Beware of the Bear of a course

January 17, 2013

Beware of the Bear of a course along the North Strand: The Long Bay Club.

Open for business in 1988, the Long Bay Club is a distinctive, albeit totally diverse style course designed by its architect, golf’s all-time major champion Jack Nicklaus, one of two Myrtle Beach golf courses to his credit.

Nicklaus’ signature of favoring left-to-right shot making isn’t the focal part of this design. Instead, the Golden Bear and his design team force golfers to hurdle greenside bunkers, unique waste areas, and an unforgettable island green par-3.  Thanks to an abundance of eye-catching moguls the course is beautifully designed and creatively hidden from Hwy 9 passersby.

In addition to its beauty, Long Bay challenges players with difficult approaches to elevated greens. The 7,021-yard course possesses a demanding 74.3 course rating from the championship tees and a 140 slope.

Long Bay holes particularly retained in players’ memory banks include the par-4 10th and par-3 13th.

No. 10 features an enormous horseshoe bunker that wraps in front of an elevated green with a devious false front. It’s an unforgettable hole, and whatever you do, avoid the sand.

The water surrounding the 13th green is reminiscent of the famed par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass. Mind you, minus TPC Sawgrass’ hefty green fees.

Long Bay Club has hosted the Know Your Score Fight for Prostate outing, one of the Myrtle Beach golf scene’s most prominent charity tournaments. Baseball legend Ken Griffey Sr., Syracuse’s famed men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim and Emmy award-winning broadcaster Jim Huber each has been the event’s national spokesperson when the event took place at Long Bay.

Long Bay is a chief promoter to increasing golf’s popularity. One of its most popular initiatives is allowing junior golfers to play free provided they play alongside a paying adult. Long Bay is one of 50 Myrtle Beach golf courses that participate in the game’s largest kids play free program.