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A Course to ‘Dye’ for at Barefoot Golf Resort

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Guests at the Caribbean Resort don’t have to travel far to find an out-of-this-world golf experience.

The Caribbean is located close to some of the vintage Grand Strand golf courses – Pine Lakes International Country Club and The Dunes Golf & Beach Club and Myrtlewood Golf Club, which are the first three courses opened in Myrtle Beach. But for a few extra miles to the north, you can visit a more modern facility with four award-winning courses on one property – Barefoot Golf Resort.

Located in North Myrtle Beach just across the Intracoastal Waterway from Barefoot Landing, this quartet of courses was designed by some of the biggest names in the game. Legendary golfers Davis Love III and Greg Norman and renowned architects Pete Dye and Tom Fazio put their personal fingerprints all over these acclaimed courses. Sculpted out of dense woodlands and pristine wetlands along the Intracoastal Waterway, each of these layouts has its own distinct character with one common theme – challenging championship-caliber golf in a scenic and serene setting.

In a perfect world, you could play all four. But if you only have time to play one, make it the Dye Course, the home of the Hootie & The Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am. PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour pros play the Dye Course every year for the charity fundraiser and they rave about the design, condition and scenery of the layout. The Dye Course reflects its namesake’s years of experience in building difficult holes with unforgiving hazards that present players with a true test of golf.

Surrounded by thick forests and natural water, this 6,634-yard course requires steely nerves and some precision shot-making to master. The L-93 Bentgrass greens and GN-1 Bermuda fairways are immaculately maintained and provide players with a surface they can work with … if they can land on them. Heavy rough and other hazards await stray shots, including out-of-bounds mounds and wide bunkers that are strategically placed in play.

The 18-hole layout features 14 doglegs, including two double-doglegs on the 543-yard 8th and the 574-yard 16th. They are among the toughest holes on an already challenging course, but there are plenty more, like the par-4, 410-yard No. 9 that plays over a wetlands area and a waste bunker to a narrow fairway that is bordered by trees and mounds that conceal the lake on the other side. Then it’s on to the back nine and the Par-4, 344-yard No. 10 – a dogleg left around the lake that runs almost all the way to the green. The right side is guarded by three bunkers, requiring precision to reach the elevated green.

And if the first 15 holes don’t get you, the Dye Course offers one of the toughest closing stretches on the Strand. The double dogleg on No. 16 requires players to traverse a high mound in the middle of the fairway, obstructing the view and forcing a virtual approach shot in the dark. No. 17 carries over a wetland to a narrow green front to back that looks even tighter from the tee. Then it’s time to tee off on one of the best finishing holes on the Grand Strand. Featuring a lake on one side of the fairway and a series of bunkers on the other, here’s your chance to hit it hard and straight in order to close your round on a high note.

Despite its degree of difficulty, the Dye Course is popular among both high and low handicappers who enjoy a good challenge. The Fazio, Love and Norman courses also provide golfers with solid tests o skill, but only one Barefoot Resort layout is truly to “Dye” for.

(posted 8/18/14)
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