Temperatures have started to drop, the humidity is in retreat, and best of all, fall golf season is upon us. To give you an advance look at what you can expect to find here in Myrtle Beach, I’ve tasked myself with playing as much as golf as possible and filing real-time reports, beginning with TPC Myrtle Beach.
Here is what you can expect to find on one of the area’s best and most popular courses, based on a round played Sept. 29.
Lookin’ Good: Golfers will enjoy superb conditions at TPC Myrtle Beach. Tee boxes, fairways and greens are all outstanding. Actually, if it’s possible to be better than outstanding, the greens at TPC cross the threshold. The putting surfaces are lightning fast and as pure as they’ve ever been.
Where You Can Score: This is a big boy golf course and the challenge is real, but there are opportunities to score. If you are going to post a number you are proud of at TPC, here are three holes you better take advantage of:
— The 12th is a straightway par 4 that plays just 253 yards (all distances from white tees), so it’s actually drivable for quite a few people. As long as you don’t yank your drive left, this is as close a thing as there is to an easy hole on the course. Don’t let this opportunity pass.
— Just prior to playing the fearsome ninth hole (more on that in a second), No. 8 gives you a chance for a confidence builder. The hole is only 311 yards and the fairway is sufficiently wide. The green is on the narrow side and protected by bunkers but you need to play well here.
— Some will argue No. 10 involves too much risk – there is water in front of the green and on the right but, again, the hole is short, the fairway wide, and the green is big. If you can’t hit the ball over water with a wedge, you are in for a long day regardless.
Pray for the Best: TPC has challenged the best the game has to offer and here are three holes, regardless of skill level, where players must hang on and hope for the best.
— The 388-yard third hole requires a 170-yard carry over wetlands and it demands an uphill approach. It plays long and the elevated green is flanked by a pair bunkers. BTW, the third hole barely edged out the fourth, an almost equally daunting par 4. Taken together, the third and fourth holes are the course’s toughest stretch.
— On a list of Myrtle Beach’s hardest par 4s, the ninth hole at TPC is somewhere near the top. Playing a mammoth 432 yards, approach this hole as if it’s a par 5. Making bogey here is a pretty good score. To try and soften the blow, make sure you play Nos 8 and 10 well.
— The 15th hole is the longest 380 yards in golf. Depending on where the tees are positioned, you will need a drive of 200+ yards to clear the wetlands and at least 215 to crest a hill and make it to the fairway. I know you are thinking, “200 yards isn’t that far.” I’m telling you, the ball never goes as far as you think and a long approach awaits.
After Your Round: Put your mask on and take a tour of Dustin Johnson’s memorabilia on display in the clubhouse. The world’s top-ranked player called TPC Myrtle Beach home for a long time and he has numerous trophies on display in the clubhouse. Don’t forget to have a drink on the veranda and watch players finish up on No. 18.
Conclusion: TPC Myrtle Beach is regarded as one of the best courses in the state and it will deliver on expectations this fall. The layout is strong as ever and conditions are outstanding.