The Barefoot Resort has established itself among the leaders in a region crowded with public golf options, and its collection of four courses — crafted by modern architecture standouts and former PGA professionals — are at the base of that success. Tom Fazio was not the first architect to work at Barefoot but his renown made him an obvious candidate to contribute a course.
The layout takes a more traditional approach to golf, in that players will not be returning to the clubhouse. It is less traditional in that some distance must be covered between holes, including lengthy bridges across native marsh.
The course is not designed to be a bruiser, with the maximum distance coming out to 6,900 yards, and players of every distance will find an opportunity to consider between risks and rewards. No. 13 will provide a distinct treat, as Fazio created two different greens. Those there on a more daring day will be forced to carry a pond on the way to the green, whereas a safer option sits to the right.
In my opinion the Fazio course is the best of the lot (disclaimer, I did not play the Dye course) The first hole is a welcoming par four. Water left off the tee, the hole leans a little right with a fairway bunker on the right side. The green is protected with 3 front right bunkers and one left. The second hole is the wakeup call. Long tight treelined par four that leans left. The number one handicap hole. The third is the shortest hole on the course, a Florida par three. The first par five can be reached by big hitters. There is an assortment of fairway bunkers, but interestingly none greenside. To me, that removes the risk, why not go for it? Big hitters already have an advantage and this design feature compounds it. The S shaped 5th is a 499 yard par 4 from the tips, 467 from the 6350 yard tees and 441 from the 5678 yard tees. This includes fairway bunkers on the inside elbow of the landing area and it is the number 3 handicap hole. I think this is an example of beating golfers into submission. The 6th is another mid-length Florida par three. The 7th is a hole that I liked. Not reachable for most, and if you do, then you earned it. There is a water carry as well as a huge waste bunker that parallels the edge of the water hazard. The 8th is a mid-length par three. Instead of a water carry it is a gunch carry. The 9th is a good birdie oppty. The hole leans right with a massive waste bunker down the right side.
The back opens with an S par five. Big hitters can get home, but there is a water hazard on the right side. The 11th is a longer Florida par three followed up with a moderate S shaped pad5 with a water hazard on the right the latter part of the hole. Déjà vu. The 13th is an interesting par 4 as the number two handicap hole. It is mid-length with a generous landing area, however favor the left side. The fairway narrows significantly as you get closer to the green. Trees right, waste bunker and water hazard left. You need to hit two good shots to have a chance at par. The 14th and 15th are good birdie oppties. The former, dogleg left, do mot get cute off the tee as there is a large waste bunker paralleling the water hazard. The latter, is a short par 4 with three bunkers in front of the green and water hazard right. The 16th is another Florida par three. The 17th has a water carry and five fairway bunkers left in the landing area. Too far right and you may have tree issues and the right front bunkers to contend with. The 18th is a long par four with water running all the way down the left side.
Above average for Myrtle Beach, but I will not go back.