A Day at Myrtle Beach National – King’s North Course
The first course I played during my recent family vacation was the King’s North Course, designed by Arnold Palmer, at the Myrtle Beach National golf complex located on Hwy 501 just a few miles out of central Myrtle Beach. There are two other courses on the property also, West and South Creek, but King’s North is the easily the best of the three. Upon arrival, I got the full country club greeting from the friendly guys running the bag drop. After checking in a good 45 minutes ahead of my starting time in the amply-sized and well-stocked clubhouse, I was able to use the extra time profitably because MBN has excellent practice facilities. In fact, I enjoyed myself so much at the perfectly manicured chipping area – complete with sand trap and alternate putting green - that I cut short my time on the driving range. Of course, there are no mats there. The range is all grass, baby. Honestly, I could have spent many hours just practicing and been content.
There are no less than five sets of tees here, measuring anywhere from 4,800 to 7,000 yards, availing us the opportunity to play at whatever length is most comfortable. The course itself was in very good condition, despite it being an extremely dry year so far. A side benefit for those of us who are less than accurate golfers, the dry spring has rendered the rough mercifully short and spotty in places. Generally the tree lines bordering both sides of every fairway are clear of underbrush and packed down with pine needles, making the course very playable for all. The bent grass greens were smooth and true, although the grass is being cut a little longer than normal to protect against the summer heat. That meant they were still above average speed but not scary-fast, as no doubt they can be. Personally, I prefer it that way. I think most of us putt better when we don’t have to worry about 10 foot comebackers. I know I do. The course is extremely well-marked with the Ping measurement plates on both sides of the fairways, each of which give you front, middle and back of the green distances. And this might seem like a little thing but I found it very nice that there are water fountains out on the course. A nice touch that was especially appreciated on a hot and humid day.
I had the extra good fortune this day of being paired with a local father/son duo that provided just the right amount of information to plot my way around this terrific course. The son recently turned professional and is working towards an attempt at the PGA Tour Q-school later this year. From what I learned of young Kellen Altman, he’s got all the tools to succeed including, perhaps most importantly, a wonderful attitude. I hit it a little longer than average and I think I saw Kellen’s ball wave as it screamed past mine on every driving hole. Accurate short irons and a deft putting/chipping touch saw him card a seemingly effortless 66, all the while putting up with his Dad and my average-type play. I will be keeping an eye on and rooting for this impressive young man.
Both nines of the King’s North Course start gently with reachable par fives. The first hole bends to the left sharply in the last 100 yards and the tenth bends even less to the right. For even the average length hitter, they present a decent chance to start the nine with birdie. One of the first things you’ll notice is the bunkering. In addition to the usual scalloped offerings found on Palmer designs, there are many of the drive-through variety. Personally, I love these as they are aesthetically pleasing in addition to being a replacement for paved cart paths. Every hole on this course is solid and there are a few of note. The par five sixth hole is nicknamed The Gambler, as you may take the safer conventional route to the right around a lake or try for the island fairway which in turn provides a much better chance to hit the green in two. (I managed the first but not the latter.) Then there is the short postcard par three twelfth hole, an island green with the famous SC-shaped bunkers to the left. The eighteenth is a par four that, standing on the tee, present a view that seemingly contains half the bunkers on the course - a very worthy finisher.
I’ve been to Myrtle Beach about a dozen times and, all in all, I don’t know that there is a more enjoyable experience to be had than spending a day at King’s North. If you can manage, I suggest you take advantage of the specials and make it a 36 hole day. Who knows, you might even get to play a round with a young Tour professional.
|« Long Bay Club in Myrtle Beach is a Handful||Where in the World is Shanks? Myrtle Beach, Golf Capital of the USA »|
Bad taste to dis us Cowboys for no reason and the way he did it.
If the Dweeb knew anything about golf, he would have noticed that Romo did finish in third place and previously almost qualified for the US Open some time ago. For a Star Pro Bowl QB on America's team who finds Golf as a hobby, not an occupation, I would say that is very good golf, in spite of your delusional journal friend and his character assassination attempts.
Maybe you should encourage him to apply for something he is more qualified to do, like the greeter's position at Wal-mart or, "you want fries with that" over at McDonalds.
This post has 1 feedback awaiting moderation...