Many factors are involved in the evaluation of a golf course – shot values, creativity and challenge just to name a few – but there is an intangible element that can contribute significantly to one’s perception of a layout.
Drama can mean different things to different people but you know when you see it. The blood starts pumping, driven by excitement, anxiety or some combination of the two, and your anticipation is certainly heightened.
Myrtle Beach is home to more than a few memorable holes, but here is a look at the area’s most dramatic par 4s.
– The Dunes Golf & Beach Club is widely regarded as Myrtle Beach’s best golf course and the par 5 13th, known as Waterloo, attracts much of the attention, but the Robert Trent Jones Sr. classic is also home to one of the area’s most pulse-pounding par 4s. The 11th (top photo) is the first of three holes known as “Alligator Alley,” and this 370-yard (all distances from white tees) challenge provides plenty of tension and beauty. Drives that favor the left side of the fairway are advantageous as players approach a green that is flanked by two bunkers and a stunning saltwater swash. There are few places to miss on a green that runs from back to front and left to right.
– One of the highlights of a round at the Grande Dunes Resort Course is the 386-yard ninth hole (pictured right), where the Intracoastal Waterway runs from tee to green. Featuring rolling terrain and a stunning view of the Grande Dunes Marina, No. 9 has plenty of landing room off the tee but the approach to a large green won’t come off a flat lie and getting it close isn’t easy. This is a great way to close the opening nine on one of Myrtle Beach’s best golf courses.
– Tidewater is on every short list of the Myrtle Beach area’s prettiest courses and the 400-yard fourth hole might be its most dramatic. The gentle dogleg left plays along Cherry Grove Inlet. With OB on the right and the inlet to the left, the tee shot will tighten the best of players up, but the drama comes on the approach. If you hit a good drive, you will approach a large green fronted by three cavernous bunkers from a downhill lie. The putting surface features a lot of undulation and Cherry Grove provides an unforgettable backdrop.
– Golfers anticipate the fourth hole on Barefoot Resort’s Love Course from the moment they book their round. There is a difference between a short par 4 and a drivable one and the Love Course offers players a reasonable chance for an eagle putt. The iconic 265-yard hole (pictured right) is backdropped by the faux ruins of an old plantation home, adding a memorable visual to one of Myrtle Beach’s most talked about holes.
– Dread might be the emotion the 18th hole at Long Bay Club most commonly generates, but the 90-degree dogleg right is full of drama. A large pond resides in the corner of the dogleg, scaring some players into playing away from the most desirable landing spot (right-center of the fairway). Survive the tee shot and a daunting approach to a green that runs to the edge of the water on the right awaits. This is a hole that has swung more than a few matches.
What does your list of the area’s most dramatic holes look like?