You Can Tame Pete Dye, if You Survive This Trio of Holes at Barefoot

Pete Dye’s name has sent a shiver down the spine of many a golfer. The hall of famer is equal parts architect and masochist, bedeviling players with waste bunkers, railroad ties and visual deception that leaves golfers not trusting what they see.

And people love it.

Dye’s designs are some of America’s most renowned and his namesake layout at Barefoot Resort & Golf is one of Myrtle Beach’s best, but the course harbors a dirty little secret. The Dye Course isn’t as difficult as Pete’s reputation might lead you to believe.

Sure, the Dye Course at Barefoot isn’t easy, but if you play well, you will have opportunities to score, assuming you survive a trio of holes that can spoil a good round faster than Scottie Scheffler can double a Sunday lead.

Here are the three holes where you must avoid disaster on Barefoot’s Dye Course:

– Players should arrive on the ninth with a smile on their face as the par 5 No. 8 is the Dye Course’s easiest, but cold, hard reality awaits on the following tee box. A 405-yard (all distances from white tees) par 4, No. 9 is a beast. There is the drive over wetlands to a fairway flanked by a waste bunker on the left and water on the right. While the fairway is sufficiently wide, it’s a nerve wracking shot and that’s just a warmup. The approach to a green flanked by water is long and perilous. The green is large, so a two-putt is hardly assured.

– Two holes later, the diabolical 11th (top photo) awaits. The 366-yard par 4 seems to play longer. A waste bunker runs the length of the hole on the right, and the further you hit the ball the tighter the landing area becomes, so the drive can be treacherous. Whatever you do, avoid the small pot bunker in front of the green on the approach. It’s a one-stroke penalty, at a minimum.

– According to the USGA, the par 3 15th hole is only the course’s seventh toughest, but over the years it has battered your faithful correspondent into near submission. The 162-yard tee shot plays over a ravine to a green fiercely defended by 14 bunkers, many of them cavernous. The putting surface is 50 yards long but not particularly deep. When the pin is cut on the right side, No. 15 plays considerably easier, but it’s often set on the left, setting up a harrowing tee shot. I’d gladly accept bogey here and move on.

Barefoot’s Dye Course is one of the Myrtle Beach area’s best, and contrary to Pete’s reputation, you can play well there, but you will need to avoid the big numbers on holes 9, 11 and 15.

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