The Pearl recently installed new A1/A4 bentgrass greens on its highly regarded West Course, keeping the game’s premier putting surface on the 4.5-star layout.
With the new greens receiving rave reviews, we revisited the course and asked new general manager Bryan Thomas for the layout’s three best holes. As will become apparent, Thomas, ever the gambler, loves the par 5s on the West Course.
– On a layout renowned for its long par 5s, the 556-yard third hole is one of Thomas’ favorites. Playing 536 yards from the white tees, No. 3 doesn’t lack for length but long hitters can cut the corner on the dogleg right and go for the green in two.
With fairway and greenside bunkers, the hole isn’t without peril, but for Thomas this is the par 5 most likely to surrender a birdie.
“It’s one of the par 5s you can reach in two, if you play to the right side of the hole and carry the bunkers,” he said.
– The fourth longest hole on the Myrtle Beach golf scene, the par 5 16th hole isn’t reachable in two under any circumstances. At 614 yards, most players are doing well to get on in three, but length isn’t what makes No. 16 memorable.
The Calabash River runs along the right side of the hole, making it one of the most scenic holes along the North Strand. Seagulls, alligators and various other wildlife are regularly visible, and the Calabash River is as beautiful as it is daunting.
Players can only enjoy the scenery for so long before tackling the toughest hole on the back nine.
“It’s a tricky shot off the tee box because the marshland juts out a little bit from the right side, so favor the left side on your tee shot,” Thomas said. “Try to get inside the 150 marker (on your second shot), which sits up on a little bit of a hill, and you can hit down to the green that’s not very wide but it’s very long.”
– Thomas favorite hole is the par 5, 534-yard 18th, which offers the ultimate risk-reward choice. The green is reachable in two for players that draw their tee shot, leaving 200-220 yards to a green that is fronted by water.
There is little room for error.
“If you can get something up high and carry that water, you can have a pretty good attempt at eagle or a tap in birdie,” said Thomas. “It’s a risk-reward type hole, and I like to risk it a lot.”
Are you going to gamble on No. 18?