TPC Myrtle Beach: One Fine Fazio

All TPC courses carry with them the air of a professional-style golf experience. Not all of them have hosted professional golf tournaments but at all of them, you arrive and you are supposed to have the feeling that professional golf could be played there, at the very least. In this regard, Myrtle Beach’s version does not disappoint.

The Course

The sub-400 yard first hole at TPC Myrtle Beach is a rarity in that it is a birdie hole. With a fairly generous fairway and an expansive, fairly flat green, it represents a chance to start your round off on a high note. Even the second hole, a par five, can be had. Otherwise, there is relatively little let-up. But if it can be fun weathering the storm of a tough golf course, that fun can be had at TPC Myrtle Beach. After two tough par fours and a shortish but devilish par three, the par five sixth is another chance to make up some ground…until you lose it again at the long par three 7th…until you have a chance to regain it at the shortish par four 8th…until the colossal 9th threatens to break your spirit.

In this way, Fazio golf courses tend to possess a strong sense of rhythm and can push the unfocused player off-balance. After a couple hard holes in a row, Tom will throw a relatively easy one at you and, letting your guard down, you mess that one up too! This is both frustrating and effective.

Fazio continues to toy with the player throughout the round, as evidenced by the closing 1-2 punch. The par-three 17th is a gut-check, its green guarded on three sides by water and on the fourth by a small, deep bunker which might be an even more dire place to end up. But Fazio giveth and taketh, closing the round with a reachable par five that requires two stellar shots to yield up a birdie or elusive round-ending eagle.

The Experience

The golf course at TPC is kept in very good shape, its Champion Bermuda greens firm but large. The facilities are among the best for any single-course facility in Myrtle Beach. The clubhouse sports an excellent locker room as well as a grille on the second floor that overlooks the 18th green, so you can watch other poor schmucks finish their rounds as you enjoy a beer and a sandwich.

As for the practice facilities, they seem to work for Dustin Johnson, who can be spotted at TPC Myrtle Beach from time to time. A big grass range and putting green complement a chipping green and practice bunker that afford the opportunity to simulate most any shot you are likely to encounter during your round.

The Verdict

TPC at Myrtle Beach is a tough test of golf for sure, but equally surely a good one. While not recommended for a first round straight off the plane, it makes a great mid-trip or finale course, especially given its relative closeness to the airport. It is one of the four or five best courses on the southern half of the Grand Strand and for that, it deserves your attention.

Posted 2/7/13

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