Barefoot Resort is home to four of the area’s most prominent courses and three of them share a (wonderful) clubhouse, but the highly acclaimed Dye Course stands alone. Pete Dye’s namesake design is the annual host of the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am, has been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, and has a reputation for difficulty (it comes with the Dye name).
The Dye Course has earned the praise it receives. The layout is memorable and the service helps deliver an experience worthy of Barefoot’s reputation.
But is the Dye Course as difficult as you may have heard?
The short answer is: No.
— When played from the 6,000-yard white tees, the opening holes beg players to get off to a good start. The first three pars 4s play 359, 256 and 321 yards (all distances from the white tees) and the par five fifth is just 401 yards. There isn’t a drop of water to be found on the first five holes. Not saying the course offers an “easy” start but don’t tell me it’s impossible
— There is ample room off the tee. Put another way: the design doesn’t force you to play a particular style. Comfortable with the driver? Swing away. More accurate with your three-wood off the tee? You can hit it without sacrificing distance that will haunt you.
— A big part of Dye’s genius was his ability to create courses that challenge high-level players while maintaining playability for recreational golfers. The last part often gets lost in the attention paid to how tough layouts like TPC Sawgrass and the Ocean Course are, but it’s true, especially at Barefoot Resort. Play from the proper tees and a good time awaits.
— I’ve spent a lot of time discussing the Dye Course’s playability, but the layout bares its teeth down the stretch. Beginning with No. 14, the closing holes will test your game. Players have the chance to score on the par 5 16th hole, but the finish provides golfers the full “Pete Dye Experience.” That’s a good thing. This is a big boy golf course and you play the game because you enjoy a challenge.
— Last but certainly not least: the layout is fun to play. Dye begs “regular” players to make birdie on the par 5s. Meanwhile, the collection of par 3s are among the strongest and most challenging the Myrtle Beach area has to offer. The layout’s two-shotters, range from fairly easy – holes 2 and 10 – to hold on and hope for the best – 7 and 11, come immediately to mind. You and your buddies will have a lot to talk about after the round, and that’s the sign of a quality course.
If you have chance to play the course, jump on it.