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Shells and gators make Myrtle Beach-area Oyster Bay Golf Links a fun, visual play | 6.21.2011
June 21, 2011

Oyster Bay Golf Course

By Ian Guerin

SUNSET BEACH, N.C. - Oyster Bay Golf Links sets up like something out of a putt-putt player's nightmare: Off the shells, avoid the alligator, and do your best to carry the water.

The course, located just north of Myrtle Beach, S.C., in Sunset Beach, N.C., combines some of the rarest scenes of any round in the area. And it's not afraid to lean on those visuals.

Oyster Bay Clubhouse

"Most players, if we had bad conditions, we get away with it because of the nature and the beauty of the golf course," Oyster Bay Golf Links Assistant Professional Brian Altena said. "If everything else was just okay, they're still going to come away very, very happy."

The most favorably priced of the Legends Golf courses, Oyster Bay's sights are unavoidable. Many of the holes are designed with the native white-and-black oyster shells, and on several, those adages come into play.

And those alligators keep players on their feet nearly year round on at least two holes. It's part of the package that has kept Oyster Bay successful even during some of the game's lean times.

"I think it's just pretty: the design, the shells, the whole look," said Galo Andrade, a high handicapper from New York City. "It's a nice course; I like it. I judge a course by how many balls I lose. This was a success. I actually did better (than expected)."

For most, that's where the final four holes aren't so friendly.

Oyster Bay Golf Links: The course

The par-70 course shaved two holes off the normal round by designing two water-laden par 3s into the final four holes.

That was just fine for fellow New York City native Marcelo Cruz. "I'm sort of fanatical about island greens," he said. "I love island greens."

Oyster Bay Golf Links

Holes No. 15 and No. 17 offer an injection of adrenaline into the end of the round. The short No. 15 gives players some allowance in the front; granted, it's protected by a sand trap. No. 17 is not as kind, offering only a small sliver of green beyond the green in which to miss the green.

Those two holes fund plenty of ball divers.

"It's a pretty rare thing that all four in a group will lay it across and put it on dry ground," Altena said.

And, as Altena points out, those two par 3s are sandwiched around an equally frustrating par 4.

Oyster Bay Golf Links' 16th hole is lined fully up the right side by more water. Off the tee of the 450-yard hole, players must find a way to hit their drive long enough to take water down the middle of the course out of play with a shot long enough to reach on their second while still keeping it wet.

For golfers who tire toward the end of a round, those three holes will certainly offer a wake-up call.

The rest of the 6,355-yard course (from the average tees) finds other ways to have a similar effect.

There's the split-green No. 3, a par 4 with one green requiring an approach over water, while the other one plays sans water. There's No. 6, where the white shells make it next to impossible to judge distance.

As for the rest, thick marsh, plenty of trees and even more shells are added into undulated greens, and there are deceivingly placed bunkers throughout.

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course address

614 Lakeshore Dr
Sunset Beach, NC 28468

course videos

Course Overview:

Oyster Bay Golf Links, Sunset Beach, NC

dan maple's oyster bay golf links

Voted the 1983 Golf Digest "Resort Course of the Year," and ranked by the same publication among the top 50 public courses in the country in 1990, Oyster Bay Golf Links is a rare, harmonious blend of the penal, heroic and strategic philosophies of golf course architecture. Architect Dan Maples and developer Larry Young created a course where variety and innovation are the name of the game. Consider severe marsh-oriented holes, two island green par threes, strategic (and stunningly beautiful) fresh water lakes, long holes, short holes...the consummate combination of shot making requirements.

The par-70 course plays to just under 6,700 yards, but cavernous bunkers, wickedly undulating greens and lengthy par 4's make Oyster Bay a test of one's mettle.

The Verdict: Oyster Bay is known to be the best shot-makers course in the area and we guarantee that no two holes are even close to being the same. This finishing design touch truly makes you feel right at home on the beautiful East Coast. Severe and plentiful bunkers and massive slopes all await you! Oyster Bay is not a course you want to pass up the opportunity to play!

Location Map

special offers...

Legends Club House
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Eat, Drink & Birdie
Stay 5 nights and play 5 rounds
$415. per person
more info... »


Eat, Drink & Birdie

Package Includes:

  • 5 nights accommodations in a 2 Bedroom Myrtle Beach Golf Condo
  • Pay 4 rounds of golf from
    The Legends Courses:
  • Get 5th round free
  • Includes breakfast, lunch and 2 beers
  • Includes cart fees and all taxes
  • Package Notes:
    Prices are per golfer based on 4 persons sharing a 2 bedroom condo - includes all taxes. Prices are subject to change without notice. Accommodations and golf are subject to availability.

