Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club icon

Buckle Up, Buttercup: The 5 Hardest Holes in Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island is home to some of the Myrtle Beach area’s premier courses and along with that quality comes significant challenges. If you are teeing it up along the South Strand, here are the five toughest holes in Pawleys Island, from the perspective of a very average golfer.

● The 13th hole at Pawleys Plantation Golf Club (pictured right) is listed at 113 yards from the redtail hawk tees (all distances from each course’s most commonly played or white tees) and plays to a whisp of a green surrounded on three sides by a tidal marsh. The hole is almost always set up to play inside 100 yards, but that doesn’t lessen the challenge. Hit and hold this green and you’ve accomplished something. There isn’t a more intimidating hole along the Grand Strand.

● Speaking for the average golfer, the 395-yard 17th hole at True Blue is terrifying (top photo). Sure, there is plenty of room off the tee, but a good drive can still leave an approach of 160 yards or more and it’s over water. The 18th attracts all the attention, but True Blue’s penultimate hole is the one you need to fear.

● Many of the area’s biggest tests come late in a round, but the first hole at Willbrook makes golfers break out in a cold sweat before the first shot is struck. A 400-yard, dogleg right, No. 1 at Willbrook is the day’s most daunting challenge. Players want to avoid water on the left, forcing them to flirt with the tree line on the right, a task compounded by the hole’s length. Survive No. 1 and a great day awaits.

● The 395-yard, dogleg right 14th is the hardest hole on a day full of them at Founders Club (pictured right). A tee shot that lands in the left-center of the fairway is optimal as it willFounders Club 14th Hole provide a better angle of attack. Sand cuts in front of a narrow green and a cavernous bunker looms on the right, providing little margin for error. Both power and precision are needed to conquer this beast.

● Dan Maples-designed Heritage Golf Club combines some of the area’s most undulating greens with lowcountry beauty, but the good times take a back seat to the difficulty of the 381-yard 14th. Players must decide how much of the water they want to challenge off the tee; the more brazen the shot, the greater the risk and the shorter the approach. One of the course’s most dramatic greens awaits, so there is no room to relax on No. 14.

At its heart, golf is about testing yourself and these five holes are among the area’s most significant exams.