Myrtle Beach is widely known as one of the golf meccas in the United States and Barefoot Resort exemplifies what upscale golf is all about. With four courses to choose from and famous names like Norman, Love III, Fazio and Dye, you cannot find a more diverse grouping of designs anywhere.
We were fortunate to enjoy the Greg Norman design which really brings in the natural surroundings and vegetation into play using vast bunkering and waste areas throughout the course. Even fine details like cart paths that make you feel like you are in Australia with shells imbedded into them make you realize you are at a well thought out property.
Maybe because it took me a few holes to hit the ball solidly, but my favorite holes on the front nine were #’s 8 and 9. The eighth is a short par-4 that could be drivable under ideal conditions but requires a very precise layup with a waste area bordering the right and left of the fairway and small bunkers littered throughout the landing area. Even a short iron has to be precise with a green that slopes from the middle to the back of the green making lag putting difficult. Then the 9th hole gives you a grip it and rip it mentality, unless the prevailing wind is into you as it was for us. The par-5 is a three shot hole into the wind and if you land in one of the many fairway bunkers off the tee or laying up, it might become a 4 shot hole. The green is across a ravine and well protected with bunkers and a steep slope from back to front so keep it below the hole.
By far the most picturesque hole on the course and maybe the entire property is the par-3, 9th. A long par-3 that requires focus and accuracy with a beautiful view of the Intracoastal Waterway that not only distracts players but grabs their wayward tee balls just off the green to the right. The green is well protected by bunkers short left and long so even if you get the distance right, par is no bargain. The ninth begins a stretch with 7 holes along the Intracoastal on the back nine, giving you a different feel than the desert style front side.
The 18th hole provides an interesting option as it can play as a par-5 or par-4. The tees were moved up to the par-4 location but we opted to stay back and play the sharp dogleg left version of the hole. You can try to bomb it over the waste area to cut the corner but then running through the fairway is a possibility. Lay it out to the right and short and your second shot and perhaps third will be much longer and with a ravine to navigate on your approach, the closer the better. Regardless of the tee it is a great finishing hole that will create great drama for matches coming down to the wire.
It is obvious to see why Barefoot is regarded as one of the top resort destinations in Myrtle Beach. First class service and courses that are meticulously maintained gives you great reason to book your entire right here. I cannot wait to come back to see what Pete Dye, Tom Fazio and Davis Love III have designed.
For more information check our Barefoot Resort at www.barefootgolf.com.