You likely know the top-line info: Blackmoor is Myrtle Beach’s only Gary Player design and the course has a deserved reputation for providing outstanding conditions and value, a winning combo if there ever was one.
If you want a better sense of the course before teeing it up, here is what you really need to know about Blackmoor:
Go Straight Young Man (or Woman!): Blackmoor isn’t long, playing just 6,614 yards from the tips and 6,217 yards from the white tees, but its tree-lined fairways are relatively tight, placing a premium on accuracy. Hitting the ball 300 yards isn’t as important as being in the middle of the fairway. If you can summon the discipline (and skill) to pull out the club you hit 225 yards off the tee and hit it down the middle, a good round should await.
Choose Your Lines Wisely: On the opening nine, the course is mostly in front of you with the exception of the dogleg right fifth and eighth (pictured right) (depending on how you choose to play it) holes. Conversely, the back nine is home to five doglegs, four of them turning right, so playing the appropriate line is vital down the stretch.
Toughest Tee Shot …: The most daunting tee shot of the day comes on the 14th hole (top photo), a dogleg right with a tight landing area. Trees lurk on the starboard side and balls that stray too far left are prone to finding a watery grave. It’s a shot complicated by often-swirling winds. If you hit a good tee ball, anything is possible on the 362-yard (all distances from white tees) par 4 but if not, there is the real chance of a big number. Local tip: the 16th green is visible straight away from the 14th tee, don’t mistake 16 green for your ultimate target. Sounds crazy but people get confused every day. Don’t be the next one. Seriously.
Best Par 3 of the Day: I love the 140-yard fourth hole (pictured right). The tee shot is all over water to one of the course’s deepest greens and a bunker on the left looms. There is a case to be made this is Blackmoor’s most picturesque hole.
Small Greens, Subtle Undulation: Blackmoor’s greens are smaller than average and don’t feature dramatic undulation, so there is a premium on making a quality approach. There is subtle break but you should be able to make putts. The key is making sure you are gunning for birdie. The quality of your approach shot will largely determine what your putts are worth.
Risk-Reward: The eighth hole is the course’s most discussed. The par 4 can be played as a 347-yard dogleg right or players can eliminate the dogleg, hitting through a chute Player cut through the trees. Eliminating the dogleg makes No. 8 a drivable, 270-yard challenge, but there isn’t a lot of room for error. It’s a decision every golfer must confront and FWIW, I’d advise going for it – you are on vacation after all!