Three Pulse-Pounding Holes at River Hills: Can You Conquer this Trio of Challenges?

The attention River Hills has enjoyed over the last 20 months has focused almost exclusively on a greens and bunkers renovation project that significantly enhanced the Tom Jackson design.

All that is understandable, and you can count on outstanding conditions – the TifEagle greens are superb – but what you’re most interested in is a layout that will challenge every aspect of your game, while delivering a good time for everyone in the group.

As you plan your Myrtle Beach golf trip, here are three holes  that will bedevil and delight players equally at River Hills.

– The layout’s most recognizable hole is the par 5 seventh, because everyone enjoys a look on their way to the clubhouse. It’s also one the course’s most dauntingRiver Hills 7th Hole challenges. Playing 485 yards (all distance from the garnet tees), No. 7 isn’t exceptionally long but there is a whiff of trouble with every swing. Off the tee, the landing area from approximately 200 to 240 yards is squeezed on the right by a pair of fairway bunkers and a heavy wood line on the left. The most vital decision awaits on the second shot; conventional wisdom says you hit the ball as far as possible but water on the right and a large bunker on the left mean the closer you are to the green, the greater the danger. Unless you are a bomber, play to a specific yardage for your approach and take the big number out of play, because the green is one of the course’s most challenging to boot.

– No. 13 will provide an opportunity for birdie, but you have to earn it. The par 4 is listed at 366 yards, though it typically plays shorter, meaning a good drive will set up a short approach, but water threatens from the right every step of the way. Neither shot is exceptionally difficult, but taken together, they test you mentally and physically. This is an opportunity you don’t want to squander. (River Hills 13th top photo)

– The hole everyone leaves River Hills talking about is the par 5 17th, a 491-yard challenge that is a three-shotter for all but the longest of hitters. A nearly 90-degreeRiver Hills 17th dogleg left, this is a big boy challenge. Water threatens on the portside off the tee before it bisects the fairway, demanding a carry on your second shot, the difficulty of which is determined by the quality of your drive. Survive the first two shots and a relatively benign green awaits, but your nerves may be jangled by the time you arrive.

River Hills is challenging without being needlessly difficult, a trait these three holes highlight, making it an ideal layout for your next trip.

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