Myrtle Beach National, home to three Arnold Palmer-designed courses, is one of the Grand Strand’s most popular facilities. Everyone knows about King’s North and “The Gambler,” and golfers immediately associate the West Course with the opportunity to post a good score.
SouthCreek lacks that immediate definition, but savvy group leaders don’t let the course fall victim to a sort of middle child syndrome. SouthCreek is full of character, making it a pleasure to play, and here are five reasons you will want to tee it up on the course next time you are in Myrtle Beach:
— The nearly 90-degree dogleg right 10th hole (top photo) is a treat to play and provides a tantalizing risk-reward decision. The par 5 measures 525 yards from the white tees but the ambitious among us can reduce that length by more than 50 yards, assuming you are willing to play close to the water off the tee and then cut the dogleg by going over a lake that runs to nearly the edge of the green. A poor shot means pulling another ball out of the bag. Even players who opt not to go for the green in two have to decide how much water they are willing to challenge to set up an ideal approach. The second shot on No. 10 is SouthCreek’s scariest (and most memorable).
— SouthCreek’s primary means of defense are its greens, which are smallish by contemporary standards but filled with undulation that make them a treat to play. A two-putt isn’t a given and that’s part of the layout’s considerable charm.
— The course plays just 6,416 yards from the tips and 6,089 yards from the white tees, so length isn’t an issue. There is housing at SouthCreek, which tightens the layout up in spots, but there remains ample room to hit the ball, helping make SouthCreek a course where players have the opportunity to post a score they want to tell their friends about. Golfers aren’t overwhelmed playing SouthCreek and that’s a good thing.
— Don’t let all the talk of playability lull you into a false sense of security. There are challenges at SouthCreek, highlighted by the par 3 eighth hole (pictured right), which plays a beefy 183 yards from the white tees. Combine that length with a trio of bunkers on the left side and a small green that allows for a tucked back pin position, and par is a score to be proud of on the course’s toughest hole.
— Ultimately, SouthCreek is fun to play. You get to hit a multitude of different shots and challenges like the second on No. 10, the church pew bunkers on No. 2, and the par 3 17th, complete with the wood plank bunkers Arnie is known for, are unforgettable.
SouthCreek doesn’t enjoy a high profile, but it’s a layout that will help make your next golf trip a great one.