Barefoot Resort, home to four courses, is one of the premier golf properties in not only Myrtle Beach but all of South Carolina. The layouts designed by Tom Fazio, Davis Love III and Pete Dye have all been ranked among America’s top 100 public courses, leaving Greg Norman’s signature design as the only one not to enjoy national rankings acclaim.
Should that impact your excitement about the Shark’s layout?
While we all enjoy perusing various lists ranking courses, they shouldn’t be viewed as definitive, especially when it comes to assessing the merits of the Norman Course. Seven holes play along the Intracoastal Waterway, providing stunning natural beauty, and the layout’s inland challenges are equally strong.
Framed by natural vegetation and live waste areas, the Norman course delivers an enjoyable experience throughout. On a course full of creative holes, here the three most unforgettable challenges, courtesy of the Shark’s design team.
– The 499-yard ninth hole (all distances from white or most commonly played tees) is both beauty and beast. A natural waste area runs the entire right side of the hole before bisecting the fairway 40 yards from the putting surface, making any attempt to go for the green in two fraught with danger. The putting surface is one of the course’s demanding, adding to one of Norman’s most significant tests. (pictured right)
– When you walk to the elevated tee on the 135-yard 10th hole (top photo), you will immediately know why it’s on this list. Playing downhill, a waste area fills most of the ground from tee to green and the Intracoastal runs along the right side, providing a stunning backdrop. This is Norman’s most photographed hole and one you will certainly discuss after the round. The 10th is on the shortlist of Myrtle Beach’s prettiest par 3s.
– If you can’t tell, I’m a sucker for the middle part of the course, including the 354-yard 14th. With the Intracoastal meandering along the starboard side, length isn’t an issue, but the approach to a green less than 20 yards wide that abuts the waterway leaves little margin for error. A long drive could lead to an uncomfortable approach off a downhill lie; should you bomb away off the tee or lay back and play to a distance you are comfortable with? It’s a decision that helps make No. 14 so enjoyable. (pictured right)
National raters may overlook the Norman Course, but that’s not a mistake your group should make.