Nine reasons to play golf in Myrtle Beach

By January 12, 2009, 5:00 pm
With more than 100 golf courses sporting the biggest names in golf architecture, 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 them into what would be our dream Myrtle Beach play.
 
'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
 
Par: 36
Yardage: 3,345
 
by William K. Wolfrum, WorldGolf.com
 
Also available at WorldGolf.com
Getty Images

Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, GolfChannel.com writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:

The Monday morning headline will be …

REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.

RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.

MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.

JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.



Who or what will be the biggest surprise?

HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.

LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.

BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.

COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.



Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?

HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.

LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.

BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.

COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.



What will be the winning score?

HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.

LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.

BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.

COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.

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Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty

By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 3:16 pm

Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.

Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.

This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):

While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:

Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.

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McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses

By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.

Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.

“It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.

“Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”

He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.  

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Height of irony: Phil putts in front of 'rules' sign

By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 1:36 pm

A picture is worth 1,000 words and potentially two strokes for playing a moving ball under Rule 14-5 but not Rule 1-2.

Phil Mickelson has been having some fun during his Open prep at Carnoustie hitting flop shots over human beings, but the irony of this photo below is too obvious to go over anyone's head.

Mickelson also tried tapping down fescue two weeks ago at The Greenbrier, incurring another two-shot penalty.

And so we're left to wonder about what Phil asked himself back at Shinnecock Hills: "The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’”