With Halloween just days away, we thought it would be a good time to tell the tale of five shots that could haunt your next Myrtle Beach golf trip.
That’s right, we are offering up the five scariest shots (non-par 3 division) the Myrtle Beach golf scene has to offer from a mid to high handicappers perspective. Without further ado, here are swings that will leave you feeling as if the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow is in close pursuit.
— Any hole that answers to “Hell’s Half-Acre” has to be on the list, hence the 16th hole (pictured above) at the Moorland Course at Legends Resort. The par 4 plays only 223 yards from the white tees, but whatever shot you are attempting to hit the green – be it off the tee or from the fairway – will cause you night sweats. Sure, the hole is short. A couple pitching wedges will, in theory, find the middle of the green, but that’s what makes No. 16 so daunting. This shouldn’t be a hard hole, but if you miss the green an assortment of horrors await. Pot bunkers, greenside swales, a waste bunker, and gnarly rough can turn what looks like an easy par (or better) into a nightmare.
— “The Gambler” at King’s North (pictured right) is one of Myrtle Beach’s iconic challenges. The par 5 features an alternate island fairway that brings the possibility of eagle into play. Peer pressure will demand that you try to hit the alternate fairway at some point, and it’s an anxiety inducing shot. The island fairway is sufficiently wide, but from the tee, it’s the tightest 75 yards in golf. Let’s be honest, re-teeing on a par 5 can lead to a round-killing score, so there are few swings that cause golfers to tense up like this one.
— Caledonia enjoys a reputation for being a player-friendly layout, but the approach on the 16th hole is a daunting one, particularly for those of us with a handicap over 13. The hole is a slight dogleg right that plays a muscular 400 yards from the blue tees (the course’s most commonly played), and the approach requires a carry over water. There is some bailout room to the left but that’s more to catch shots that have been badly pulled as opposed to a strategic play. A 240-yard drive leaves you with a 160-yard carry over water that runs to the edge of the green. On a course that delivers an unforgettable experience, the approach shot on No. 16 is where your dreams of a posting a great score on a top 100 layout could die.
— Jack Nicklaus likes to protect par and he did a great job on the 18th hole at Long Bay. The dogleg right is only 368 yards from the white tees, but a lake fills the elbow of the dogleg and runs past the green. Given the presence of the water, most tee shots drift further left than is ideal, setting up a long approach to a green nestled along the water’s edge. When the flag is on the right side, players face a mid to long iron shot that can cause the most hardened of men to shudder.
— Bet you didn’t expect to see venerable Pine Lakes Country Club on this list, did you? Think again. The 426-yard third hole is a par 4.5 for most of us with a 250-yard drive leaving an approach that would make Michael Myers nervous. Water runs up the right side of the hole and squeezes the fairway, leaving only a sliver of land to miss short. The third hole is the hardest at Pine Lakes and the approach to a well-protected green is as difficult as there is along the Myrtle Beach golf scene.