Myrtlewood Golf Club is one of the most venerable and iconic places for a round in Myrtle Beach. With two courses showcasing the sensibilities, aesthetics and design principles of different eras, not to mention a tranquil setting, it is a wonderful place to test one’s golf game.
The Palmetto course is the elder of the two sister courses at Myrtlewood. An Ed Ault design that opened in 1972, Palmetto is lengthy at 7,015 yards from the back Blue tees, but quite wide open, giving players to “grip and rip” at times, often with risk-reward implications.
One such opportunity comes off the second tee, where after a straightforward opener, a “switchback” hole unfurls in front of the player. This sort of hole was made particularly popular by Pete Dye, a contemporary of Ault’s. Curling from left to right, the 417-yard second at the Palmetto course encourages the player to hit a left-to-right tee shot followed by, ideally, a right-to-left approach shot in order to get close to the pin with a makeable birdie putt. To create this effect, Ault placed a fairway bunker on the inside of the dogleg, just right of the fairway, and another sandy hazard just left of the long, narrow green. It is a shotmaker’s delight of a hole.
The rest of the front nine weaves around three ponds that create strategic intrigue before arriving at the par-5 tenth hole, which measures 529 yards from the Blue tees, 503 from the middle (6,516 yard) White set and 484 yards from the (6,009 yard) Gold tees. The green complex sets this hole apart, as the putting surface is both shaped and contoured similarly to a saddle, with high sides and a flat front and back. The green is 33 yards from front to back but less then half as wide, meandering as it does from front-left to back-right. Playing to a front pin is a decidedly different challenge than tackling one in the rear portion of the green, making number 10 a hole that plays quite differently one day to the next.
One would be remiss to describe the Palmetto Course without mentioning its closing hole, one of the best-known golf holes in Myrtle Beach. It is a formidable 468-yard beast from the Blue tees but a much more manageable 377 from the Whites. Either way, though, it plays hard by the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway. A tee shot or approach that swings too far to the right is likely to end up wet—hopefully not on the deck of one of the many boats that pass by. Those who are thinking about skipping out on their end-of-match debts by water may turn left after diving in the Waterway and head 713 miles to Miami or turn right and go 650 miles to New York. The friendly Myrtlewood staff, however, are not aware of anyone who has been beaten badly enough by the Palmetto Course to seriously consider such a drastic undertaking.
posted on 11/13/12