleys is the unforgettable No. 16. The 401-yard (all distances from most commonly played set of tees) dogleg left is both daunting and beautiful. A well placed tee shot is vital because a saltwater runs along the right side through the green, offering little margin for error.
4. The par 4 10th hole at Long Bay plays just 315 yards (pictured right) and it’s the course’s proverbial signature hole. The fairway is framed by a horseshoe-shaped waste bunker that nearly runs to the front of the hole’s elevated green. Despite the lack of length, this isn’t a challenge to take for granted. Miss on either your drive or approach and a hole you expect to be an easy par can quickly become complicated.
5. The front nine at Pawleys Plantation is perpetually in the shadow of the unforgettable back, but that doesn’t diminish its strength. Here is a vote for the 353-yard fifth hole. The tree-lined fairway rewards tee shots that find the right-center of the fairway, leaving you in the optimal position for an approach that is all carry over water. The fifth isn’t long but it’s an enjoyable test and certainly not without risk.
6. Long Bay’s fourth hole introduces players to the waste bunkers that are one of the layout’s defining traits. At 419 yards, the challenge is stiff and players must avoid sand off the tee if they want to have any chance of making par. This isn’t Long Bay’s most glamorous hole but it is one of its best.