To get my January 2015 Myrtle Beach golf trip started we got up at 6:00 am to make certain we were at the Barefoot Dye course for our 11:00 am tee time. Driving down to Myrtle Beach I had no idea what to expect in terms of golf. I knew the courses were going to be great but just how great? Well, I got my clocked cleaned early and often by the Barefoot Dye course.
The one thing I knew about Pete Dye courses was the visual problems he caused the professionals. At Whispering Straits in Wisconsin even the greatest golfers in the world were struggling to figure out where to land the balls on the greens. Let me tell you, you have absolutely no idea how visually challenging Dye can make a course. He makes greens look like postage stamps. When you get up to the greens they look normal size but from the fairway they look to be about 10 feet by 10 feet.
There are numerous holes on the Barefoot Dye course in which you think you only have about a five foot area to land the ball if you want it to stay on the green. This is not the only challenge of a Dye course. There are also numerous little humps and waste areas that will make it very difficult to get up and down. If you are not good at chipping and pitching Pete Dye will eat you alive. We played the Barefoot Dye course on January 16th so, as you can imagine, there was not a lot of grass under the ball. Fortunately for me, I am very good at chipping.
I would love to play this course again in the spring or summer when there was more grass under the ball. I think I would thoroughly enjoy the challenges around the greens. The course plays around 6000 yards from the whites on the scorecard but it is much longer than that. I quickly learned that playing in the winter at sea level means you need to club up at least one and most likely two. The 6000 yards on the Dye Course was much more like 6500 yards on a normal course in the summer.
Overall the greens were extremely slow. In fact, they were the slowest greens we played all week. That said, they had received tons of rain the week prior and they did not cut or roll the green prior to us playing. There were only about eight groups on the course so it was not worth it for them to cut and roll the greens. I would like to play the course when the greens are rolling faster.
I felt as if the Dye Course was fun to play but do not expect to score. The par 3s are very long and there are plenty of bumps, humps and waste areas that will make it difficult to efficiently get around this course. I shot a 92 which was 10 strokes higher than any other round I played in Myrtle Beach during the trip. Part of it was the slow greens and part of it was the weather and getting acclimated to the different distances for my irons and wedges.
If you are going to play the Barefoot courses I would suggest starting with the Fazio course. I am a huge Fazio fan but understand that the Barefoot Fazio course plays extremely long when it is windy. Bring out your big boy clubs if you are going to play from the blacks on the Fazio course.