MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Back in 2019, we had a great discussion with Golf Advisor’s Tim Gavrich about how specific golf distances have confused players.
He spoke to players biting off more than they could chew, and the Play-It-Forward campaign aimed at speeding up rounds and taming down expectations. But, maybe most importantly, he addressed how players need to quit looking the yardage on score cards in order to choose a course they can or can’t play.
It was an important lesson, one that’s been hard to digest for some.
Still, some folks simply want that healthy medium between a nine-hole round and a course where if you aren’t killing it with the driver that the scorecard is a killer to look at.
That’s where the following five tracks come into play. Each of these have found ways to stand out with less acreage or various uses of hazards and routing. And as you’ll see, they run the gamut from the low end to the high, and varying degrees of difficulty.
Oh, and we’re not cheating with this list. All of the following are Par 72 tracks for 18 holes, and all distances cited are for the standard tees.
MYRTLE BEACH NATIONAL KING’S NORTH
At all of 6,024 yards from the whites, most people are surprised to discover that King’s North (pictured above) is the shortest of Arnold Palmer’s three on-site courses at Myrtle Beach National. It’s also the most highly esteemed. Palmer and his crew implemented three ultra-short Par 3s (No. 4, 107 yards; No. 12, 110 yards; No. 17, 119 yards) and a pair of Par 4s that have you facing fewer than 320 yards.
WORLD TOUR GOLF LINKS
The joy of the replica design is that it probably couldn’t have been accomplished without shortening a few of the holes ever so slightly. But the reality of the distances at World Tour (pictured right) is that some of the most famous holes in golf are famous because of their design – not some overbearing thought to length. It’s why at just 5,826 yards, it will play as the shortest standard course in the area.
RIVER OAKS GOLF PLANTATION
Fox and Otter. Otter and Bear. Bear and Fox. Regardless of which two nines you’re put on for your round at River Oaks, the longest distance you’re going to face is still shy of 5,900 yards (Bear and Otter). From the whites, there is only one 500-yard hole out of the 27 possible. And the average Par-4 distance is a manageable 329 yards on the Fox – the shortest of the three – 332 on the Otter and 340 on the Bear.
BAREFOOT RESORT AND GOLF DYE CLUB
Pete Dye’s namesake course at Barefoot is exactly the type of misnomer Gavrich was talking about. It is by no means an easy track, despite its 6,005 yards from the member (white) tees. This sucker is a living, breathing challenge from start to finish. So why is the length the way it is? That’s simple. It’s Par 5s measure 472, 445, 452 and 494.