Hole 4, Barefoot Resort (Love Course): 294/280/265/252/247—Not enough Grand Strand courses have a true drivable par 4, which is a pity because they are a lot of fun to play. Who doesn’t love standing on a tee and slashing at a drive with the possibility of putting for an eagle? To add to the temptation, this hole backs up to Barefoot’s recreated brick ruins, meaning that a tee shot that comes in hot could ricochet back onto the putting surface.
Hole 14, Wild Wing Plantation (Avocet): 308/283/265/221—The second of the drivable par 4s on this list is one where a player can make a birdie in about half a dozen different ways. Options are the essence of many of the world’s great golf holes and with a double fairway, a fascinatingly contoured green and ten bunkers complicating the proposition, the 14th at the Avocet course deserves considerable praise.
Hole 12, TPC Myrtle Beach: 333/317/277/253/233—A short par 4 need not be drivable in order to be interesting. Sure, the likes of Masters champion Bubba Watson or Myrtle Beach native Dustin Johnson could reach this green from the tee, but mere mortals have the option of hitting their tee shots out to the right and playing a deft pitch shot to the thoughtfully sculpted green or laying up and leaving a full wedge or short iron approach. Either way, it is a lovely finesse hole amid many sterner challenges at TPC Myrtle Beach.
Hole 18, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club: 383/377/362/301—Perhaps the Grand Strand’s most spectacular finishing hole, the 18th at Caledonia borders the expansive wetlands and tributaries of the Waccamaw River. Both tee shot and approach must contend with water. One can choose to lay up and leave a mid- or long-iron into a narrow, sloping green or hit more club down the left and leave a short-iron and a better angle. Either way, count on numerous visitors looking on from the rocking chairs on the clubhouse’s wraparound porch, set just beyond above the putting surface.
Hole 4, Tidewater Plantation: 430/416/400/365/255—The 4th at Tidewater is the second hole that borders the Little River Inlet. A long, thin waste bunker separates the fairway on this dogleg-left from the aforementioned considerable hazard. A drive that challenges the left side will be rewarded with some extra roll and a shorter approach to a green that is elevated, undulating and guarded by seven bunkers.
Hole 18, True Blue Plantation: 437/419/406/347/309—The 16th and 17th holes deal with water on the right side and True Blue finishes with a hole where H2O guards the left. A drive in the fairway leaves a mid- or long-iron into a putting surface that measures over 50 yards from front to back and is sloped such that a ball hit up the right edge will filter toward the middle.
Hole 18, Ocean Ridge Plantation: (Leopard’s Chase): 439/417/369/332/298—Everyone loves a nice waterfall now and again, and Leopard’s Chase’s finishing hole delivers. A long par four plays even longer into the prevailing winds, making hitting a solid drive a must for players who want to escape with par.
Hole 16, Pawleys Plantation: 444/423/405/360/322—This hole kicks off one of the toughest three-hole stretches in the South. It is a classic “switchback” hole—something course designer Jack Nicklaus learned from his early work with Pete Dye—where a right-to-left tee shot is ideally followed by a left-to right approach, generally hit with at least a long iron.
Hole 16, Legends Resort (Heathland): 447/428/391/308—From the tee box on this stout two-shotter, the golfer is confronted with an important choice: carry the diagonally-running burn on the right side and enjoy an unencumbered view of the green or lay up to the left-side fairway and carry the burn, as well as an imposing fronting greenside bunker, on the second shot? If the latter, players will rarely make par but will probably never do worse than 6, but if the former, scores from 3 to 8 can occur.
Hole 18, Myrtle Beach National (King’s North): 464/395/367/355/305—One of the most photographed holes on the Grand Strand, the finisher at King’s North is visually stunning and intimidating, with some 40 bunkers lining both sides of the fairway and surrounding the green. Nonetheless, the fairway is actually fairly generous as one can focus on it. The green slopes gently from rear-left to front-right. If one can concentrate hard enough to hit the fairway off the tee, a birdie becomes a distinct possibility.
These ten par 4s give a great introduction to some of the best golf courses Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas have to offer. Come play here and let us know which holes we’ve missed!