MYRTLE BEACH - Lining up an eagle putt is one of golf's most enviable positions. It's also a rarity for most players, particularly on a par 4, but a Myrtle Beach golf trip does afford a few opportunities.
The Grand Strand is home to more than 1,800 holes, including a handful of short par 4s that provide a chance to drive the green (or possibly record an ace). If you can hit the driver long and relatively straight, here are the five holes you might be able to reach, though there is risk involved (all yardages are listed from the tips):
The shortest par 4 on the Myrtle Beach golf scene is also one of the most photographed. The fourth hole on the Love Course at Barefoot Resort features the faux ruins of an old plantation home (which, by the way, are in play) and begs golfers to try and drive the green. If you miss, don't find the large pot bunker about 30 yards short on the left side. The smart play might call for an iron off the tee, but set the "book" aside and let it rip here.
Glen Dornoch is full of character and this hole is a prime example. It plays 285 yards from the blue tees and 272 yards from the whites, so it's reachable for a lot of people. The hole is a slight dogleg and two bunkers guard the left front of the green. If you go for it, your tee shot needs to stay to the right to avoid the bunkers if it comes up short.
One of the best holes at Conway's Wild Wing Plantation, No. 14 on the Avocet course offers a risk-reward choice. The hole plays just 265 yards from the tips, but six bunkers and a three tiered green provide ample defense. This is a hole you have to take a swing at.
The area around the 16th green at Moorland is known as Hell's Half-Acre and it earned its nickname. The hole is drivable from every set of tees, but there is plenty of trouble awaiting wayward shots, including pot bunkers, waste areas, grass bunkers, pampas grass and, whatever you do, don't find the bunker located just over the green. No. 16 at Moorland is a lot of fun to play.
The opening hole on the Maples Course at Sea Trail Golf Resort offers players the opportunity for a good start, but if it's great you're looking for, long hitters can unsheathe the driver and take a poke. No. 1 plays 295 from the whites and 275 from the gold tees, so it is reachable, but not without risk. Water runs along the right side of the hole and out-of-bounds on the left makes it a relatively tight drive. It's an interesting decision to open a round with. What would you do?
Note: The list doesn't include the eighth hole at Blackmoor Golf Club in Murrells Inlet, but it, arguably, should. No. 8 measures 371 yards, according to the scorecard, but designer Gary Player cut a chute through the trees that gives players the opportunity to drive the green. Taking the short cut, knocks 100 yards off the length of the hole, making it very reachable.
April 22, 2010