MYRTLE BEACH, SC – The accolade “ a truly must play” description of a golf course is often over used. In the case of King’s North at Myrtle Beach National that term is an understatement. With the opportunity to play this award winning Arnold Palmer Signature course numerous times in all sorts of conditions, I’ll tell you first hand this one is outstanding.
Regardless of temperature or time of year, calm or blustery breezes, wet or dry conditions this course is one you will want to keep on your list of Myrtle Beach Area favorites. The course itself is delicious eye-candy as it winds through a non-residential, natural terrain. From tee through green it is always in outstanding condition. Even with the dreadful “cart path only” designation on my most recent round, the course was immaculate and truly a pleasure to play.
With four sets of sloped and rated men’s tees and three more for the ladies, this is one of the most player friendly courses you will experience. Yardage for the men begins at 5600 yards from the Blue tees and continues to 7017-yard Championship tees. Ladies begin at 4816-yards and continue to 6195-yards. The slope and rating begins at 67.4/113 for the ladies Red tees and finishes at 74.2/137 for the men’s Championship tees.
For maximum pleasure and playability as well as speed of play, use the tees recommended for your handicap. If you do not have a handicap King’s North at Myrtle Beach National participates in the PGA/USGA “Tee it Forward” program. Recommends 18-hole yardages be based on your driver distance. With drives in the 200-225 yard range, the average golfer should be playing 5200-6000 yard golf courses. You’ll be pleased to be hitting midirons and short irons to the greens.
The true playability of this golf course can be summed-up in two very distinct thoughts. Be prepared to use every club in your bag and face numerous risk-reward situations. Each Par 3, 4 and 5 present an individual challenge with no two holes being the same.
Although not particularly long, each Par 3 is unique. Hole 3 is a signature hole and famous for the “SC” shaped sand traps protecting the left side of the tiered green. Choose your club wisely to this island green and do not be fooled by the downhill approach. Although Hole 17 may have the same feel, pay very close attention to club selection. Putting your tee ball on the correct tier opens the door to a good scoring opportunity. Being on the wrong tier brings a 3-putt into play.
The Par 5 Hole 6 is the epitome of risk-reward. Best known as “The Gambler” the player is tempted to hit an island fairway with their drive and than take it to the house for a chance at eagle, or birdie. Even if you take the traditional 3-shot Par 5 strategy, your approach shot will need to carry water. Go on and take the risk. The island fairway is generous and if you have that 225+ driving yardage you’ll be in great shape. At worse you can always play safe back to the land-locked fairway, or failing with your attempt at greatness take a drop at the 150-yard marker. Hole 15 a Par 5 No. 1 Handicap presents the biggest challenge to my game. An errant shot left off the tee places you in a waste area that parallels the fairway. Going to far right brings water into play. If you handle the tee shot and second shot, you’re faced with an uphill approach to a green well protected by deep sand traps. Par on this one is a great score.
Although a few of the Par 3s have a similar challenge, as do a couple of Par 5s, the Par 4s are each unique. Fairways tend to be generous at King’s North, but do not be fooled. You can hit fairways all day, but where you place the ball will certainly influence club selection on the approach shot. Hole 7 is simply a great golf hole. Catch a good drive here and you’re looking at a forced carry over water approach shot. Less than good on the tee ball may require a lay-up. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes one of the great finishing holes. With more than 40 sand traps and water up the right side, No. 18 can ruin your day, or send you rushing to the Pro Shop asking about re-play rates.
At the risk of oversimplification, I am delighted to play King’s North at Myrtle Beach National every chance I get. It is always a pleasure to play and a very memorable experience. Add it to your list.