NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- The 7,047-yard Love Course remains arguably the most popular of the four premier designs at the Barefoot Resort & Golf that opened simultaneously in 2000.
It's cheaper than playing the Dye Course (by Pete Dye) and prettier than the Norman Course (by Greg Norman). The Fazio Course (by Tom Fazio) might be its equal -- or even a shade better -- but the Davis Love III design counters with some interesting nuances and maximum playability.
Love constantly challenges players off the tee with cross-bunkers, like those on no. 7, and even bunkers in the fairway, like that giant pit in the middle of the eighth fairway. Split fairways come into play at the par-5 13th and par-4 16th.
What everybody remembers most are the recreated ruins of an old plantation home near the fourth and sixth greens. An ivy-covered brick wall runs so close to the back of the fourth green that shots can easily bounce back onto the putting surface.
The 296-yard fourth hole plays as the shortest hole along the Grand Strand, so it's reachable with one mighty blast. Any good score there can easily disappear on the 463-yard fifth hole, regarded as the toughest par 4 on the course. The brick plantation walls and pillars show up again near the sixth green. It's a memorable stretch of golf on a cool course.