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|If you like big fairways and a lot of dogleg lefts, head to King's North at Myrtle Beach National. (Courtesy of Myrtle Beach National)|
Some golfers just can't leave driver in the bag, even on the tightest, tree-lined, O.B.-filled fairway.
For those free-swinging big hitters who never saw a fairway their driver didn't like, we present five Myrtle Beach golf courses where, from the back tees, you'll have plenty of opportunities to hit the big stick, and the phrase "iron off the tee" isn't in the vocabulary.
To put your long game to the ultimate test, head to the championship tees at Grande Dunes Resort, Myrtle Beach's longest track at over 7,600 yards (plus five additional sets of tees if your hubris can be controlled).
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr.-apprentice Roger Rulewich, there's a good amount of fairway on most holes to swing away, just beware there's loads of out of bounds and natural wetlands.
Championship tee yardage: 7,618
Of the four signature courses, the Barefoot Resort's Love Course is the most free-swinging of the bunch with the most appetizing landing zones.
Along with two very reachable par 5s in two, the fourth hole plays under 300 yards from the championship tees, so swing for the fences here and use the recreated slave quarter ruins behind the green as a backstop. The fun just begins once you reach the greens here, enormous in size and ultra-smooth bentgrass greens.
Championship tee yardage: 7,047
The fairways are generous at King's North at Myrtle Beach National, and what's even better, is that it's easy to find your ball in the pine straw if your tee ball finds the Carolina pines lining the holes (though there's plenty of water to navigate, especially on each par 3).
If you play a right-to-left ball flight off the tee, you'll especially love King's North, which has plenty more hook holes than fade holes, including the delightful par-4 third hole that you can drive from the tee (so long as you carry over 230 yards from the tee).
Championship tee yardage: 7,017
It's reputation as one of Myrtle Beach's most penal courses (due largely to Mike Strantz-designed imaginative green complexes) often overshadows the fact True Blue Plantationhas some of the widest fairways on the Grand Strand.
The catch, however, is there's practically no rough here, so if you miss fairway, you're in waste bunker. Even so, it's almost always a good decision to hit the big stick - and there are even five par 5s at True Blue.
Championship tee yardage: 7,062
This 2001 Clyde Johnston design is the most straightforward off the tee of the Glen Golf Group courses. There's a lot of turf out there, and on most holes, even if you find the woods, you'll be able to hit a rescue shot out.
And you'll want to blast your drives as close to the green as possible, because Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club's A.W. Tillinghast-inspired greens and splashed, deep bunkers are the true defense to what appears to be an easy course from the tees.
Championship tee yardage: 6,935
August 24, 2009
Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker.
Finding a golf course to play in the Sarasota/Bradenton area 45 miles south of Tampa is easy. World-ranked beaches, European-style boutique shopping and al fresco dining, and a fantastic circus museum are just a few of the choices available for off-course entertainment.
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