Which 13th Hole is Better: Pawleys Plantation vs. Long Bay Club?

For the superstitious among us, the number 13 is associated with bad luck but if you are a Myrtle Beach golfer, that is certainly not the case.

More than a few 13th holes are among Myrtle Beach’s most memorable challenges, including a pair of offerings from golf’s greatest champion, Jack Nicklaus. The par 3 13th holes on both of the Golden Bear’s Grand Strand designs – Pawleys Plantation and Long Bay Club – are unforgettable.

Which is better?

Here is the breakdown:Pawleys Plantation Golf Club 13th Hole

Pawleys Plantation
No. 13 (pictured right)
Yardage: 149 yards (Golden Bear tees), 139 (green winged teal), 117 (redtail hawk), 68 (white egret), 44 (yellow finch/blue heron)
Handicap: 12

This is on the short list of Myrtle Beach’s most memorable holes. A 300-yard drive along a dike surrounded on both sides by a tidal marsh gives you plenty of time to enjoy the stunning scenery. The closer you get to the tee box, that beauty begins to give way to the realization you are faced with one of the diciest shots anywhere in South Carolina.

The most commonly played tees at Pawleys list No. 13 at 117 yards, but it’s never set up that far back. Playing from the green winged teal tees, expect a 70-yard shot to a peninsula green that offers just 18 yards to land the ball on. With the wind coming off the nearby Atlantic, the shot demands a combination of touch and nerve that are nearly unrivaled.

Staying dry isn’t easy, but if you do, a makeable putt should await. If you miss, the drop area offers a reasonable chance to get up-and-down for bogey.

Long Bay
No. 13 (top photo)
Yardage: 156 yards (black tees), 140 (blue tees), 123 (white tees), 121 (gold tees)
Handicap: 18

The Sun News once ranked this among the area’s top 100 holes, and it’s not hard to see why. Long Bay’s 13th is a true island green, allowing players to enjoy the walk across the wooden bridge for what will hopefully be a birdie putt.

Nicklaus was feeling much charitable when designing this hole, which offers bailout room to the left and a much larger green. Played from the white tees, this 123-yard challenge allows players to take a full swing with a wedge.

No matter what the USGA says, it isn’t the easiest hole at Long Bay, and consider yourself warned: if the pin is set to the middle-right portion of the green, play away from it, take your par, and head to the next tee.

The Verdict: Which hole you prefer might depend on your appetite for danger. As a rule, golfers love a good island green and No. 13 at Long Bay fits the bill while minimizing risk (relatively speaking, of course).

The challenge at Pawleys is much more perilous. If you are a mid to high handicapper, your chances of finding the green are likely around 50 percent, but that’s also part of the charm. There is always a story to tell about playing this hole

By the slightest of margins, the edge goes to No. 13 at Pawleys. Sure, the odds of making double are much higher but it’s unforgettable and that counts for a lot.

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