Located in the heart of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club sprawls across a stately piece of land that beautifully melds with its surrounding natural environment. This treasured golfing gem, framed by the serene presence of Singleton Swash and the illustrious Atlantic Ocean, is the epitome of the art of golf course design. With some of the best 18 holes of golf that the Grand Strand has to offer, its 17th, also known as “Waterloo,” has particularly captivated golfers for decades, achieving icon status in the realm of golf.
Historical Backdrop of ‘Waterloo’
Penned by premier golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, The Dunes Club was his first signature design. The course opened its doors to the golfing world in 1949, but it was a few years later that the 17th hole ‘Waterloo’ made its entry. