Every golf course is known for something. Arrowhead Country Club is co-designed by a former major champion (Raymond Floyd) and is one of only six area layouts that play along the Intracoastal Waterway, but neither fact is what the 27-hole property is most known for.
Ask any Myrtle Beach local to tell you the first thing they think of when Arrowhead is mentioned and the answer will inevitably be: “It’s always in great shape,” which leads us to the first of five things you need to know about the course.
Why is Arrowhead always in great shape?
When you are talking about maintaining a property that spans a couple hundred acres, there is never one easy answer, but the best place to start is with superintendent Heath Roberts and his first assistant, Daniel Haring, both of whom have been at Arrowhead for 15+ years. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of the property, allowing them to quickly address any potential problems early. They have a formula for success at Arrowhead, and it’s executed flawlessly on an annual basis.
As head pro Jake Benton says of Roberts’ work, “He makes my life easy.”
What’s new at Arrowhead?
There are no major projects this summer, but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening. Roberts and his staff are constantly engaging in tree removal efforts to ensure the property gets plenty of sunshine and airflow, allowing the turf to thrive, but the most impactful work in the summer of 2023 involves cart path restoration. The Waterway and Lakes nines have undergone substantial cart path renovation work, ensuring a smooth ride for you and your group this fall.
What do you need to do to play well?
The key to scoring at Arrowhead is finding the short grass off the tee. All three nines feature multiple doglegs and the fairway corridors are relatively tight. Don’t be afraid to exchange the length gained from a driver for the accuracy of a 3-wood, hybrid or even a long iron. Find the fairway and a good score should await.
What are the differences between the three nines?
This is a common question as players wrestle with which combination of the Lakes, Cypress and Waterway nines they want to play. Truth is, there is no significant difference in terms of quality and conditioning. Lakes is a shotmaker’s course that provides your best chance to go low. Waterway is probably the most popular of the trio, due in large part to the fifth hole, which plays along the Intracoastal from tee to green. The first four holes of Cypress play out toward the waterway before turning for home; it’s a tough but memorable stretch, that defines the nine.
What is the biggest risk-reward decision?
The second hole on Waterway is a 316-yard (white tees) par 4. The 90-degree dogleg right plays around a lake and it begs players to pull out the driver and swing for the green. It’s only 250 yards from the white tees, and it’s just 210 to carry the water on an aggressive line. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Not so fast. There are trees that stand between the water and the green and it requires more than a little luck to navigate the pine trees and sand to put yourself in position for an easy birdie. Should you lay up or go for it?
“I don’t know if it’s a good decision, but it’s one I make a lot,” Benton said with a smile when asked about the wisdom of trying to drive the second green.
Conversely, choosing to play Arrowhead Country Club as part of the “Central Essentials” package is always a good decision.
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