Birdies aren’t easy to make, even for good recreational players, but some holes offer a better opportunity than others. In particular, par 5s present regular duffers an increased chance at circling a number on the scorecard, ensuring that no matter how the rest of the round goes there will be at least one highlight.
A shortish par 5 has a built in margin for error the game rarely offers, and here are five that will provide players of all skill levels a reasonable shot birdie (all yardages are from white tees).
— The West Course at Myrtle Beach National is the Grand Strand’s easiest golf course, per the USGA’s slope and rating system, and Arnold Palmer practically begs players to make birdie on the 453-yard first hole. The dogleg right is short enough that players can hit an indifferent shot and still reach the green in regulation, and there is no chance to lose a ball. Hit the range before the round and arrive at the first tee ready for a hot start.
— The Love Course at Barefoot Resort is the property’s most acclaimed layout and the design’s playability contributes to its popularity. The 455-yard second hole is a gentle dogleg right that features a lot of fairway. An elevated green flanked by a pair of bunkers eliminates some of the margin for error on the approach, but even average players have a chance to make four.
— One of the area’s most underrated courses, Tradition Club gives players a prime opportunity to post a red number on the 450-yard 14th hole. The hole is as straight as an arrow and the only significant impediment to circling a four is the water that fronts the green. Players that hit it long enough to reach the green in two won’t be the concerned with the water and everyone else will have a wedge in hand on the approach, leaving only a one putt standing between you and a fist pump.
— Golfers don’t associate Tidewater with easy, but the 457-yard eighth hole (pictured above) made the list. For starters, No. 8 doesn’t play that long. The marshy waters from the Intracoastal that run the length of the hole on the left create more danger than the other entries on the list, but there is ample room off the tee. Two decent shots will leave players in front of a flat green. There are bunkers that present obstacles but on one of the Grand Strand’s more demanding tracks, No. 8 offers a good shot at birdie.
— The 444-yard 10th hole at Arcadian Shores makes the list on length alone. Golfers have nine holes to find their swing, and when they arrive on the 10th tee, a birdie opportunity is staring them in the face. The hole is straight with only fairway bunkers standing as an obstacle to your dreams of glory.