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Blackmoor Golf Club near Myrtle Beach, S.C.: Twist and turn with Gary Player on the South Strand

Lisa AllenBy Lisa Allen,
Blackmoor Golf Club - 15th hole
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Blackmoor Golf Club: Gary Player's only design along the Grand Strand. (Lisa Allen/TravelGolf)

MURRELS INLET, S.C. -- Blackmoor Golf Club just south of Myrtle Beach, is an impressive course. Gary Player's only design along the Grand Strand builds as it goes, with straightforward holes on the front that go light on the bunkers. The back is thick with oh-so-tempting doglegs.

Blackmoor's 18 holes twist, turn and bump up and down around a former rice plantation that includes a cemetery from the mid-18th century. It's a beautiful setting for an array of holes that range from classic to quirky.

Take the par-4 fifth, for example. It's a birdie hole for women at only 161 yards from the front tees, but it doles out a marsh carry, 343 yards and a tough-to-cut dogleg right to those playing from the whites.

After that comes the sixth hole, which has a spine that runs down the middle of the fairway that prevents you from being able to predict where your ball will come to rest. Ridges emit from the green in spoke fashion, ruling out a bump-and-run approach.

Blackmoor Golf Club's seventh is a par 5 down a valley with a waste bunker midway and a huge waste bunker left of the green. Its surprise is a flat green. After the many slopes previously encountered, it gives you pause.

One unintended thrill on the front is the big alligator that suns himself next to the front tees on the par-3 fourth hole. People from the Midwest, read this carefully: He's real. Leave him alone or he'll steal your watch (and the wrist it's around).

Another highlight of the golf course is the split-personality eighth hole. To the left is the eat-your-peas route, a safe sojourn down the shorn fairway, then a right turn past woods to the green. Going the "long" way is only 347 yards from the whites. But to the risky right you can shave off 80 yards and go right for the green down a narrow chute carved through the trees. Below your ball flight is knee-high rough and thick woods to the left and right. Either you made it or you didn't. There's no "good enough" to the right. It's irresistible.

The 12th begins a three-hole run of right doglegs, each with the possibility of cutting the corner. Another dogleg on No. 16 goes around trees, then a hill. If you wander right and can't see the green, look for the arrow pinned about 30 feet up in a tree pointing to the green.

Blackmoor's par-3 15th is another thriller. One has to calculate the wind before sending a shot down to the green fronted by three bunkers on the side of a steep hill that could deflect balls into a marsh.

The course concludes with a par 5 that bumps over swales and mounds to an offset green with water and sand right and mounds left. It's a fitting, link-y end to a tartan-wearing course.

Blackmoor's accolades include being named one of America's Top 100 women-friendly courses, the 2001 Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year and getting a four-and-a-half-star rating from Golf Digest.

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Blackmoor Golf Club - No. 7Blackmoor Golf Club - 14th hole

Lisa Allen is a golf, travel and business writer based in Beaufort, S.C. She has edited newspapers, magazines and books in Michigan, Indiana and South Carolina. Follow her on Twitter @LAllenSC.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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