Grand Strand bruisers: The toughest golf holes in central Myrtle Beach, S.C.

By Ian Guerin, Contributor

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- South Carolina's Grand Strand has made a seemingly conscious effort of late to make golf courses a hair easier.

Wild Wing Plantation - Avocet golf course - hole 6
No. 6 on Wild Wing Plantation's Avocet Course features a tri-leveled green.
Wild Wing Plantation - Avocet golf course - hole 6Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club - 9th holeMyrtle Beach National - Southcreek golf course - 9
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Mainstream golf that won't beat you up is all the rage. But among central Myrtle Beach golf courses, there are still plenty of holes that can trick up golfers who aren't prepared.

Myrtle Beach National's Southcreek Course, no. 9: Locals and regular visitors to the Grand Strand know all about the Myrtle Beach National's most intriguing hole, no. 6 on King's North. However, the 390-yard par 4 on Southcreek is significantly more difficult.

This hole has next to no room for error from start to finish, and the intimidating layout is the reason.

Water, bunkers and trees are in play from the tee box. And even after you surpass the water on the right side of the hole, there's even more trees and sand. Players often guess which -- sand or trees -- their ball will come closer to.

The slightest of doglegs (right, in this case) doesn't look that scary. However, golfers shouldn't try to get too fancy. Short and straight is better than long and gone.

Wild Wing Plantation's Avocet Course, no. 6: Known affectionately as "Water's Edge," the longest par 4 at Wild Wing's Avocet Course is much more than a scenic hole tucked inside the course just outside city limits.

The course, which was recently chopped up and redesigned, markets the hole as one that plays to the "maximum length allowed by the rules of golf." And when the pin placement is set at its furthest spot, it actually exceeds that distance.

For those playing the back tees, you're looking at a 462-yard hole, which means that you not only need your driver but also a three wood, just to get close to the green. The biggest challenge, however, is judging your second and third shots.

The tri-leveled green makes it difficult to gauge distance to the pin, especially if you're simply lining up for that second shot with a wood in your hand.

Shaftesbury Glen Golf and Fish Club, no. 9: As if the 450-yard par 4 at Shaftesbury Glen wasn't long enough, the Clyde Johnston design makes it seem even longer. No. 9 invites the daring off the tee to simply hammer away; it's the type of mistake many first-time players make.

If golfers are able to successfully navigate their tee shots around the bending creek that is in play, they still have to deal with a large fairway bunker in the middle of the hole and trees on the left and right.

Many elect to hit their three wood off the tee. The problem with that -- again, if you're able to avoid the problem areas on the hole -- is you are looking at hitting the same club again in order to make up the distance on your second shot.

Parkland Course at Legends Golf and Resort, no. 14: Another extremely difficult par 4 is placed in the area usually reserved for a par 5. However, the square footage of this play is extremely deceiving.

It might as well be called "The Sliver."

With a fairway surrounded by two expansive waste areas, the 14th tee shot at the Parkland Course at Legends Golf and Resort is about as unforgiving as it gets. Even if players are able to fully clear the first large hazard, driving through the fairway into the second one is common.

Just for good measure, the hole on the third of the three primary Legends courses includes a pair of sand traps in play off the box and two more just left of the green.

Ian GuerinIan Guerin, Contributor

Ian Guerin is a freelance writer and DJ living in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He's decent with the driver and putter; it's everything else in the bag that gives him trouble. Follow Ian on Twitter at @iguerin.

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