There are lots of deserving candidates for the title of world’s most famous golf hole, but there’s no question which one if the most recognizable – TPC Sawgrass’ No. 17 Island Green.
The 137-yard par-3’s trademark apple-shaped island is reachable only by bridge, and by a pinpoint shot to the green. It has been compared to trying to land a 747 jet on a postage stamp, except stamps are sticky – and much easier to lick. Adding to the pressure is the packed gallery that loves watching the best players in the game struggle to stay pin high and dry.
While we can’t guarantee you the same high-stakes pressure of the PGA Tour, there are some very challenging and picturesque island greens in the golf capital of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Covering more than 80 courses on the Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of coastline from Georgetown, S.C., to Shallotte, NC, there are several similar island green layouts where you can test your game and your composure. So grab your 9-iron and your nerve as we go island-hopping to some of Myrtle Beach Golf’s favorite island greens on the Grand Strand:
* Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links’ No. 17: This Little River layout boasts one o the toughest home stretches on the Strand, and the 212-yard par-3 17th hole backs up that claim. Only a salt marsh and waste areas stand between the tee and green, except for a tree that players must miss in order to find the target. Be accurate or pay a steep price.
* Heritage Club’s No. 13: The 13th hole is an unlucky number for those who launch inaccurate tee shots on this 235-yard par-3. The green gently slopes toward the water, and mounded backside bunkers wait to punish those who try to play it too safe.
* Long Bay Golf Club’s No. 13: A foot bridge on the back side of the green is your only connection to the island, although a well-placed tee shot can allow your golf ball to take a direct flight. A large bunker and two trees are the only obstacles on this 136-yard par-3, except for all that water between you and the cup.
* Myrtle Beach National King’s North’s No. 6: You’ve heard of an island green, but how about an island fairway? That’s the case on this 568-yard par-5 beast that is nicknamed “The Gambler” for good reason. It gives golfers a tempting short cut to the hole on a narrow landing strip that sets up another tight, over-the-water shot to the green.
* Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club’s No. 13: Jack Nicklaus designed this Lowcountry layout, and this hole seems built for someone of his skill level. The 150-yard par-3 dares golfers to be off the mark with an open carry over salt marsh and a tidal creek. The small green demands accuracy and has been known to gobble up a lot of golf balls.
* True Blue Plantation’s No. 3: One of the trickiest par-3s on the Strand features a Y-shaped water hazard and a shoe-shaped green with nothing in between but wet stuff. The green slopes toward a front-side, wrap-around bunker so a soft, dry landing is critical.
* World Tour Golf Links’ No. 3: If this short par 3 looks familiar it’s because it was designed with TPC Sawgrass’ famed No. 17. It’s either make the green or make a big splash on this 126-yard par-3, except for a small but hungry right-side bunker.
Book your next Myrtle Beach vacation and plan to do some island-hopping on these knee-knocking holes. Just be sure to pack a couple of extra golf balls.