Certain golf courses pose quite a hazard – to your round. We’re not talking about a health hazard, but merely a hazard to your scorecard if you hit into too many of them. Bunkers, waste areas, ponds, rivers, streams, marshes, mounds. Myrtle Beach golf courses have it all when it comes to penalizing hazards. If your sand saves aren’t up to par, it could be a long day at the links, especially depending on where you play. The good news is that if you avoid and/or escape these areas in one piece it makes your round that much more thrilling. The challenge is part of the fun, right?
Let’s take a look at some particularly exciting courses that can be hazardous to your handicap. We’ll rank each on a hazard level, with 1 being a walk in the park and 5 requiring a compass, a map and a GPS to navigate through all of the hazards.
• Prestwick Country Club – With the course a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean, you’re in for quite a treat at Prestwick. The layout features mounds, waste areas, cavernous bunkers and natural water hazards including lakes and streams. Despite all of the hazards, you’ll enjoy this Pete Dye layout. Hazard rating: 4
• Legends – Heathland Course – We had to include a links-style course, or our hazard list would not be complete. This course may not have as many hazards as some of the other courses, but they are treacherous. Fairways are typically lined with deep rough, which is a not-so-nice pairing with the deep bunkers next to many of the greens. The wind always tends to be a factor at this course, too! Hazard rating: 3
• Shaftesbury Glen – This course is all about the bunkers, especially the green-side ones. Every hole features sand, so get used to thinking about every approach shot in terms of how to avoid the beach. Be prepared for a sand save or two. This all culminates on 18 where you are faced with a gigantic green surrounded by five huge bunkers. Hazard rating: 4
• Leopard’s Chase – This course is a part of The Big Cats Golf Courses of Ocean Ridge Plantation, just across the state line in North Carolina. The course designers at The Big Cats are masters at creating hazards – and the newest course on the complex may be the most diabolical. Water hazards seem to be around every right turn, while sand seems to be around every left turn. Sometimes it’s vice versa, but you get the picture. There are hazards everywhere here. Which simply adds to the fun. Hazard rating: 5
• Long Bay Golf Club – If you have a fear of sand or are allergic to sand, it would be a good idea to stay away from this course. You may have a reaction when you pull into the parking lot. Holes 4, 10 and 16 have as much sand as the shore at the Atlantic Ocean. Confused sun bathers have been known to bring their towels and sunscreen to the course. Not really, but there’s a lot of sand here. Plus hole 13 features an “island” green, so it doesn’t get more hazardous than that. Jack Nicklaus knew what he was doing when designing this course. Hazard rating: 5
While you may score really well on a straightforward course with a random bunker or stream here and there, it just isn’t as fun as taming one of these beasts. The list could go on and on, when it comes to hazardous courses in Myrtle Beach. We didn’t even discuss the biggest hazard of all in the lowcountry. Gators! We’ll save that for next time. Unlike sand or a waste area, we do recommend avoiding alligator hazards completely.