    The LEGENDS Courses:

    • Heathland Course
    • Moorland Course
    • Parkland Course
    • Heritage Club
    • Oyster Bay Golf Links


    Package Rates 2011-12 :
    Nov 28 – Dec 31, 2011
    Jan 1 – 18
    Jan 19 – Feb 15
    Feb 16 – Mar 7
    Mar 8 – 21
    Mar 22 – Apr 11
    Apr 12 – May 20

course notes

18 holes,6,685 yards,
par 70, 72.1 rating, slope 136

Designed by:
Dan Maples

Course Opened:
Course Type/Style:
Number of Tee Boxes:
4 sets
Total Number of Sand Bunkers:
65 - 69
Number of Water Hazards:
14 of 18 holes
Most Challenging Hole:
No. 2
Most Memorable Hole:
Signature Hole:
No. 13
Acreage of Course:
369 acres
Average Size of Greens:
6,400 sq. ft.

Primary Grasses
Bermuda 419
Bermuda 419
Tif Eagle

Months Open:
January – December
High Season:

March – November

Rounds per year:

Green Fees:
Low: $65 High: $130
Walking Options:
Mandatory Cart

Head Pro:
Keith DeVos, PGA 
Dave McGhee, GCSAA

Golf Digest 4.5 stars rating

5 Things You Need to Know: TPC-Myrtle Beach

By Chris King on May 4, 2010

What do you need to know about TPC-Myrtle Beach, beyond the need to bring your 'A' game? Here are five tidbits that might enhance your enjoyment of the South Strand layout.

Hit it high – Generally speaking, the greens at TPC are elevated and well bunkered, so you aren't going to have much success trying to run the ball up. Make sure you iron game is sharp and be prepared to fly numerous bunkers on your way to the green.

Tournament Tested – TPC is one of Myrtle Beach golf's biggest challenges and it has the resume to prove it. The course has hosted the PGA Senior Tour Championship, the finals of the World Amateur Handicap Championship, and every spring it hosts the General Hackler Invitational, one of the nation's best collegiate tournaments. Take the time to check out the clubhouse memorabilia.

One of a Kind – In recent years Myrtle Beach golf courses have collected honors like a kid receiving candy on Halloween, but TPC is the only course in the area to earn 5-stars in Golf Digest's prestigious "Best Places to Play" guide and one of fewer than 25 layouts in the nation to earn the distinction.

Yes, that is Dustin Johnson – Rising PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson calls TPC-Myrtle Beach home. In addition to practicing and playing at TPC, the three-time winner on tour has been known to hang around the clubhouse. Don't be shocked if you see him, but he's just one of the guys in Murrells Inlet.

That's a wild turkey, not a drink – TPC-Myrtle Beach is built on 369 acres, much of it wetlands, which means the course has plenty of breathing room and there is ample wildlife. Wild turkey roost in the swamp to the left of ninth tee and there are an abundance of deer, alligators and fox, among many other animals. Enjoy the scenery.

The 3 Best Holes at:
TPC-Myrtle Beach

By Chris King on May 4, 2010

The TPC-Myrtle Beach is one of the Grand Strand's bluebloods.

It enjoys the benefit of a premium brand, superior design (the team of Lanny Wadkins and Tom Fazio is tough to beat), and it's the home course of Dustin Johnson, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour. Throw in a bevy of national honors, and it's not hard to see why the facility is so highly regarded.

Identifying the three best holes on a course that has hosted what was then the Senior PGA Tour Championship and gets a regular workout from Johnson is a challenging task, because the candidates are plentiful. We asked course owner Chip Smith to identify the best of the best at TPC-Myrtle Beach and he complied, with an assist from Johnson.

The three best holes at TPC are:
No. 5, 158-yard, Par 3: Despite being TPC's shortest hole, the fifth is one of its most challenging, particularly from the tips where the tee shot requires a long forced carry over water. The green is wider than it is deep, so your margin for error is limited. A bunker in the right front looms for players not playing from the tips, as does a bunker in back of the green. "There is almost a false front on the front of the green," Smith said. "It's a tough little shot because the green is narrow. The right side of the green is always better than short because of the lake."

No. 17, 193-yard, par 3: The words island green and TPC have almost become synonymous because of the famed 17th at Sawgrass, and No. 17 at TPC-Myrtle Beach is a reasonable approximation. The primary differences? The 17th in Myrtle Beach is a peninsula green surrounded by water on "only" three sides and it's approximately 50 yards longer. The 17th is TPC-Myrtle Beach's signature hole and with an almost constant wind, it represents a significant challenge. "Because of the distance, I think it's a little tougher than 17 at Sawgrass," Smith says. "Now I've never stood on 17 at Sawgrass on Sunday with $1.4 million on the line either (laugh)."

No. 18, 538-yard, par 5: The 18th, with a creek running along the right side of the fairway and a large lake on the left, is Johnson's choice as the course's best. It's a classic risk-reward hole. Players that can snuggle up to the creek before it runs out to the lake can get home in two, but there is considerable risk. Half of the green is exposed to water and with the rough surrounding it shaved, it's not an easy green to hold. One person who doesn't have to worry about length is Johnson. What does one of the PGA Tour's longest hitters use to reach the green on his second shot? "Depending on which way the wind is blowing, anywhere from a 5 or 6 iron to a 3-wood," he said. For the mere mortals among us, an iron on the second shot when attempting to reach the 18th green is out of the question!

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