It’s summer time and daylight hours are longer, opening up the possibility for an evening nine (or maybe a quick tour in the afternoon while the family is at the beach). Nine-hole options in Myrtle Beach are abundant, so I’ve taken the liberty of offering few suggestions. The area’s 27-hole facilities – Arrowhead, Aberdeen, Wild Wing, Thistle, Sandpiper Bay et al – are the obvious place to start and you won’t go wrong, but we are here to do more than restate the obvious. If you have a chance to sneak away for nine holes in Myrtle Beach this summer, here are five courses that should be near the top of your list.
— Time is often of essence when playing nine, which is a nice way of saying, location matters. If you are staying in Myrtle Beach proper, head to Pine Lakes. A quick tour of the clubhouse will provide a glance at the area’s rich history, and an open design should make for an enjoyable round.
— You likely won’t spend a lot of time on the range, so a forgiving layout is a bonus. With that mind, playing the West Course at Myrtle Beach National, the area’s easiest layout, will provide you with margin for error. We all like to score well and the West Course will give you every opportunity.
— The back nine at the Wizard offers a little bit of everything. The Scottish-inspired design provides a sampling of links golf before the pot bunkers, mounding and native grasses give-way to a closing trio of holes that play along a 100-acre lake, highlighted by the island green 17th. Ask to start on No. 10 and head to the Wizard.
— Challenge the back nine at Pawleys Plantation. It will be the opposite of playing at the West Course because Pawleys is, arguably, the Grand Strand’s toughest track. But it’s as pretty as it is challenging and views of the marsh on six of nine holes provide a perfect backdrop.
— If you are on the north end, head to Ocean Ridge Plantation. With the four Big Cats – Lion’s Paw, Panthers Run, Tiger’s Eye and Leopard’s Chase – awaiting, you should be able to find an opening and all four layouts are enjoyable.
Let us know your favorite course to play nine.