Finish big: Ten great closing holes of Myrtle Beach golf
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Some golf courses in Myrtle Beach send golf groups home better than others.
Among the 100-plus 18th holes along the Grand Strand, a few offer birdie opportunities, and others are risk-reward par 5s. There exist even a small collection of par 3s, like at Myrtle Beach National's West Course or the Surf Golf & Beach Club.
The following 10 feature a mix of long par 4s, risk-reward par 5s and even a par 6 -- and they're all among the most memorable.
Caledonia Golf and Fish Club
The par-4 18th hole is tough enough at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club. It requires a finesse drive to a relatively narrow landing zone in front of water that encroaches the fairway. You'll be left with at least 150 yards in -- just close enough to the green to hear the hecklers on the patio above it. Don't give them the satisfaction of enjoying a splash. Take an extra club and swing easy.
Farmstead Golf Links
Ever get to the 18th hole and just not want the round to end? Well, Farmstead Golf Links delivers a 767-yard par 6 to ensure you get every swing out of your system. The hole starts in South Carolina and plays back toward North Carolina, but you'll need good shots in each state to escape with par or birdie.
Myrtlewood Golf Club - Palmetto course
The Palmetto Course at at Myrtlewood Golf Club is an older bargain play, but it closes as well as any of its higher-profile neighbors. A straightaway par 4 slopes left toward the Intracoastal Waterway, which runs along the entire hole. Keep your eye off the water and the boats -- and on the right side of the fairway, as balls kick sharply left.
Dunes Golf and Beach Club
The middle holes at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club that play near the ocean and along Lake Singleton steal the show. But the brawny, 430-yard 18th provides a final reminder that the Dunes rates as the ultimate test at the beach. The hole demands a long carry over water on approach. It even features two tee locations that allow it to alternate as a dogleg left and right.
King's North at Myrtle Beach National
At King's North at Myrtle Beach National, the famous par-5 sixth hole, "Gambler," is water heavy, while the 18th is a sea of sand. Forty-plus bunkers line this straightaway par 4, making necessary a long, straight drive. If sand wasn't enough, a small pond guards the right side of the green.
Willbrook Plantation Golf Club
Shot-makers are going to love the closer at Willbrook Plantation Golf Club, which is easy on the eyes, too. A par 5, the narrow, dogleg right requires a fade off the tee around mossy oaks. Up next is a draw from the fairway around more trees if you're going to reach this Lowcountry gem in two.
For good drivers, the par-5, risk-reward 18th at River Club presents a green-light special. Water runs down the left side. But if you challenge it, you could have as little as about 175 yards, all carry, into a green guarded in front by water and bunkers beyond.
A round at Leopard's Chase at Ocean Ridge Plantation ends with a splash. The 18th measures as one of the Grand Strand's longest par 4s at 439 yards. But to ensure you notice more than the brute length, a two-tiered water feature was installed, including a waterfall that gently flowing between the two levels. It's peaceful, but its location short and left of the green swallows up plenty of approach shots.
Prestwick Country Club
The ninth and 18th holes at Prestwick Country Club mirror each other, wrapping around a large pond that sits in between. While no. 9 is a par 5 and a potential birdie opportunity if you avoid trouble, the closer is a long par 4 with the pond in play down the right side. Sinister Pete Dye-designed bunkering litters the hole, so do your best to avoid the sand.
Barefoot Resort and Golf Club - Fazio Course
Hopefully you got your birdie out of the way on Barefoot Resort's Fazio Course before reaching this long, par-4 beast that features water on the left side of the fairway and deep bunkers on the right. Onlookers are sure to witness your group's carnage, as the hole finishes before the porch of Barefoot's stellar clubhouse.
March 18, 2011