The old adage says you “drive for show, putt for dough,” and there is more than a kernel of truth to the axiom, but it’s not absolute.
As those of us who have struggled with the driver can attest, there are very few putts for dough if you can’t get off the tee.
Some tee shots are more daunting than others, narrowing the margin for error and drying out the mouths of the people playing them. If you enjoy that type of challenge, here are five of Myrtle Beach’s hardest driving holes.
● We all like to close a round strong, which makes the burden of the tee shot on Tidewater’s 410-yard (all distances from white tees) par 4 finisher all the more intimidating. It’s over 200 yards to the corner of the dogleg and to set up a manageable approach, you need to draw the ball around the corner. Shots that are pushed too far right will find the marshy waters of the Intracoastal and if the tee ball is overcooked, you can pull it OB. There is room to land the ball but power and accuracy are required, adding to the pressure of a shot that could decide a match. (Tidewater 18th pictured right)
● The drive on the 403-yard 15th hole at TPC Myrtle Beach is harrowing (top photo). The preferred line requires a 200-yard carry over wetlands. There is room to bailout right, but strategically, it’s problematic and if you go too far astray, you can hit it into the trees. There is little margin for error and the penalty for a miss is pulling a ball out of your pocket and re-teeing.
● So this one may surprise a few people, especially given that a driver isn’t necessarily required, but the tee shot on No. 13 at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club – a 90-degree dogleg right – is a problem, especially for mid to high handicappers. There is plenty of room to bailout left but that makes the 520-yard hole even longer. Your tee shot doesn’t have to be much more than 210 yards, but it has to be close to the water if you want to make par on Myrtle Beach’s most famous hole. The need to flirt with Lake Singleton makes this a knee-knocking shot.
● The 406-yard sixth hole at Wild Wing’s Avocet Course (pictured right) will test the nerve of the hardest man. You have to give your tee shot a good crack and just 60 yards of grass separates the water on the left and the woods on the right. You need a powerful drive without sacrificing accuracy and that’s not easy to pull off.
● Willbrook’s 471-yard, par 5 18th hole presents a tee shot few will relish. Played conservatively, you have the option to layup, a strategy that requires a 180-yard shot to get past the corner of the dogleg right. Hit the layup to far and you run the risk of hitting the ball through the fairway, come up short and you won’t clear the dogleg. Did I mention there is a pond on the left? Many will hit driver, requiring the ability to hit the ball 220 yards in the air and drop your shot into a 30-yard-wide fairway. Good luck. The final tee shot of the day at Willbrook is a frightening one.
If you can stare down these five tee shots, you can face any challenge in Myrtle Beach.