MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | You’ve picked out a gem, hit the simulator and opened your wallet.
A new driver can make you feel like a new golfer. But taking it to the range and crushing a full bucket is only so satisfying. You’re to try out this bad boy.
When it comes to that first round, not every course along South Carolina’s Grand Strand golfing mecca is going to be as forgiving as others. You’re going to want a design where a combination of fairway width, limited hazards and at-best mild bends are in play.
Here are five you should consider.
BLACKMOOR GOLF CLUB
Get through the first four holes here – which includes two early Par 3s – and your tee shots are going to open up considerably for the driver on the obvious holes going forward. The fairways are ample and when doglegs are in play, they are typically deeper in the hole so that getting to the corner all but requires the big dog in order to avoid a layup. Gary Player wanted diversity in what club you hit, but he still preferred the driver to open. (Blackmoor pictured above)
GRANDE DUNES RESORT COURSE
They gave the Roger Rulewich Group a whole bunch of land to play with when he designed the course in the late 1990s. He made it count with some of the widest fairways in all of Myrtle Beach. Driver is not only a common play for all of the Par 4s and 5s here, it’s the smart play, as it takes many of the earliest problem areas – water and waste bunkers, among them – out of the equation.
So much of the focus at Palmetto of late has been on a massive greens renovation project. What has gotten lost in the shuffle is that players can navigate their way toward the putting surfaces here because of how wide open the space off the decent-sized fairways still is. Outside of the mega slice, it’s actually pretty difficult to lose a golf ball here, so you might as well muscle up when you can.
SHAFTEBURY GLEN GOLF & FISH CLUB
A number of waste bunkers and a few side-by-side holes only add into what the wider fairways at Shaftesbury have been giving players in terms of leniency since the course opened less than two decades back. The average golfer is going to tee off from 6,445 yards here, but it’s going to feel like much, much less since Shaftesbury encourages you to go big time and again off the tee.
WILD WING PLANTATION, AVOCET COURSE
We’ve written in the past that Wild Wing is a viable option for lesser fairway woods off the tee, and while that accuracy can decrease the spray chart, Wild Wing is also one of those holes where distance off center won’t necessarily destroy the scorecard. Few out-of-bounds spots leave players who go right or left of center still with viable approaches to the green while hitting out of the rough or off pine straws.