Indigo Creek Golf Club in south Myrtle Beach requires a gentle touch
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. -- Tread gently at Indigo Creek Golf Club on the southern Grand Strand.
Big hitters will end up in water or someone's yard, and careless golfers will find themselves in sand or ping-ponging into the trees.
The Willard Byrd design is an extremely tight golf course that narrows to nearly nothingness if you're swinging out of your shoes. The course offers four tee sets, from 6,747 yards to 4,923.
"There's water or OB on every hole," Indigo Creek Head Professional A.J. Sawyer said.
A creek runs through the course, interrupting fairways or giving golfers an incentive to keep their drives airborne.
Give it serious thought before you pull a driver on many of the doglegs. A well placed fairway wood could leave you with a tiny pitch to the green. An overaggressive driver would leave you with a tiny glimpse of the flag from a pine-tree jail cell.
Also, don't fall for the false fronts. The fringe around many greens is pretty wide, so what you think is the green is a mirage. You might strut up to the green to survey your prowess only to find yourself still with a pitch shot.
John Murz plays Indigo Creek G.C. most often because of its diversity.
"It gives you doglegs on both sides, and it's challenging from the white tees," Murz said. "It's not an open course."
Indigo Creek Golf Club: The front nine
The first hole is straight par 4 with bunkers on both sides. It starts off nice, but then it thins down to a wafer about 100 yards from the green.
The golf course owners might have been a little too generous to the adjacent homeowners on the par-4 second hole. If you're slightly off, you're going to be on someone's patio or in the water to the left. It runs only 375 yards from the tips and 360 from the whites, so this is a step-lightly hole.
"It's very difficult," Murz said of the second, his least-favorite hole on the course. "It's a tight driving hole."
The two par 3s on the front, Nos. 3 and 6, are nearly identical -- long shots onto greens hiding behind massive lipped bunkers. They're pretty intimidating holes.
One of the best holes on the front is No. 9, a rolling par 5 that is a serpentine affair with a massive bunker on the right to catch too big of a drive, then across a small water carry for your second shot. The approach shot has to climb past a minefield of bunkers on the right for the last 150 yards of the hole, with one last bunker on the back left of the green.
Indigo Creek Golf Club: The back nine
The golf course has more personality and breathing room on the back. The doglegs are sharper, so there's more of a chance to trim a corner.
No. 12, a par 4 that doglegs left, isolates the landing area with ditches, but a well-placed tee shot can shave off a lot of distance for your approach shot to an elevated green.
John Wolbert said he likes the par-5 14th best.
"Birdies on that hole are common and eagles aren't impossible," Wolbert said of No. 14, which runs 509 yards from the tips, 475 from the whites and 386 from the front tees.
First-timers, however, might find their balls in the drink after a nice drive because the fairway tilts forward to water that juts in from the right. Consider it an initiation fee. For your second or approach shot, the goal is to avoid a cluster of bunkers on the right about 85 yards from the green.
Big Guys Grill: Indigo Creek has one of the few outdoor grills, which emits enticing aromas from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's a perfect quick stop at the turn for cheeseburgers and hot dogs.
Twilight golf: The twist here is that the event combines cocktail hour and a buffet. For $20, you receive a free drink of your choice, some range balls, and once the whistle blows, you can play all the golf you can before it gets dark.
Indigo Creek Golf Club: The verdict
If your specialty is landing a ball exactly where you intend to within a reasonable distance, Indigo Creek is your course. The best part is you will be able to perfect your accuracy with nearly every club in your bag, thanks to the variety of the holes. It's a challenging course that rewards those who chip away at distance rather than those who try to to boom a ball out there. Hey tortoise, put up some money against the hare. Today is your day.