In a Myrtle Beach golf market that features more than 100 courses, quality design work and a good piece of land have helped Blackmoor Golf Club stand out.
The South Strand layout doesn’t enjoy the soaring national profile of some of its local brethren, but golfers that play Gary Player’s only Myrtle Beach course look forward to their next round at Blackmoor Golf Club.
Since its opening in 1990, Blackmoor has delivered excellent value and a challenging, yet exceedingly fair, test of golf. Player’s design philosophy is one that caters to the average golfer, and it is a core value that is apparent at Blackmoor.
The golf legend gives players of all skill levels a chance to succeed and provides a stern test for elite golfers from the back tees (6,614 yards).
Blackmoor’s playability isn’t defined by its length. The course has numerous doglegs but all but one play from left to right, the most common ball flight in the game. The majority of Blackmoor’s greens are open in the front, bringing one of Player’s favorite shots, the bump and run, into play.
Continuing along Player’s design philosophy of giving golfers a chance to score, Blackmoor Golf Club’s greens, while quick, don’t have severe undulation.
“There are some subtle breaks, but there aren’t any elephants buried in the greens,” head pro Matt Daly said. “If you are rolling the ball, you will have the chance to make a few birdies or pars.”
Earning the opportunity for birdie attempts at Blackmoor requires intelligent play, particularly off the tee. The first six holes at Blackmoor are relatively narrow so finding the fairway is vital. If you are in the short grass, the approach shots are manageable.
“Your go to club off the tee from an accuracy standpoint, whether it’s a driver, 3-wood or hybrid (is vital),” Daly said. “If you keep the ball in play off the tee you can score low.”
Players also need to effectively manage Blackmoor’s doglegs, which typically means not getting greedy.
“I always tell people you want to play to the elbows of the doglegs and not try to cut corners,” Daly said.
The course begins to open up on the seventh hole and No. 8 is one of the most unique Myrtle Beach golf holes. By the scorecard, No. 8 is a 371-yard dogleg right, but Player cut an approximately 30-yard swath through the woods, knocking 100 yards off the length of the hole for those with gusto. Players that can’t keep their tee shot within the clearing face trouble, but the penalty for not reaching the green is negligible, as long you hit it straight.
If you aren’t the adventurous type, the eighth is a good dogleg.
The back nine allows players to gamble a little more and the character of the land shows through. Blackmoor is built on what used to be a thriving rice plantation and the property has native cypress and oak trees that predates its time as crop-producer.
The trees aren’t the only landmarks that recall a bygone era. Along the left side of the par 5, 13th hole is a cemetery, where John Green, one of Longwood Plantation’s original owners, is buried. The cemetery is a registered historic landmark, and it provides a unique dimension to an already memorable round. (Yes, you get a free drop if you hit into the cemetery)
Blackmoor offers an enjoyable round of golf and the kind take-home-memories demanded of a good destination golf course.
Blackmoor’s par 3s are an interesting collection of holes, challenging golfers with length, water and natural waste areas. On the front nine, No. 2 is the course’s longest par 3, playing 182 yards, but the length is somewhat mitigated by the ability to run the ball up on the green.
A large pond fronts the fourth green and a bunker runs along the left side, presenting challenges aplenty on the 162-yard hole. The green is one of the deepest on the course, so there is no excuse for coming up short.
At 166 yards, the 15th isn’t particularly long but three bunkers on the right and a relatively small green make it Blackmoor’s toughest par 3. The 17th is slightly longer at 174 yards but there are no hazards, making it one of the course’s easiest holes.
Blackmoor’s heart is in its par 4s, a collection of holes that offer great variety and character. The layout’s first dogleg right is the 376-yard fifth hole. No matter how tempting, don’t try to cut the corner on the fifth. Play to the elbow of the dogleg and try to get home in regulation.
Showcasing the variety that helps make the course so popular, the sixth is long (412 yards) and straight, but features a plateaued fairway. If you can hit the elevated left side, a couple additional yards of roll and a shorter approach await.
The eighth hole, with its classic risk-reward choice, is the course’s signature hole.
On the back nine, No. 10 is the only dogleg left and one of the layout’s toughest. The 411-yard hole has a kidney bean shaped green and if you can hit it and make par, you’ve done well.
The 11th is just 332 yards, the shortest two-shotter at Blackmoor, and it offers the opportunity to get a stroke back. The 14th and 16th holes are among the course’s prettiest. On a layout that rewards patience and accuracy, the dogleg right 14th is built for the gambler. Players that can hit the ball 240 yards or more can confidently attempt to cut the corner in search of a birdie.
The 16th features the course’s largest fairway, but water runs along the left side, tempting players to try and cut the corner on a dogleg right. Don’t make that mistake. Aim for the fat part of the fairway and play smart.
The front nine par 5s at Blackmoor are good golf holes. The 514-yard third offers the chance to go for the green in two but a waste area dissecting the fairway 300 yards from the tee means the second shot will be a long one.
The 544-yard seventh hole is long and straight with a bunker that runs along the last 80 yards of a fairway that gets increasingly narrow.
Among Blackmoor’s most memorable holes are its back nine par 5s. The 13th, with the cemetery along the left side, is a hole few forget.
At 509 yards, the par 5 18th is an outstanding way to finish a round. A good drive leaves players with the choice of going for the green in two, but water comes into play on the right side and the fairway tightens in the final 100 yards. It’s an outstanding match-play hole.
The Verdict: Good conditions, good value and a good layout lead to a great time. The course has ample diversity, and it requires players to hit nearly every club in the bag. Blackmoor is exceedingly playable for any level of player, which adds to its appeal. A round at Blackmoor will leave your group smiling.
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