Call now with questions or to book

800-882-3420

877-283-2149

Call now with questions or to book877-241-5992

« Back to All News

Myrtle Beach Golf’s Five Hardest Opening Holes

Willbrook Plantation Golf Club Par four 1st Hole

 

Story by Ian Guerin

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | When the golfing boon of the 1980s and 1990s hit South Carolina’s northern coastline, there was an existing theory for designers to ease into their products. Get players comfortable, then throw the kitchen sinks at them later. Some architects decided to get rid of conventional wisdom and put a considerable challenge right there on hole No. 1. Even when the course as a whole wasn’t considered all that tough, hitting players with a stout test right off the bat could work, as the following five courses have proved for upwards of the last four decades.

 

 

BAREFOOT RESORT DYE CLUBBarefoot Dye Club 1st Hole

Pete Dye got creative with his namesake design at Barefoot; the first hole showed that raw power has nothing with how to successfully navigate it. From the tee box, views of the fairway (and green) are obstructed by extensive mounding that leaves players focusing on a massive waste bunker up the left hand side. Repeat visitors know to use the inside edge as a guide to the deepest portions of the fairway. Getting the ball to land there is a different story. Miss that sliver of a line, and you’re set up poorly for a final third that includes waste areas, varying levels of native grasses and a couple unfriendly bunkers.

 

 

BURNING RIDGE GOLF CLUBBurning Ridge 1st Hole

You remember how your grade school P.E. teacher stressed how important it was to stretch before getting into any rigorous activity? We can only assume he was ultimately preparing you for the opening hole at Burning Ridge. Playing as long as 571 yards - and even a stout 424 from the ladies tees - No. 1 is pure, unadulterated length at its finest. And while you can muscle up some off the tee, those who aren’t driving into the 300-yard category have little choice but to lay up in advance of a half-pond, half stream that cuts off the final yards of the fairway to a green nestled by hefty bunkers on either side.

 

 

LEGENDS GOLF RESORT HEATHLAND COURSELegends Heathland 1st Hole

Visitors to the three-course Legends property go back and forth on whether the Parkland Course is more difficult than Moorland. But what isn’t to be debated is that Heathland’s opening hole is the most difficult starter of the bunch. Tom Doak didn’t hammer players from start to finish here. No. 1, though, isn’t as free-flowing as the rest. A catch bunker early into the fairway messes with some; others are tripped up by another one placed near the end. Anyone who veers to the left or the right also has to contend with dueling tree placements.

 

 

 

RIVER CLUBRiver Club 1st Hole

Tom Jackson got right into his idea with River Club, which as the name suggests, would have plenty of water. The 354-yard (from the whites) par 4 is hugged all the way up the left by a pond. It’s not really in play, barring a mega hook, but it disguises the corridor leading up to the fairway. Most players can reach that, but if you don’t get far enough onto the ideal zone, you’re left with a bend around a large oak toward the green. That’s where Jackson got a bit diabolical for this early in the round. He decided not to fill in the part of that pond that cuts in front of the putting surface. 

 

 

WILLBROOK PLANTATIONWillbrook 1st Hole

A few years back, MyrtleBeachGolfTrips.com joined forces with the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel to determine the best 18 holes up and down the Grand Strand. Of those selected, only one was a respective course’s opener. Much of that respect for the hole stems from Dan Maples’ aggressive approach. More than half of the 400 yards from the whites comes after a dogleg bend around a grouping of trees, and just across the fairway lies a singular oak causing its share of problems for those that drive through the target area.

 

 

 

Ian Guerin is a DJ and freelance writer based in Myrtle Beach. You can follow him on Twitter @iguerin and Facebook facebook.com/IanGuerinWriter/

Find Out More


Other Articles You Will Enjoy

Female-Friendly Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

Myrtle Beach Golf Ambassador Meredith Kirk highlights five Myrtle Beach designs that bring something special to the table for female golfers of varying skill sets. Read More

Five Myrtle Beach Golf Designs Connected with Nature

In and around South Carolina’s northern coastline, several golfing options have players doing their thing amid a natural habitat that was already stunning. Read More

Move Up During Your Myrtle Beach Golf Trip

For years, visitors to the Myrtle Beach golfing mecca have failed to choose their proper tees. Here are five courses along South Carolina’s northern coastline where going color blind for your tee box selection will serve you wonders, both in terms of enjoyment and success. Read More

Related Specials

$33 per golfer per day

*Book All Area Courses With The Player’s Choice!

View rates and tee time availability for all 80+ Myrtle Beach courses! Build your own customized tee time itinerary…...

$34 per golfer per day

Founders Collection 2-Round Special Save Additional $5.00 per round

Save $5.00 per round on Founders Collection courses single round pricing when playing 2 rounds or more! Mix and match from your choice…...

$60 per golfer per day

8 Myrtle Beach Must-Plays in 2018

In 2018, these are eight Myrtle Beach-area courses that should be on your must-play list. Get the best pricing…...

Continue Below
$33 per golfer per day

*Book All Area Courses With The Player’s Choice!

View rates and tee time availability for all 80+ Myrtle Beach courses! Build your own customized tee time itinerary…...
$34 per golfer per day

Founders Collection 2-Round Special Save Additional $5.00 per round

Save $5.00 per round on Founders Collection courses single round pricing when playing 2 rounds or more! Mix and match from your choice…...