The Best Par-3s of Myrtle Beach

By January 12, 2009, 5:00 pm
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - A stand-out par 3 can make a golf course - and ruin your scorecard.
The golf courses in Myrtle Beach are home to plenty of island greens and other memorable - and penal - par 3 holes. Just about every course has at least one standout. Here are some of the finest that stand to make your knees shiver a bit:
Grande Dunes Resort Course, No. 14: Grande Dunes features several holes playing along the waterway, but this is the most stunning of them all. Though pretty, it's long, bold and plenty intimidating. Steep bunkers and hazards short and below the green will ensure you take plenty of club.
Heritage Club, No. 13: Among the longest par-3 carries over water in Myrtle Beach depending on the tees you're playing from, No. 13 at this Lowcounty gem along the Waccamaw River begins a brutal stretch of holes, making up one of Myrtle Beach's toughest back sides.
King's North at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club, No. 12: Each of King's North's par 3s play over water, and No. 12's green is surrounded by it. Just a pitch at between 115-150 yards, but this island green is plenty tough to hit and features the 'S' and 'C' bunkers to further complicate things. The green is misleadingly deep, so mind your club selection.
The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, No. 12: Before you walk off the 11th hole of the Dunes Club, be sure to seek out No. 12's championship tee box: over 230 yards all over marsh to a smallish target, a box used during the Senior PGA Tour Championship when held here.
Soak it in, and then your own box might not look as difficult, though you'll still be forced with all carry to the green.
True Blue Plantation, No. 3: Each of True Blue's par 3s will give you sweaty palms thanks to Mike Strantz's imaginative shaping, with No. 3 perhaps being the most likely to intimidate. Bunkers slope straight into the water, and on a sunny day, don't be surprised if you see a resident gator sunning in the front one - all the more reason to take one more club.
Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, No. 13: There are a lot of island greens in Myrtle Beach that are very large. This isn't one of them. This unlucky 13 is the climax of a stunning, marshy back nine at this Jack Nicklaus-designed course. This sliver of green juts out into marsh, with just a sliver of turf wide enough to walk on from the cart path.
When the tide is out, you'll see the sheer carnage of golf balls that have fallen victim here - likely a couple of your own, too.
Glen Dornoch, No. 17: Considered one of the area's toughest closing stretches, the 17th green features marsh front, left and long, but that's not all. Players must also hit over a tree from the tee. Those sheepish enough to bail out on the right side will find themselves atop a bunker-laden mound, making a chip back to the green even tougher than the tee shot.
The Dye Course at Barefoot Resort, No. 17: Like most Pete Dye-designed golf courses, the Barefoot is no easy finish. Before a brutally long par-4 finisher, golfers must hit a pure mid or long iron into a diagonally placed green, making yardage and line all that more important. Waste and hazard surrounds the green. If the pin is in the back right, good luck.
Myrtle Beach's top bargain par-3s
You don't have to pay three figures to find a good par 3 in Myrtle Beach. Here are some bargain courses with their own stiff tests:
The Wizard Golf Course, No. 17: After about 15 holes of links-style golf, The Wizard finishes off in the middle of a 100-acre manmade lake, which the 17th green sticks right out of. The tee sticks up even higher, giving you some good elevation and visibility, but the wind out here can sometimes make that a detriment.
Palmetto Course at Myrtlewood Golf Club, No. 17: The Pinehills Course at Myrtlewood is probably an all-around better test of golf, but they don't have the two waterway holes of the original Palmetto course. No. 17 plays with the waterway to your left and a canal funneling into it in front. The green is narrow and elevated, guarded by an enormous bunker in front. Though just about 140-150 yards, hitting this green (especially with pin tucked left) is no cakewalk.
Arrowhead Country Club (The Waterway), No. 3: A stern, 175-yard shot entirely over water to a green guarded all around by bunkers. A front pin location up against the water will certainly test your mettle.
Crow Creek Golf Club, No. 8: Architects at Crow Creek in Brunswick County flooded the land around the eighth hole to create a unique looking par 3, with many bare trees sticking out, including a cypress tree that guards the left side of the green, which can cause havoc for slicers. It's a favorite perch for bird life, so don't expect total silence on your backswing.
West Course, Myrtle Beach National Golf Club, No. 18: A rare par-3 finishing hole, and it's a doozy from the championship tees, playing 220 yards entirely over water. Swing too hard and you stand to find yourself left into the drink, too.
by Ian Lenton,
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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.