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Myrtle Beach Golf: When Only Nine Will Do

World Tour Golf Links

Story by Ian Guerin

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | There are times when you don’t need the whole kit and caboodle. Maybe you only have time for nine holes because of you’re in a business conference or you’re getting back into golf after a lengthy absence or whatever other reason that just makes four-plus hours on the course a no-go. When it comes to the quick jaunt, some Myrtle Beach courses are equipped to make your time count. Check them out when 18 isn’t an option.


Located just off a tributary to the Waccamaw River, the preserve Aberdeen sits atop matches golf and nature beautifully. And what it’s location also does is give players the type of time-happy rounds that have made replay a common practice here. A half-round through any of the three nines - Highlands, Meadows or Woodlands - is a wildlife-centric trip around a course pieced around tons of water and rolling fairways. Even while taking in the sights and sounds, players frequently show their surprise when they finish and see it took less than two hours to navigate.


Maybe trips to Tanger Outlets or Barefoot aren’t your thing. But your travel companions are dying to hit up some shopping for a couple hours. Bingo. You’ve got your out. Schedule their trip there alongside your nine-hole excursion to Arcadian Shores and everyone’s happy with a timeline that jives accordingly. In around two hours, you can skip through half the Rees Jones design that has 30 or so bunkers on both the front and back nines, as well as some nifty water carries and some relatively impressive elevation changes.


Trees? Check. Sand? Check. Water? Check and check. No matter your selection of the Cypress, Lakes or Waterway nines, Arrowhead Country Club is the type of course that is going to reward precision over power. And while only one of the nines puts you close and personal with the Intracoastal Waterway, the joint effort of Ray Floyd and Tom Jackson doesn’t leave you wonting for more on any of the three. What’s more, this centrally located property is easy to get to from just about anywhere (including Myrtle Beach International Airport) further benefitting those with time constraints.


The Avocet course at Wild Wing isn’t truly a nine-hole option, as it plays all 18 holes consecutively without a turn. The owners had that in mind, however, when they elected to shut down the three courses that used to also call the property home. Taking some of the best parts of those other three, they crafted the Hummingbird course, a nine-hole option that allows for speedy play without sacrificing any part of your game or feeling like you’re on an executive course. The par 34/35 (one hole has two par options) plays at a shade over 3,000 yards and still allows for every club in the bag.


Newcomers to the area often don’t know that World Tour was originally designed with three nines. That meant variety, but it also equated to having three strong finishing holes. Although one of those nines was shut down, the existing nines - Open and Championship - still provide that final burst of adrenaline on the closers. It gives players an opportunity to scoot through either of them, all the while playing other replica holes made famous at the likes of Augusta National, St. Andrews and more.


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