Lion's Paw was the first Big Cat to prowl at Ocean Ridge Plantation, and it remains one of the most challenging Myrtle Beach golf courses, providing a good, straightforward challenge.
Even on a course whose hallmark is consistency, certain holes standout and Bill Long, Ocean Ridge’s director of marketing, has identified the layout’s three best holes.
1. The 204-yard, third hole is the signature challenge at Lion’s Paw. The tee shot is all carry across a pond lined with oyster shells. Bunkers line the back and right sides of the hole, and they aren’t the worst place to land.
“You don’t want to come up short,” Long said. “Hit a little more club than you think you need. It’s not a birdie hole, but it’s beautiful to play and you can make a good, solid par.”
The green, with three bunkers dotting the right side, looks like, you guessed it, a Lion’s Paw.
2. The dogleg right, 520-yard eighth hole offers the possibility of birdie but it’s not without challenge. Three bunkers guard the right side of the fairway and a pond lurks on the left, daring most mid-handicappers to stray from the fairway. Really long hitters bring a larger bunker on the left into play.
“If you hit a nice left to right tee shot, you can get home in two with a 3-wood or 5-wood,” Long said. “The green is one of the larger ones so you can roll it up there and end with an eagle putt or chip. As far as par 5s go, that is about as accessible as it gets.”
3. The par 3s at Lion’s Paw present a daunting challenge and the 185-yard 17th hole is no different. The smallish green is surrounded on three sides by water so late-round nerves can be an issue. The visual challenge provided by the water is offset by the relative lack of distance. The hole plays 185 from the tips and 154 yards from the white tees.
If you’ve ever played Lion’s Paw on a Myrtle Beach golf trip, let us know what your favorite hole is at the Willard Byrd/Tim Cate design!