Story by Chris King
For most golfers, myself certainly included, birdies aren’t easy to come by. Most of us are more inclined to miss an 8-foot putt after an excellent approach than run in a 30-footer to salvage an indifferent shot, and that assumes you are on the green in regulation. While acknowledging there is no such thing as an “easy” hole for most of us, here are five par 4s (with one LONG exception) that improve your chances of making birdie.
— Golfers that want to make birdie at Willbrook need to take advantage of the 329-yard (all distances are from white/most commonly played tees) 11th hole. There is water in front of the tee, but if you top your ball into the drink, there was never hope to begin with. The fairway is sufficiently wide, the approach will be short, and the green is open in the front. According to the scorecard, this is only the 13th toughest hole on the course; that’s an indictment of the USGA rating system.
— The easiest par 4 along the Grand Strand is also one of its most photographed, the 265-yard fourth at Barefoot Resort’s Love Course. Any drive hit 210 yards should clear the sand and the green is wide open in the front. If you skull a shot, it might even hit the faux ruins of an old plantation home that frame the putting surface and bounce back onto the green. Gun to my head and I had to make birdie on a par 4, this is where I would go.
— Wild Wing’s Avocet Course also has a 265-yard par 4, the 14th, and it provides a good opportunity to circle a 3 on the scorecard as well. It’s a little more difficult than Love No. 4 due to water, sand traps that are marginally more threatening and fairway mounding, but don’t misinterpret: a good drive will position you for a birdie.
— The West Course at Myrtle Beach National is the Grand Strand’s easiest, and the 302-yard second hole provides the opportunity for a quick start. A 200-yard tee shot will clear the sand and the fairway begins to widen, leaving 100 yards or less to a green defended only by a bunker on the left.
— Lastly, if you need to make birdie, head to the longest hole along the Myrtle Beach golf scene. No, I haven’t lost my mind. The 679-yard, par 6 18th hole at Farmstead is a birdie hole. Four 170-yard shots will have you on the green in regulation. Sure, 170-yard shots aren’t routine, but a good drive will reduce that number and being a par 6 provides more margin for error. Crazy as it sounds, a nearly 700-yard hole is a good birdie opportunity.