Four! Watch out for these short par-4 golf holes along Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- With so many golf courses to choose from, several on the Grand Strand have added an extra dimension to their rounds -- short par 4s.
For these purposes, we'll take a look at some of the best, hardest or simply most fun short par-4 holes around the Myrtle Beach area. They all measure less than 400 yards from the championship tees.
What they lack in length, however, they more than make up for in strategy.
Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club, No. 17
Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club, located in Conway, S.C., has turned into a bit of a gem because of its affordability, but its bread and butter is a number of shorter par 4s that will make or break your round.
Five par 4s at Shaftesbury measure 400 yards or less from the championship tees, but No. 17 exemplifies so much of what owner Paul Himmelsbach was going for when he patterned Shaftesbury after Winged Foot Golf Club in New York.
At 363 yards from the championship tees, 329 yards from the whites and 256 yards from the reds, the biggest challenge on No. 17 isn't necessarily the limited fairway and slight dogleg left. Instead, it's the four bunkers, specifically the two extremely deep ones at the end. If a player ends up in a bunker off the right side of the green, at least two strokes will be added to your score -- and that may be a conservative estimate. Most players standing in the bottom of the bunker won't be able to see the flag, and the deep lie won't make for an easy escape.
Did we mention that two mini versions of the same style of bunker come into play off the tee box?
King's North Course at Myrtle Beach National, No. 3
The focal point of the three home courses, King's North at Myrtle Beach National is known for No. 6 ("The Gambler"), a huge par 5 where long hitters can take their shot at reaching the green in two.
But the Kenny Rogers-dubbed hole overshadows and absolutely nasty No. 3.
Players must make a big decision with their tee shot at No. 3, which plays 365 yards from the championship tees down to 266 yards from the mid-ladies' tees. First, there's a large body of water that consumes most of the hole. From there, golfers must decide if they are going to try to reach the small fairway landing area immediate in front of the green.
Between the water and that landing area, however, sits a half-marsh/half-trap combo. It's playable, but only if players can somehow avoid the full bushes sprinkled between the sand.
Longer hitters typically end up in the area just to the right of the green and the landing area, another nasty component that entails plenty of very thick grass.
The saving grace of the hole comes in the form of the shortest ladies' tee, the only box where the water is not in play.
PineHills Course at Myrtlewood Golf Club, No. 2
One of the prettiest holes on the PineHills course at Myrtlewood Golf Club, No. 2 is also one of the trickiest.
With trees lining the right side of the fairway and water lining the left, the hole measures a paltry 348 yards from the championship tees down to 277 yards from the ladies' tees. Regardless of where players tee off, though, a large bunker on the left of the fairway also comes into play because of a right-to-left roll down toward the water.
Once golfers get beyond the first trap, they have to deal with two smaller ones protecting the right side of the elevated green. So while there are solid scoring opportunities on this hole, there's also the possibility of going the other direction and having a frustrating start to the round.
Heathland Course at Legends Golf Complex, Nos. 14-15
This pair of par 4s on the Heathland Course at Legends Golf Complex forces two completely separate trains of thought on back-to-back holes on this course just outside Myrtle Beach.
The 14th measures 389 yards from the blue tees, 365 yards from the whites, 337 yards from the greens and 272 yards from the reds. But regardless of which tee box you're using, a small stream that cuts off the last part of the fairway comes into play. It forces players to use a lower wood or even a high iron off the tee; otherwise, a roll into the water is more than common.
Heathland's 15th hole can throw players for a loop. Measuring 348 yards from the championship tees down to 270 yards from the ladies' tees, it takes your drive over another thin stream about 50 yards in front of the tee box before moving into a dogleg left for the last one-third of the fairway.
Once again, players pulling the driver out of the bag have to be extremely careful, and most find the only way to succeed is to use the same lower club off the tee for both if they want to take advantage of the two relative short holes without blowing the final score.
August 16, 2011