MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | When it comes to capping it all off, every golf architect puts something special into No. 18. It’s sort of a staple.
But what about the hole before it?
It shouldn’t be a throwaway before the big finish.
Designers up and down the Myrtle Beach golf market have bolstered their legacies by building up a crescendo that either initially or eventually owned our golfing hearts. Because as great as No. 18 is, adding two great holes to cap off a round can be extraordinary.
TRUE BLUE GOLF CLUB
All three of Mike Strantz’s final holes at True Blue curve around water in one form or fashion. The contrast of blue and green makes for some excellent photo opportunities. And at the 395-yard Par-4 17th,(pictured above) you get a microcosm of what the designer was striving for on this property: Nearly unrivaled beauty atop an ever-changing environment. Off the tee, players drive into a wide berth fairway. If placed properly, they can go after the green (over water). If not, they take the slightly longer trek up a slender stretch of grass leading up to the green.
GLEN DORNOCH WATERWAY GOLF LINKS
Coming off the quiet and secluded 16th green, it’s time to prepare yourself for the view at No. 17. Glen Dornoch’s (pictured right) reveal hole has inspired so many smiles over the years. That’s because, once you reach the tee box of this 164-yard Par 3, the Intracoastal Waterway sets a punch shot beyond the green. Couple it with three pot bunkers and a bulkheaded larger version, and you’ve got the makings of a fantastic lead-in to the split-fairway finisher that plays parallel to the Intracoastal.
MYRTLE BEACH NATIONAL WEST COURSE
Arnold Palmer wasn’t afraid to bunk conventional wisdom by wrapping up his design at West with a Par 3. But in order to make this player-friendly layout work, he needed to utilize some length going into it. He did so by plopping down a 466-yard (from the whites) Par 5 that even with a dogleg remains a hole that is reachable in two for a large number of players. Taking that type of confidence into the short finisher is a creative and memory-making way to wrap up a round.
PAWLEYS PLANTATION GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB
A few holes before the second Par 3 of the back nine, No. 13 gets its fair share of credit. It’s an awesome spectacle of short-hole golf. But No. 17 (pictured right) is no slouch. With the landing zone running perpendicular to the tee boxes, it makes the perception of this hole intriguing; there is an impassible marshland that serves a golf ball cemetery. But if there is the type of top-end glory to be had, it almost assuredly is going to happen on No. 17, not its predecessor at No. 13.
TRADITION GOLF CLUB
Calling the tee shot here “blind” isn’t entirely accurate. But with so much going on, players are going to want to shorten up their gaze some. A back-and-forth fairway, a reachable bunker off the tee and a tree-lined rough are all in play on No. 17. From there, it’s the do-or-do-not-there-is-no-try task of attacking the massive green slightly off-set to the right. After all that, the humongous waste bunker on Tradition’s finisher is going to seem much more navigable.