Three Stinkers: Myrtle Beach’s Worst Golf Holes (Part 1)

Myrtle Beach National – SouthCreek Course, Hole 7
Par 4, 335/325/310/270 yards
Does an abrupt 90-degree dogleg-right where a perfect tee shot puts you behind a tree sound like a good or fun golf hole to play? How about one where the safest place to aim off the tee is a fairway bunker? Or one where you could go for the green from the tee, I guess, but you need to carry tall trees located on islands inside a pond? No? Well, too bad! That’s what you face at the seventh at Myrtle Beach National’s SouthCreek course. The course is listed as having been designed by Arnold Palmer and Francis Duane. Here’s hoping the King didn’t have any personal input on the design of this hole; we might need to strip him of one or two of his major championship victories if he did. And place a big red clown nose on the statue of him that stands by the clubhouse.

The Witch Golf Links, Hole 5
Par 5, 574/535/470 yards
You shape a perfect tee shot left-to-right over the bunker that guards the right side of the fairway of the hole, which elbows around it. You’re left with not much more than 200 yards to the pin. In other words, it’s GO-TIME, right?

Not at The Witch’s fifth hole! Well, you can try going for the green, but you’d better be able to hit a 200-plus yard shot over some trees and with 20-plus yards of right-to-left movement. Oh, and the green slopes right to left. And there’s water just left of the green. And a bunker to the right.

Add it all up and you’re hitting a wedge and then another wedge after your best drive of the day. And if just picturing this golf hole is enough to make you want to curse course designer Dan Maples, wait until you play the thing! Yours wouldn’t be the first expletives to be lost in the cypress swamp that surrounds the front nine at the Witch, or the last.

Founders Club of Pawleys Island, Hole 9
Par 5, 559/534/493/455 yards
The third entrant in this installment is close kin to the second, in that it is another double-dogleg par five that is, at best, kooky and at worst pretty completely harebrained. The green complex is kind of cool, but you’ll probably be turned off by the journey you take to get there. Once again, a good drive is unlikely to be rewarded, as there’s pretty much no way to try for the green in two, even if you’ve slung your drive right-to-left around the pines on the inside of the dogleg. So once again, you have to lay up with a wedge or short iron to a narrow landing area with water down the left and fairly dense pines and sandy waste on the right. Strategy? HELL no; just pray you make a good swing and that one of the trucks barreling down Rt. 17 doesn’t blow their horn while you’re hitting.

Here’s hoping that the next time any of these three courses receive some renovations, these holes are targeted. By which I mean, “blown up.”

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