The island green is one of golf’s most memorable architectural features, triggering both anticipation and anxiety, and Myrtle Beach is home to more than a few of these water-centric challenges.
Players are largely familiar with No. 12 at King’s North, where the island green is flanked by the famed “SC” bunkers, and the hole at World Tour that expertly replicates the famed 17th at TPC Sawgrass. Move past the challenges everyone is aware of and Myrtle Beach is home to a host of outstanding, under-the-radar island greens, including these five:
● The fifth hole on World Tour’s Open 9 (pictured right), which is modeled after No. 15 at English Turn, a par 5 featuring an island green, is a treat. Golfers must clear sand that doesn’t allow you to see the bottom of the flag on the approach, a visual trick that makes it difficult to gauge how much room you have to work with. This is a great hole with a green that can be unnerving.
● Man O’War is the only course in America with back-to-back island greens and the par 3 15th attracts much of the attention, but we are here to call your attention to No. 14, a par 4 (top photo). The 14th plays just 354 yards (all distances from white tees) with plenty of room in the fairway, meaning the biggest challenge is hitting a kidney-shaped putting surface that is just 19 yards wide in the middle.
● Admittedly, we are pushing it to include No. 3 at True Blue on a list of underappreciated challenges but cut me a little slack. Playing 141 yards to an hourglass green, this is a great hole. The actual length and challenge vary wildly based on pin location and the beach bunker adds to the visual appeal.
● The 13th at Long Bay is a personal favorite (pictured right), in part because it offers a real chance to circle a number on your scorecard. It fits my eye, taking the edge off the intimidation the water sometimes provides, allowing you to be aggressive.
● Willbrook’s sixth is a delight and at 127 yards, it’s a 9-iron or wedge in, perfect for scoring. As an added bonus, you have a great chance of seeing an alligator in the surrounding waters so make sure you have your camera nearby.
What is your favorite island green?