North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
This picturesque 18 hole par 3 with holes averaging 130 yards will challenge your short game. They now offer electric carts for your playing enjoyment. The accompanying 300 yard driving range features target greens, sand bunkers and optional mats or grassed hitting area. Lessons, clinics, and group rates available. The entire complex is lighted for evening play. Selected in the top 100 ranges in the United States 6 years in a row! The Executive Par 3 Course at Harbour View is a great way to improve your game without paying expensive greens fees! The Harbour View 18-hole executive course is ideal for golfers of every skill level. Play from the more challenging blue tees (averaging 128 yards each), or try the family tees (100-yard average). We'll even provide the clubs! Contact us to learn more about our exciting executive course.... par 3 golf at its best
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Glen Dornoch … what better tribute to the legendary Donald Ross, of Dornoch, Scotland .. and what better way to return to the game as it was meant to be.
Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links Offers Perfect Blend
and Old Country
By Shane Sharp, Managing Editor
LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (Sept. 19, 2002) – The ribbon had barely been cut on Heather Glen Golf Links in 1987 when owners Jack and Paul Himmelsbach began planning their next golf course project. Heather Glen, a 27-hole Scottish themed layout designed by Willard Byrd and Clyde Johnston, was a fine facility and was heaped with national praise upon opening.
But the Himmelsbachs weren’t ready for it to end, and they turned their sites towards creating a golf course that would be mentioned in the same breath as Harbour Town, Kiawah, Wild Dunes and the Dunes Club.
What they wrought, with the design talents of Johnston along the Intracoastal Waterway in this sleepy crabbing town, comes close, oh so close, to hitting that mark. Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links, while it may never appear in any top 100 list in national magazines, has so many of the elements inherent in the world’s best golf courses.
The 6,890-yard, Donald Ross-inspired course has a setting rivaled by only a handful of courses along the Grand Strand. The 8th, 9th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes all play towards or along the Intracoastal Waterway, providing a backdrop filled with passing ships and bright blue water. The inland holes are lined with sleepy Live Oaks, pine trees and magnolias and are peppered with pot bunkers, love grass and wetlands.
In addition to sheer aesthetic beauty, Glen Dornoch sports a degree of difficulty becoming of a championship caliber course. Its 141 slope rating from the black tees has ensured, since it opened in 1996, that the course is mentioned among the most challenging tracks in Myrtle Beach. Anyone who has played Glen Dornoch from the back tees with a stiff coastal seabreeze knows that’s a conservative number.
This is not a golf course to come and play to warm-up, or to post your personal best,” says Glen Dornoch’s head professional, Gordon McHugh. “This is a golf course you will enjoy, no doubt, but you’ll also have to survive it.”
And such was the case with golf courses that Donald Ross truly poured his heart into. Johnston familiarized himself with all the design techniques that make a Ross course unforgetable: the clever mixing of par-4 lengths, the occasional redan hole, and the use of bunkers to define hole shapes and playing strategies.
But the Hilton Head-based architect also added his own touches to provide Glen Dornoch linksy overtones. Pot bunkers with Zoysia grass faces adorn nearly every hole, and waste areas with native grasses are a common sight on the interior holes. Yet, the Lowcountry flavor is omnipresent from the opening, 333-yard par-4 to the notorious 455-yard par-4 18th that plays right along the water.
“It is a unique blend. You can’t say it is a true links style course, because it’s not wide open,” McHugh says. “But it combines the best from both (Scotland and South Carolina) landscapes.”
Despite its brute length from the back tees, McHugh and other local golf professionals describe Glen Dornoch as a “placement” golf course. This moniker is hard to buy when you are staring down the barrel of the 431-yard, par-4 16th hole, but easier to swallow when trying to feather a long iron down the center of the fairway on the 300-yard, par-4 third. The truth is, the average fairway width at Glen Dornoch makes Heather Glen feel like a driving range, so no matter what the length of the hole, the premium is on accuracy off the tee.
“To score well at Glen Dornoch, you must have a good day from the tee,” McHugh says. “If you make a mistake, you have to take your medicine and layup or short side yourself by the green.”
Unlike the massive, gently undulating greens at the newest Glens Group course, Shaftesbury Glen, Glen Dornoch’s putting surfaces are what you might call “normal” in size and not so gentle in slope. Case in point, on the par-4 6th hole, a two-tier green is draped over nearly four feet of elevation change, producing more than its fair share of three-putts. Unlike Heather Glen, which is playable via land and air, surviving at Glen Dornoch means getting the ball in the air and safely beyond the grasp of the ubiquitous wetlands.
“The wetlands are gorgeous, but you can also hit into them,” McHugh reminds golfers who might become mesmerized by Glen Dornoch’s setting.
The aforementioned 16th hole is one of the most talked about in the entire Grand Strand. The diabolical two-shotter tied with the 15th at Rivers Edge in Myrtle Beach Golf Magazine’s “Best Par-4” category. The hole begins from an elevated tee box with a view straight out to the Intracoastal Waterway. The fairway dives down into a ravine approximately 253 yards from the back tees, and the approach shot is to a narrow green with rocks, trees and water to the right.
“Most golfers love or hate that hole, but I guess more loved it,” McHugh says. “I think it’s a fair golf hole, because there is bailout to left. And there is no arguing about its drama.”
Six years after it first opened its doors, however, no amount of scenery or difficulty has enabled Glen Dornoch to be mentioned in the same breath as Tidewater, Caledonia and the Dunes Club, much less Harbour Town and Kiawah. According to Johnston, this has more to do with marketing than the course itself.
“You can’t compare those two courses (Glen Dornoch and Tidewater) because Tidewater is a real estate marketing effort,” Johnston says. “Those type of courses get their name out there by way of trying to sell homes. They advertise nationally and that makes them more prominent.”
Johnston also says that Glen Dornoch’s difficulty could actually work against its notoriety.
It could be the difficulty that keeps it from being mentioned with those other courses,” he says. “Golfers in Myrtle Beach don’t like to get beat up, and that course can beat up the average golfer. The thing is, they actually wanted me to make it more difficult than it is.”
Still, Johnston ranks Glen Dornoch near the top of his growing body of work.
“The intent was to design a golf course more hands on,” he says. “We had topos (maps) of the site, but what most people don’t know is that past the routing plan stage, I didn’t draw anything. It wasn’t an open checkbook by any means, but I got to do what I wanted for the most part.”
Johnston says the only thing he would have done differently was to manicure the areas leading up to the Intracoastal Waterway on the exterior holes.
“The environmental setbacks were about 20 feet from the water, and I wouldn’t have left all that scraggly wetland brush,” he says. “But we didn’t have an unlimited budget, so that is the way it worked out.”
Sitting on the back deck of the club house at Glen Dornoch, sipping a cold drink and watching the pleasure boats head out to the Atlantic, it becomes apparent it all worked out for the best.