If it were designed today, and by anyone other than a top-tier architect, the 13th hole at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club might be dismissed as a gimmick.
The fact that this boomerang-shaped hole is the most famous (and still respected) one you can play on a Myrtle Beach Golf Vacation owes largely to the fact that it was created, in 1949, by the late, great Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
Named Waterloo, this hole is the American prototype for what Jones called a “heroic hole,” its V-like shape wrapping around Lake Singleton. At 590 yards from the tips, it is exceedingly hard to reach in two, and it has stood the test of time and every type of equipment advancement thrown at it.
To simply call it a signature par five and a killer test (it’s the number one handicap hole) would be to leave out all the details that make the hole so significant among Myrtle Beach golf courses and the annals of golf course architecture.
Besides quickening your pulse on the tee merely from the look of it, what makes the 13th at the Dunes Club so tough is having to judge just how much of the lake to attempt to carry to safely reach the relatively narrow fairway. And, after that, there are two sand traps that protect the front of the green, sometimes thwarting even well-struck approach shots. Of course, those who can, at least in theory, get home in two have a great advantage over shorter hitters who must take the longer path around the lake.
Waterloo gets mentioned in almost every modern textbook on golf course architecture and has earned honors as one of this country’s greatest water-hazard holes, one of the greatest par fives, and one of the best holes overall. It’s certainly one of the best holes Robert Trent Jones Sr., ever built, and one that every serious golfer should play on a Myrtle Beach golf vacation.
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