The par 3 12th hole at Augusta National, known as “The Golden Bell,” has played an outsized role in determining the winner of the Masters over the years, highlighting the danger of holes that may appear short on the scorecard but are long on challenge.
Which leads us to a list of Myrtle Beach’s most dangerous par 3s.
● The eighth hole on the Cameron course at Thistle (pictured right) will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. A 190-yard tee shot (all distances from blue tees or their equivalent) plays uphill to a green surrounded by water and deep bunkers. The prevailing wind is typically in your face and there is little room for bailout, adding to the challenge. Did we mention the green is wide but shallow? Take bogey with a smile.
● Architect Pete Dye has a fearsome reputation and the par 3 14th on his namesake course at Barefoot Resort is reason 1A. Playing 204 yards, when the flag is tucked to the center left of the green, you have to be an outstanding long iron player to even think about par. The green is fronted by seven bunkers and if you come up short, there is a good chance you won’t be able to see the putting surface from the canyon you will be blasting out of. On the bright side, the green is 48 yards deep and there is bailout room to the right. I’ve found the Dye Course to be more player-friendly than Pete’s reputation might suggest, but No. 14 (top photo) will challenge the best of players.
● The Dunes Club is Myrtle Beach’s most acclaimed course and the par 3 12th (pictured below) hole is one of the area’s most daunting. The distance – 175 yards – is far from short and it requires a carry over Singleton Swash almost the entire way. Throw in the often-swirling winds coming off the nearby Atlantic and this is one of Myrtle Beach’s toughest one-shotters.
● Moorland was once ranked among America’s 50 toughest courses by Golf Digest and the 220-yard seventh had to be one of the primary reasons why. Length alone makes this a doozy and if you over swing and pull the ball, water that runs the entirety of the hole’s left side awaits. There is plenty of room to miss right, but even that will leave a delicate recovery. Think of this as a par 3.5.