Combine those factors with a couple menacing greenside bunkers and it’s not hard to see why the key to success on the Jones Course is typically found in a player’s iron game, particularly the wedges. The course is a relatively short 6,761 yards from the tips (6,334 yards from the white tees), but plays longer.
The elevated greens can add as much as an extra club to approach shots (don’t say you weren't warned), so most players have to play several wedge shots each round that are often the difference between an outstanding round and merely a good one.
Players that bomb the ball off the tee and are good around the greens will take an immediate liking to the Jones Course.
“If you are hitting the ball well, you can score,” Pratt said of the Jones Course. “That’s what people like. If they are hitting the ball crummy, they don’t expect to score.”
Even if you are struggling to make good contact, the Jones Course is still an enjoyable round. The opening nine is chocked full of outstanding holes, including the par 3, fifth, which is as daunting mentally as it is challenging physically.
Playing from an elevated tee box to a green whose front half is surrounded by water, the 189-yard fifth offers plenty of challenge and kicks off the toughest three-hole stretch on the course.
The sixth (400 yards) and seventh holes (440 yards), both meaty par 4s, are the hardest holes on the front side per the scorecard, and after playing them, you aren’t likely to disagree.
The back nine is equally strong, particularly the final three holes. The Jones Course closes with a strong par 3, 4, and 5, capped by the 510-yard 18th hole, a dogleg right that offers the chance to close with a flourish. The par 5 is reachable in two, particularly for players willing to shave the dogleg, though that strategy potentially brings water into play.
It’s a hole that gives players choices and it’s a great hole to close a match with (and determine the winner of your Myrtle Beach golf tournament!).
Verdict: The Jones Course at Sea Trail is an enjoyable layout to play. It’s open off the tee, which makes the course very attractive for mid to high handicappers, and the greens complexes offer the type of challenge and reward the creativity that low handicappers love. Combine those factors with great value and the Jones Course is a strong addition to any Myrtle Beach golf trip itinerary.