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Story by Ian Guerin
We’ve spent plenty of time discussing the best par 3s the Myrtle Beach golf scene has to offer.
For good reason, we’re about to do it again.
Be it a chance at a hole-in-one or the artistic creativity to make a small chunk of land seem like heaven, the visual microcosm of some short holes along South Carolina’s Grand Strand golf mecca are everything we want from the game. Here are a few of our favorites, along with the resume that pushes them into top consideration.
CALEDONIA GOLF & FISH CLUB NO. 11
A double dogleg on one of Caledonia’s most photographed holes adds to the mystique. But we’re not talking about the turf or a bend around trees; nope, this time, the dogleg refers to the small stream that cuts from right to left, jutting into the middle of the hole, then up toward the green, then parallel and away from it. That sliver of water has served as a catch-all for errant shots in any direction since the course’s 1994 opening, and it will do so for years to come.
BAREFOOT RESORT & GOLF DYE CLUB NO. 15
What makes the esteemed Dye Club’s final short hole of the day stand out so much is 11 bunkers between the tee box and the green - and, for good measure, another six on the back side. The elevated green plays a mild 162 yards from the whites, and the green itself is anything but small. However, getting to it safely is easier said than done with so many sandy distractions around the target zone. Frankly, odds are that if you miss here, your ball is going to be touching anything but grass.
GRANDE DUNES NO. 14
Few holes-in-one are reported from this hole, and it’s not because of humility. Grande Dunes’ No. 14, resting high atop the bluffs overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, forces players to cross a dammed water reserve and connect with an angled green. A bunker nearly the same size as the green it is protecting sits in front, and thick natural grasses are all that stand between some errant shots and the Waterway to the right. And, oh, you’re playing downhill from start to finish, just to tie it all together.
MYRTLE BEACH NATIONAL KING’S NORTH NO. 12
If ever you needed to trust your distances at King’s North, it is on the esteemed No. 12. Elements galore here mess with players’ minds - and eyes - courtesy of optical illusions caused by so much going on. There is the island green, of course, connected to the mainland by only the wooden bridge perpendicular to the hole. There is also the “S” and “C” bunkers to the left of the green. What’s more, the wide expanse beyond the target makes the max distance (140 yards) actually seem shorter than it already does.
TIDEWATER GOLF CLUB NO. 12
Tidewater’s signature hole pretty much has it all when it comes to an iconic par 3. It begins with the marshes associated with the Cherry Grove Inlet creating a bending feel. The accompanying marsh grasses prevent just any miss short from including a drop, and the five bunkers in a semi-circle pattern around the green add more problems. The average golfer is shooting from just 145 yards; granted, the regular winds from the Atlantic Ocean tend to mess with club selection more often than not.