The Waccamaw Golf Trail is a mini-community all its own in the Myrtle Beach golf market. It has nearly everything among its 11 courses. And that means it also has its share of butt-kicking par 5s. Located on the south end of South Carolina’s Grand Strand, these five longer holes of the Waccamaw Golf Trail should be approached with equal parts caution and humility. They certainly have the ability to humble some pretty good players.
PAWLEYS PLANTATION GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, NO. 14
You’ve just flirted with the marsh on the super-short 13th hole. Now, Jack Nicklaus and his design here are about to smack you in the face. You are going to feel every yard of the 471 on No. 14. That’s because of a tree smack dab in the middle of the fairway that affects your tee shot selection, as well as a thick marsh and natural grass line up the right side. During certain portions of the year, the grasses will affect your sight lines.
RIVER CLUB, NO. 6
Maybe outside of getting attacked by an alligator, there’s not much of a worse feeling than that of helplessness. That’s exactly what many a golfer face on River Club’s second par 5. While the hole chimes in at 477 yards, the most difficult part of the hole is finding enough distance off your drive. Without it, you are left with little choice but punching further up the fairway just to have an opportunity to pull out a fairway wood on your third shot and with little chance of reaching the green in fewer than four.
TPC OF MYRTLE BEACH, NO. 18
Setting foot on the 18th tee box at TPC, you’re immediately going to know you have your work cut out for you. This 496-yarder from the whites stretches to 538 yards from the back tees and still plays an intimidating 443 from the front. The hole plays on a slight but noticeable incline. There is also a slight break in the fairway via a slight ridge. And then there is water up the left along the final third of the fairway. And after 17 holes, this one is going to feel even longer. (top photo)
TRUE BLUE GOLF CLUB, NO. 1
Want to know why most locals consider True Blue to be more difficult than its sister course, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club? Look no further than the opening hole. It’s got length, playing as long as 624 yards. It’s got waste bunkers hugging both sides of the fairway. There’s also a sliver stream cutting off the green from the fairway, preventing a long run on the second or third shot. And it wraps up with a narrow green surrounded by even more sand. (pictured right)
WILLBROOK PLANTATION, NO. 15
For as much as Willbrook is lauded as a senior- and women-friendly course, it’s next to last par 5 packs a pretty serious punch. In the middle of the 538-yard, relatively straight hole is a chasm of marsh grasses and water that swallow up its fair share of second (or third) shots. The fact that you may have to take a drop when you’re still 190 yards from the green is a true possibility. It’s why this is the No. 1 handicap hole on the course for both men and women.