Nine reasons to play golf in Myrtle Beach
'Tis the season for a Myrtle Beach golf vacation. You've been putting it off for too long. The prices are right, the Grand Strand courses ready. All that's missing is you.
Still need a push to book a trip to this golf mecca with more than 100 courses, many designed by the biggest names in golf architecture?
Okay. Here are 18 reasons to hit the links in Myrtle Beach - a course's worth of great Grand Strand golf holes. We're not saying these are the 18 best holes in Myrtle Beach golf - just whetting your appetite for some of the options in this South Carolina golf mecca.
In this first of two parts, we look at Nos. 1-9. Each hole on our 'course' corresponds to its placement on the actual course.
No. 1 - Willbrook Plantation Golf Club: This Pawleys Island charmer is the perfect place to start your day. The 400-yard par-4 hits you with a dogleg right as well as trees and water.
'I have a hard time imagining a more difficult starting tee shot than this one,' WorldGolf.com's Brandon Tucker wrote about this stellar opener.
No. 2 - Arcadian Shores Golf Club at Kingston Plantation: Accuracy is everything on this 178-yard par-3, as it is throughout the acclaimed Rees Jones design.
No. 3 - World Tour Golf Links: The 126-yard par-3 third at this replica course is based on the famed No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass Stadium course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
'Most of the ingredients are there, including, obviously, the island green, but the green is much smaller than the real thing,' Tim McDonald wrote in his course review at MyrtleBeachGolf.com. 'It may actually be tougher than the real deal.'
No. 4 -Moorlands at Legends Golf Club:: Hills and bunkers make for an adventurous trip on this 350-yard par-4 from the mind of P.B. Dye.
'Once you get to the green, having survived, it feels like you're in a forest amphitheater,' Chris Baldwin wrote at TravelGolf.com.
No. 5 - Brunswick Plantation, Magnolia course: The 425-yard par-4 fifth at this Calabash, N.C. club is a real test. 'You have to be accurate off the tee here, both in direction and distance. The green is crowned, falling off in all directions,' McDonald wrote.
No. 6 - Myrtle Beach National King's North: This 568-yard par-5 through a myriad of water is 'undoubtedly one of the best holes along the entire Grand Strand, a hole that will have you standing around scratching your head as you stand on the tee box overlooking it,' according to McDonald's review.
No. 7 - Long Bay Club: Want to know why Jack Nicklaus has a rep for designing killer tracks? Look no further. Long Bay is full of tough holes, none more so than this 543-yard par-5 that will have you squeezing your approach through trees on the right and water on the left.
No. 8 - Blackmoor Golf Course: You say you like risk-reward options? This is the hole for you, with a choice of fairways, one offering a kinder, gentler 370-yard trek to the green, the other a 290-yard voyage over a waste bunker.
No. 9 - Palmetto at Myrtlewood Golf Club: This challenging 390-yard par-4 will keep your attention, with water your companion all the way down the right side of the fairway.
Front nine stats
by William K. Wolfrum, WorldGolf.com
Also available at WorldGolf.com
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.
Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:
Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)
What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.
Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.
Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.
Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.
Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.
Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:
Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry