Course Review: Conditions, Value Define Crown Park

February 3, 2013

crown park offers great value on the North Strand

Just as the top 100 courses contribute to the area’s allure, particularly among the game’s cognoscenti, courses like Crown Park help form the backbone of many Myrtle Beach golf trips.

Good layout, good conditions and… a good price are Crown Park’s selling points, and the North Strand course delivers. With no housing, noise is replaced by nature and tree-lined fairways are the standard at Crown Park.

The course doesn’t overwhelm players with length, playing 6,477 yards from the tips and 6,004 yards from the white tees. Lack of length shouldn’t be confused with lack of challenge. Crown Park is playable throughout, but it rewards accuracy and shot-making over raw power. The fairways are relatively narrow, though not overly so, and pine trees line practically every hole like spectators at a tournament.

Only one par 4 exceeds 400 yards but several doglegs and a creek that meanders through three fairways discourage impulsively hitting the driver.

“You can’t just grab a driver and head up to the par 4 and whack it,” Mueller said. “Placement off the tee is critical out here. You have to think.”

The mental game is important because Crown Park is a second shot golf course. The greens are above average in size and undulation, meaning you need to pay attention to pin placement and put yourself in position to get the ball close.

While Crown Park places a premium on accuracy, it doesn’t remove the driver from the equation. Long hitters have ample opportunities but they must weigh risk versus reward, adding to the course’s charm.

Crown ParkWater is Crown Park’s primary hazard, factoring into 14 holes, and the course has just 44 bunkers. The use of those sand traps can’t be overlooked though, particularly those that flank the fairways. 

Here is a closer look at what you can expect to find:

Par 3s
Crown Park’s par 3s are very playable, but if water makes you weak in the knees, there could be problems.

The first one-shotter, the 4th hole, is the only one devoid of water, but it’s the longest of the bunch, playing 213 yards from the tips. A narrow, two-tiered green adds to the challenge of one of the course’s best holes.

The eighth and 12th are both 164-yard holes that feature water and sand. The eighth green is deeper but the water on the right side and two bunkers in front of the green are greater threats. Neither hole is a pushover, but if you are going to put together a good round, you don’t want to lose ground here.

It’s a little unusual to close with a par 3, but Crown Park’s signature hole, the 174-yard, par 3 18th, is a nice way to end the day. Players are forced to carry water almost all the way, but the amphitheater shaped mounding around the green helps push balls toward the middle.

Par 4s
The first three holes are par 4s that embody the risk/reward choices Crown Park offers off the tee. All three holes are less than 400 yards and neither of the first two exceed 376 from the tips. If you are long and accurate off the tee, a driver and wedge might be all you need. But you’d better be accurate.

A creek dissects the first fairway just under 300 yards from the back tees (259 yards from the white). It isn’t wide but you have you fly it.  On the second and third holes a pond encroaches on the fairway about 240 yards from the tee. A possible short approach awaits but if your ball starts leaking to the left it’s going to get wet.

The fifth is one of two 90-degree doglegs on the front side.

The most memorable back nine par 4 is the 361-yard 12th hole. Water runs along the entire right side and discontinues the fairway 280 yards from the tee, forcing players to carry their approach into a green flanked on two sides by water. It’s a fun hole.

In Funderburk’s opinion, the most difficult hole is the 427-yard 17th. The 17th is long and straight, and drives that favor the right side are preferable, but water runs along that side as well.

Welcome to Crown ParkPar 5s
Players have the opportunity to make up ground on the par 5s, particularly on the front nine. The par 5 6th (475 yards from the tips) and 9th (507 yards) are both reachable in two. Neither fairway is exceedingly wide but water isn’t a factor off the tee. Fairway bunkers could come into play but take everything you have out of the bag and let it rip on the sixth and ninth.

The 11th, playing 482 yards from the tips, also offers an outstanding shot at birdie and water isn’t a significant factor. Swing from the heels here because you aren’t reaching the 15th in two.

The final par 5, the 549-yard 15th, is a three-shot hole with a hazard running through the fairway approximately 200 yards from the green. For low handicappers, clearing the hazard in two isn’t an issue, but it could be a threat to the mid to high handicapper. 

The Verdict: Crown Park is a solid layout and players can count on finding consistently good conditions. It bills itself as a value course and delivers. While Crown Park is the westernmost layout on Route 9, it’s an easy drive from the Central and North Strands. Crown Park is not the most difficult Myrtle Beach golf course, but it’s a good time and certainly worth a visit.

If you've played it, please share your review on the Crown Park page!