Admit it: we all dream when we step to the tee on a par 3. You and I are never going to wear a green jacket or hoist the Claret Jug, but four times a round there is the opportunity for glory.
The 1-in-12,000 chance a hole-in-one awaits increases the anticipation of the tee shot on par 3s, but the likelihood decreases with the length of the hole. With that in mind, here are Myrtle Beach’s five longest par 3s (all yardage is from the white or most commonly played tees), where the odds of making an ace are more daunting than usual.
1. Moorland, No. 7, 220 yards (pictured above) – Golf Digest once ranked Moorland among America’s 50 toughest courses. Many locals will dispute that contention, but they won’t cite the 220-yard, par 3 seventh as a reason why. This is by far the area’s longest one-shotter and there is water that runs from tee to green along the left side of the hole. Good luck.
2. Burning Ridge No. 12, 200 yards (pictured right) – Another monster and golfers are forced to carry water off the tee. Throw in a couple bunkers that help guard the green and you are facing one of the most difficult par 3s along the Grand Strand.
3. River Oaks, Otter No. 8, 198 yards – Many tee shots don’t make it across the water on this doozy, leaving the ball to swim with otters or other aquatic wildlife. Despite being two yards shorter, the hole is probably more difficult than the 12th at Burning Ridge.
4. Heathland, No. 3, 195 yards – Legendary architect Tom Doak challenges players early in the round with this meaty test, but there are factors working in your favor. With the exception of a bunker flanking the left side of the green, the path to the large putting surface is open, allowing golfers to run the ball up – on their first or second shot.
T5. Prestwick, No. 8, 193 yards – Prestwick is one of Myrtle Beach’s most challenging courses, and No. 8 doesn’t yield many birdies, much less aces, but there is limited trouble around the green, limiting the chances of a big number.
T5. Sandpiper Bay, Bay No. 3, 193 yards – One of the North Strand’s most player-friendly facilities, the third hole on the Bay 9 at Sandpiper requires golfers to be at their best. A 193-yard tee shot with water hugging the right side of the green will make the best of players a little tight.
If you have ever birdied or even aced one of these holes, congratulations!