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Tough golf in Myrtle Beach will raise your blood pressure

By S. Adam Cardais,
Glen Dornoch-sunset
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Don't get distracted by the beautiful views - you'll need all your faculties to tackle Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links. (Tim McDonald/WorldGolf.com)

With more than 100 golf courses, Myrtle Beach has something for every golfing taste - including the most masochistic.

The Grand Strand has some of the most difficult tracks in the Southeast. River's Edge Golf Club, with its nearly 150 slope rating, is arguably the meanest mother in town, but it hardly stands alone - not with Pete Dye's name on a few local tracks.

Whether you're a long player looking to air out your driver or a precision golfer who relishes navigating hazards that would make most duffers cry out in agony, Myrtle Beach has something to challenge you. Here's a quick look at some of the toughest tracks on the Strand.

Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links: This 6,850-yard Scottish-themed course boasts a formidable 141 slope rating, but wipe the tears of frustration from your eyes lest you miss the gorgeous marsh views.

The Clyde Johnston design is also kept in tip-top condition. Glen Dornoch won awards from Myrtle Beach Golf magazine in 2003 and 2004 and has been recognized in Sports Illustrated.

Barefoot Resort, Dye course: A whopping 7,513 yards from the championship tees, this Dye design is considered the most difficult of Barefoot's four name-brand tracks. It has enough hidden bunkers and mounding to drive even the most seasoned golfer into the comfort of the clubhouse.

River's Edge Golf Club: Measuring a shade over 6,900 yards with a 149 slope rating, this Arnold Palmer/Erik Larsen design design will have you begging for mercy if you're brave enough, or foolish enough, to play it from the tips.

"Don't let your friends coerce you into being Macho Man and playing it from the back tees if you're a mid-to high-handicapper," Tim McDonald wrote in a MyrtleBeachGolf.com review. "You'll end up tired and frustrated with a scorecard either bloated or unreliable."

But the surrounding scenery makes River's Edge worth the pain. Running alongside the Shallotte River at the southern edge of North Carolina, the course has been compared to Pebble Beach, though that might be overstating it a bit.

King's North at Myrtle Beach National: Known for its superb conditioning, this track measures 7,017 yards from the black tees and has a 136 slope rating. The 365-yard, par-4 third is one of the most recognized holes on the Grand Strand. With a dogleg left, it's possible to go for the tree-guarded green off the tee, if you're a long hitter who's feeling very lucky.

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