Bob Gillespie



One man’s five hardest holes: Chris King rates Myrtle Beach’s ‘beasts’

Posted 1/19/2014 5:37:00 PM

I have never met Chris King – in person, by phone or via the Internet – but based on a glance at his blogs at Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday’s website and at his photo on his Twitter page, we have a great deal in common.

We’re both middle-aged guys, both follicle-challenged (although my hair is merely thin, while he has embraced the bald look) and both mediocre golfers (20 handicaps and above), yet we both love the game and enjoy writing about that passion. Here at, I try to cover the entire Palmetto State, while his focus is the Grand Strand.

Recently, I was forwarded a link to one of Chris’ recent blogs in which he lists his “five hardest holes in Myrtle Beach” for the high handicapper. After a quick read, I can’t disagree with his choices – not without a bit more research, anyway – and the courses he chose to provide those five “beasts” are among the best on the beach, too.

Here’s a quick glance at Mr. King’s handiwork:

After establishing that “by the standards of any decent golfer, I’m horrible,” he explains that hasn’t kept him from trying almost every course from Georgetown to the North Carolina line and beyond, and offers his choices for the Top Five. No. 1, the 18th hole at Tidewater, he says “might be the toughest finishing hole for any level player … a 410-yard monster (all distances from the white tees) that doglegs to the left … (with) a marsh along the entire right side.” In fact, most Tidewater holes are rugged challenges – this one happens to be the meanest of the lot.

No. 2, the 16th at Caledonia, is not as lengthy (375 yards) but features water that requires forced carries to an undulating green. No. 3, Barefoot Resort/Dye Course’s ninth (405-yard par-4) features a typical Pete Dye waste bunker and water right of the green. No. 4 is the iconic Dunes Golf & Beach Club’s 370-yard 11th hole, the opening hole of the club’s “Alligator Alley” that’s the toughest stretch. And No. 5 is the 13th at Pawleys Plantation, a short-but-testing par-3 whose green is surrounded on three sides by – you guessed it – water.

I’ll leave the details to Chris – it’s HIS five toughest, after all – but I commend his choices: Tidewater, Caledonia, Barefoot Resort/Dye, The Dunes and Pawleys Plantation are combinations of beauty and difficulty. That, of course, is part of what makes any course memorable, even if sometimes in a harsh way.

To read the full account, click here.