Are you planning a few practice shots through window ruins at Barefoot Resort’s Love Course? If you’ve been watching Big Break Myrtle Beach on Golf Channel, I bet you are. My guess is the marshals will be somewhat forgiving if they see you do it.
It’s particularly fun to play a course – and hit a shot – that you’ve seen the pros tackle. On the Grand Strand, The Dunes Golf and Beach Club (Senior Tour Championship), TPC of Myrtle Beach (Senior Tour Championship) and Wachesaw East (four LPGA Tour events) quickly come to mind.
Perhaps you’ve dropped a ball by the plaque in the 15th fairway at The Dunes Club where Jay Sigel launched a 5-wood shot that dropped into the cup for double eagle at the 1994 Senior Tour Championship. I know I have.
Now, thanks to the current run of Big Break Myrtle Beach on Golf Channel, we can add four more Grand Strand layouts – three at Barefoot Resort and another at Pawleys Plantation – to the list of TV courses.
Though new episodes will continue to run through December, you can already be sure to see visiting golfers at the Love Course taking a few extracurricular shots through the window (a Big Break challenge) on the faux plantation house ruins at No. 4.
Big Break is featuring some of the great holes at the four courses. But the competition won’t show you every hole of each course. So here’s a guide to holes you may or may not see on TV, but will remember after playing each layout:
No. 16 Barefoot Love: A lot of fun off the tee, this (412 yards from the tips) par-4 features a beautifully sculpted split fairway separated by sand and waste. There’s a small carry over marsh off the tee then more water and marsh on both left and right. With no greenside bunkers, shots can be rolled up slope in front of the green and onto the putting surface.
Challenge shot: Try to reach the green from the bunker (about 125 yards out) in the waste area that separates the landing areas.
No. 10 Barefoot Dye: Hardly the toughest hole on the course, the 344-yard (from the tips) par-4 is a real beauty with a lake stretching the entire left side of the fairway until giving way to a series of four front bunkers below an elevated green offering a dramatic view of the entire hole.
Challenge shot: Getting up and down from one of the cluster of bunkers behind the big tabletop green.
No. 9 Barefoot Fazio: A beautiful, 408-yard par-4 requiring a modest carry off the tee over water with water extending along the right side of the dogleg right. There’s generous bailout room to the left unless you find a large horseshoe-shaped bunker not far off the fairway. A back right pin placement on the triangular putting surface is especially hard to target.
Challenge shot: Reaching the green from the horseshoe bunker about 150 yards away.
No. 11 Pawleys Plantation: A long par-5 (563 yards from the tips), but no water or marsh to worry about. Sounds easy enough? Hardly. In addition to requiring two solid shots splitting trees on both sides, golfers must stay left of a sprawling live oak that blocks short approaches down the right side of the fairway. If you’re stuck behind the tree, you have to invent a low shot that somehow manages to avoid the sand in front of the green.
Challenge shot: Best score from a lie directly behind the live oak. Bubba Watson might not be able to open up a wedge, hit a shot over the tree and land it on the putting surface. The best shot is a low runner under the branches to short grass in front of the green. Then pitch up and try to save par.
John Brasier covered Grand Strand golf as golf writer and sports editor of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach. He also has written about Grand Strand golf for several national publications, including Golf Magazine, Golfweek and GolfWorld. A mid-handicapper with a history of luck on short holes, he’s made four holes-in-one, though much to his regret, none on the Grand Strand.