Pawleys Plantation Golf Country Club South Carolina | GolfNow.com
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Pawleys Plantation golf course near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina combines natural and man-made flair

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. -- Jack Nicklaus sticks with his design philosophy at Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club -- lots of yardage, plenty of room off the tee, and all kinds of challenges from there. It measures 7,026 yards from the tips and 4,976 from the front.

What makes Pawleys Plantation stand out is the hand Mother Nature has in many holes, primarily in the form of marsh obstructions. In other cases, trees close in on some fairways, or stand obnoxiously in the middle of them or directly between a shot that drifted slightly off target and your goal: a scrap of fabric affixed to a pole.

In other instances, Nicklaus is to blame for your woes. For example, the rivers of sand that accompany several holes for -- cumulatively -- hundreds of yards. Should you fall into one of those infernal bunkers, your options are a well executed shot that will sail over the rest of the bunker or a little shot to the side for immediate escape.

Another surprise on the golf course is the greens. It is a mystery how a putt that by all appearances should break left goes right. It seems that atop the overt swales and slopes there is a subtle overlay that reverses the effect of the obvious.

A theme for the golf course is that the seemingly easy hole from the tee turns into a chess game toward the green.

For example, the par-5 11th is wide open off the tee, but it has a precise, secret-password entry to the green left of center. Too far left and you're in a bunker, too far right and you have to contend with a huge tree in the middle of another bunker. If you're behind that configuration, you have to devise a punch shot at just the right height to clear the sand and miss the branches.

Another thing you won't forget about Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club is the 500-yard-long dike that struts into the marsh, connecting No. 12 and No. 14. Atop that dike are tees for No. 13 and No. 17, both par 3s with greens plopped amid the pluff mud. The shot at No. 13 is one you've likely never encountered. From the middle tees, it's a tiny 69-yard shot. How can such a simple shot be so tough? Thankfully, No. 17 is a traditional length.

Overall, Pawleys Plantation is a creative golf course that demands a creative approach. You'll think your way around all 18 holes and be able to recall a unique hazard you encountered on each, some compliments of Father Jack, others of Mother Nature.

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