How Aggressively Should You Play No. 16 at Pawleys Plantation?

Pawleys Plantation, a Jack Nicklaus design, is one of the Myrtle Beach area’s most famed courses. Highlighted by six back nine holes that play along a tidal marsh, Pawleys delivers a combination of architecture and beauty few layouts can match.

The course’s most famous hole is the par 3 13th, a devilish one-shotter that plays to a peninsula green that is among Myrtle Beach’s most exhilarating and maddening challenges, but you are likely already aware of that.

We are here to spotlight No. 16,a par 4 that shares a double green with the 13th and is one of the Grand Strand’s premier two-shotters.

With that in mind, here is a closer look at a hole that will help define your round at Pawleys Plantation.

No. 16
Par: 4
Yardage: 439 yards (Golden Bear Tees), 417 yards (Green Winged Teal), 399 yards (Red Tail Hawk), 354 yards (Egret), 311 yards (Yellow Finch), 257 yards (Blue Heron)
Handicap: 2

On a layout renowned for its scenery, this is Pawleys’ most formidable challenge. The nearly 90-degree dogleg left poses an uncomplicated but consequential decision on the tee.

How aggressive do you want to play?

Playing from the 399-yard Redtail Hawk tees, the course’s most popular, the ideal drive is a 220+ yard draw around the corner of the dogleg, but it’s not a simple shot. If you get quick and snap hook it into trees, chip out and take your medicine; you have at best a 1-in-20 chance of making par, but you don’t want to bring anything worse than bogey into play.

Now, if you don’t draw the ball, there is plenty of fairway room but the further right your ball drifts, the longer and more daunting the approach becomes.

The 2023 renovation, led by Nicklaus Design, eliminated a rambling bunker that ran up the right side of the fairway over the last 50 yards, making the hole more playable for us mid to high handicappers. But with anything less than an outstanding drive, the approach on No. 16 is long and dangerous with the marsh lurking.

The green is nearly 30 yards deep, runs from back to front and a two-putt is hardly a certainty if you don’t find the proper spot.

This is a hole that helps make Pawleys Plantation one of South Carolina’s best golf courses.

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