MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Simply saying that a hole is risk-reward quality means something.
Being able to back it up for every single player who sets foot on that ground is another. When it comes to Par 5s, some do it better than most.
Incorporating water, doglegs and sand, these four holes up and down the Grand Strand golfing mecca have proved for years that memories can be had. Whether you plunk it into the water or reach the green in two, the stories are going to be worth it.
TPC OF MYRTLE BEACH, NO. 2
In a lot of ways, Tom Fazio took a lot of the pop out of this hole by putting it so forward into the round. But for those who are already warmed up or don’t need a few extra holes to get there, a fantastic number of high fives or expletives are there for the taking. On this 482-yard Par 5, players who can find the left side of the fairway – over a pair of sand traps but before some water – can take a solid poke at the green in two. However, leave it short and your ball is either splashing down, rolling back into the water or in a U-shaped greenside bunker.
MYRTLE BEACH NATIONAL SOUTHCREEK, NO. 10 (pictured right)
At a stout 525 yards from the white tees, the opening hole on the back nine at SouthCreek is no joke. It bends hard around a large pond and also includes a lengthy waste bunker up that right side. So you’re going to know immediately after hitting your drive if you even have a chance. For most, it’s not even worth it. But as long as the fastest route from Point A to Point B remains a straight line, there is reason to believe.
GRANDE DUNES RESORT CLUB, NO. 13
Hitting over water is sort of a staple of the risk-reward description for the most part. The Roger Rulewich Group doubled down with a 13th hole that is anything but lucky for many. After easily carrying a pond off the tee onto a double-banked fairway, the task at hand then becomes getting to an elevated tee. You need to put it all together nearly perfectly – getting to the far edge of the initial fairway, carrying the second pond, avoiding a large bunker and not veering off course at any point during the journey.
LONG BAY GOLF CLUB, NO. 15 (top photo)
When you’re talking about risk-reward, most people’s minds drift to the shot into the green. Jack Nicklaus’s Long Bay layout dropped one much earlier into a Par 5. Off the tee, those going from the 449-yard white tees must fly a stream that is at most 5 feet wide while running across the fairway. It takes the roll out of the equation, but straight power isn’t going to cut it alone. Getting over the stream is step one; keeping in the fairway is step two; and, for good measure, avoiding a lie behind a fairway tree is step three.