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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sandpiper Bay Stands Out In Myrtle Beach Area

The rolling fairways, impeccable greens, and enough trouble to keep it interesting made Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club the Myrtle Beach area Golf Course of the Year in 2010. It's a 27-hole complex entirely deserving of the honor.

Located north of Calabash, NC, Sandpiper Bay offers three nines by Dan Maples, each with slight differences in character but similar enough to make for a consistent round. They all have inviting fairways with most of the trouble out where you can see it, a good combination of short and long holes, and MiniVerde greens that roll true. Course conditions were uniformly excellent the day I played.

The Sand Course is the shortest of the three at 3191 yards and par 35. The par fives, at 562 and 559 yards, aren't automatic birdies, though, and the three par threes, 173, 177, and 163 yards will make you pay attention, too. The Piper Course, 3399 yards, par 36, has the most contoured greens of the three courses. It also offers three par fives and three par threes. The shortest of the one-shotters is 185 yards, so bring your A-game.

The newest of the three tracks is the Bay Course. It measures 3450 with a par of 36 and is easily the most difficult and most interesting. It opens with a 550-yard par five, 420- yard par four, and one of the best par threes you'll ever play, the 206-yard par three third hole. Unless you've got nerves of steel, your knees will quiver on the tee as you face the looong shot over the water to the elevated green. Anything short will role back down the hill into the lake and if you overshoot, you'll end up in a monster bunker behind the green. You can bail out left, but that will leave you a difficult uphill pitch. The green is huge and cants away from the tee.

There is obviously a lot of good golf in the Myrtle Beach area, but Sandpiper Bay is absolutely one of the best. It should be a must-play for every visitor.

In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.