The hunt for Myrtle Beachs Signature Hole

By January 12, 2009, 5:00 pm
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Each golf trip has one: that special hole which leaves a lasting imprint in your noggin' long after you've returned home.
 
Myrtle Beach golf courses are chock full of them. And, interestingly enough, the concept of a 'signature hole' is considered by many golf architecture historians to have been born in Myrtle Beach at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club. Robert Trent Jones' famous 'Waterloo' hole, a par 5 that wraps around Lake Singleton just off the Atlantic Ocean, is the first known hole purpose built to stick out like a sore (well, a very scenic 'sore') thumb.
 
Today's definition of a 'signature hole' lies, depending on your tastes, somewhere between the best-designed, most drama-laden, most difficult or most scenic hole on any golf course.
 
There are roughly 100 golf courses in Myrtle Beach, and most of them have tried to employ their own offering as Myrtle Beach's best golf hole.
 
Here is just a sample of the headliners:
 
King's North at Myrtle Beach NationalNo. 6, King's North at Myrtle Beach National: Any worthy signature hole has a nickname. In this instance, No. 6 at King's North was christened by musician Kenny Rogers as 'The Gambler,' thanks to its island fairway that allows the hole to be played close to 100 yards shorter than the conventional dogleg left around the water. The shallow, peninsula green leaves little room for error both front, long and left. For some golfers, it makes their trip. Others call it 'gimmicky,' but no one deems it guilty of false advertising.
 
This isn't the only contender at King's North. The par-3 12th hole features an island green with 'S' and 'C' bunkers to the left, symbolizing 'South Carolina,' making it a popular favorite spot for aerial photographers.
 
No. 18, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club: Caledonia's 18th hole is the best closing hole on the Grand Strand thanks largely to its 19th hole.
 
The club has become infamous for its often rowdy back porch just steps off the 18th green. As players finish up their morning rounds, the porch fills up, and groups tend to stay here longer than most other clubhouses due to the entertainment provided by the 18th hole's approach shot: a long carry over water that sees one wet, embarrassing failure after another. Jeers and cheers echo off the porch long into late afternoon.
 
Of all the shots in the Grand Strand, this is the one that will most likely be watched by the most eyes and will certainly test your mettle.
 
No. 13, Pawleys Plantation: Pawleys' back nine hugs the marsh so close you'll always have the smell of saltwater in your nostrils. Both the par 3s on the back must carry marsh, but it's the short 13th's island green, with a miniscule putting surface jutting out into the marsh, that will have your group talking - or cursing.
 
And when the tide is out, you can see enough balls sitting in the muck to stock a golf shop for years.
 
No. 14, Grande Dunes' Resort Course: A handful of courses boast at least one striking hole along the bustling Intracoastal waterway, where anything from jet skis to fishing and luxury leisure boats pass by parallel golf holes at clubs like Arrowhead Country Club, Waterway Hills Golf Links and Myrtlewood Golf Club's Palmetto Course.
 
But the most distinctive is Grande Dunes' par-3 14th hole. It's a daring shot both over the waterway to a green perched to the left of it - up to 240 yards long if you're a gamer. A weak fade's only hope of finding dry surface is if it somehow lands on a shrimp boat.
 
No. 16, Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links: If your personal thesaurus has 'signature' and 'difficult' in the same entry, look no further than Glen Dornoch's 16th hole, which kicks off the North Strand's most sinister trio of finishing holes. It heads straight downhill towards the waterway. Depending on your length, a delicate layup is required to stay short of a perpendicular hazard.
 
The approach shot plays further downhill, to a green guarded left, right and back by the waterway. Often requiring a medium-to-long iron, few golfers move on to 17 with 4.
 
No. 6, Barefoot Resort, Love Course: Barefoot went out of its way here to leave a little something extra, recreating slave quarters behind the sixth green. In fact, the structure is so close to this drivable par 4, it isn't unheard of to actually fly the green with your drive, strike the structure and have it kick backwards onto the green.
 
While this structure is replicated, other courses have authentic plantation remnants. Willbrook Plantation is full of excavated slave ruins and even a cemetery. The Heritage Golf Club's 440-yard fourth is completely encircled with centuries-old oaks and a slave burial ground to the left of the green, which leaves little evidence of anytime later than the 18th century.
 
No. 18, Farmstead Golf Club: If 'signature' means 'longest,' this hole is the hands-down winner. Those who haven't been to the Grand Strand aren't often aware that there are some golf courses that spill over across the border in North Carolina. But there is only one golf course that plays in both South and North Carolina and only one hole that plays in both. It's Farmstead's endless 767-yard par 6.
 
That's just a sample of some of the area's most vivid holes. But in the end, it comes down to what the golfer remembers when he's with his buddies a year later in the poker room and the topic of his 'trip to Myrtle' comes up.
 
So what's yours?
 
by Brandon Tucker, WorldGolf.com
 

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.