The SouthCreek Course at Myrtle Beach National plays 6,416 yards from the back tees for a par of 72. The Course rating is 71.0 with a slope 0f 128. The white tees at 6,089 yards (69.4/124) will make for a good time for most golfers and at the same time provide better golfers with some low scoring, ego-boosting moments.
SouthCreek was designed by The King, Arnold Palmer along with design partner Francis Duane and opened in 1973. Golf Digest has awarded SouthCreek 4 stars in its exclusive “Places to Play” rankings, and the course has been voted among the “Top 100 in America” by Golf for Women. SouthCreek may be the shortest and friendliest of the three MBN courses but it has a character all its own.
The key to scoring well on SouthCreek is accuracy off the tee. Fairways can get tight, so if you have more accuracy with the 3-wood, leave the driver in the bag. You may have slightly longer approaches, but that’s easier than playing from the trees.
As you make your trek around SouthCreek, you are sure to encounter one of the many waste bunkers that add to the character of the course. You’ll also encounter many Lowcountry wetlands and a lot of pine trees as well. A good short game comes in handy when getting out of trouble, and believe me, you’ll find trouble on your way around.
Most Memorable Hole: Number 10, Par 5, 525 yards. A three shot hole for just about everyone. This dogleg right plays around a large lake, with water the entire length of the right side. A drive of 280 is still going to leave almost 250 yards the green; and you can’t use a tee! And, short approaches that don’t find the water are likely to find the sand. A better chance at birdie is to hit your layup shot over the water and sand and leave an approach shot that puts a sand or lob wedge in your hand. Make a par or better and walk away happy!
Favorite Par 3: Number 17, 143 yards. Good things come in small – or short – packages. Between the tee and the green lies a bunker with a wooden face; hit it and there is no telling where your ball will go. Hit a solid shot off the tee and you’ve got it made, just make sure you have enough club. It plays a little bit longer than the stated yardage.
Favorite Par 4: Number 5, 355 yards. A dogleg left where you may want to leave the driver in the bag. The fairway is fairly narrow and trees tightly guard the left side. Miss hit your approach shot and you may very well find the small pond in front. A good degree of accuracy is needed on your approach as sand guards either side of this narrow green.
Favorite Par 5: Number 2, 501 yards. The first par 5 is my favorite. A soft dogleg left with trees and water down the left side. Favoring the right side of the fairway off the tee takes the three fairway bunkers on the left out of play. The small green is guarded by a large bunker on the right side. Hook the ball on any shot and you’ll most likely be among tall pine trees where a good score gets a lot harder.
Last Word: This may be the shortest course at Myrtle Beach National, but it delivers a great deal of fun. With the exception of number 10, the par 5s are reachable in two. One of them, number 6, plays a mere 475 yards. Keep it down the right side off the tee and there is very little trouble until you get up to the green. Hit a fairway wood on approach and you either make it or you don’t. Chip up and settle for a birdie.
Other holes such as the par 3, number 8 require some shot shaping off the tee as do a number of doglegs if you want to maximize your tee shots. Bunkers are strategically placed to catch errant tee shots and approaches and there are no demanding carries over water or wastelands. Many of the greens are slightly elevated and the senior-friendly bump and run shot is not always a viable option so plan on carrying many of the greens. The greens roll true and not too fast or slow, adding to the pleasure of the course.
Myrtle Beach National is a complete golf facility with a practice range, putting and chipping greens, a restaurant and locker rooms with showers, so you can play one last round and freshen up before that flight home All in all, SouthCreek provides a good test of golf for all levels. For more information, visit their website, www.myrtlebeachnational.com.