Back nine perfect reasons to play golf in Myrtle Beach

By January 12, 2009, 5:00 pm
With more than 100 golf courses sporting the biggest-name architects in golf, Myrtle Beach is well-known as a prime golf-vacation destination. If you need a little more convincing, we've taken our favorite Grand Strand golf holes and combined into what would be our dream Myrtle Beach play.
Our front nine took in spectacular tracks like the Long Bay Club and King's North at Myrtle Beach National. Now, we head home - our back nine closes the show in style. Each hole on our 'course' corresponds to its placement on the actual golf course.
No. 10 - Prestwick Country Club: Prestwick's 383-yard par-4 10th offers a delectable start to a delicious back nine - the same purpose it serves in real life, according to golf writer Tim McDonald, who in his course review of Prestwick, called the second half of the course 'the front nine jacked up on steroids.'
No. 11 - Caledonia Golf & Fish Club: You get what you pay for at this upscale Grand Strand club, and this 167-yard par-3 gives you the scenery and style that make Caledonia a Myrtle Beach golf favorite.
No. 12 - King's North at Myrtle Beach National: You'll be shooting downhill to an island green on this nerve-wracking 140-yard par 3. Bunkers and a tricky green make this not only one of the Grand Strand's prettier par 3s but one of the most challenging.
No. 13 - Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation: Tidewater's memorable holes are almost too numerous to pick just one. 'It's a gorgeous course, with overhanging oaks, marsh everywhere and high bluffs overlooking the sun-sparkled Intracoastal Waterway, complete with cruising sailboats and dotted with local fishermen,' McDonald wrote.
We'll go with the 539-yard, par-5 13th so you can savor the ocean views.
No. 14 - Palmetto at Myrtlewood Golf Club: There's plenty to choose from among Myrtlewood's 36 holes. but you'll want to save your best swings for this 366 par-4 that will have you dodging water.
No. 15 - Willbrook Plantation Golf Club: Listed in the book 'The 100 Greatest Holes Along the Grand Strand,' Willbrook's 15th cements the course's sterling rep. While many praise the club's women-friendliness, this 538-yard par-5 will require some heavy hitting.
No. 16 - Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links: Plenty of golfers will tell you Glen Dornoch is about as good as it gets in Myrtle Beach. This 431-yard par-4 begins what many consider the most treacherous closing trio on the Grand Strand.
'The 16th is classic strategy hole, with a hill on the right and the fairway narrowing to a trickle on the left. Hit to the crest of a hill to have the best angle down into the green, over marsh. And put away your driver or suffer the consequences,' McDonald warned.
No. 17 - TPC of Myrtle Beach: This Tom Fazio design shows a little more sympathy for the duffers than usual on this Grand Strand standout, but it still packs considerable punch, as the 145-slope rating attests.
This par-3 17th is a scenic 193-yard delight that will have you shooting to a near-island green. Victory or a two-shot penalty could be yours.
No. 18 - Heritage Golf Club: You might as well finish strong, and this Pawleys Island delight brings it home right. The grand oaks frame your way through this 530-yard par-5 that shows off everything that's grand about Grand Strand golf, from clubhouse to green.
Back nine stats
Par: 36
Yardage: 3,231
Total stats for a dream 18 in Myrtle Beach
Par: 72
by William K. Wolfrum,
Also available at
Getty Images

What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

Getty Images

Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

Getty Images

Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

Getty Images

Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.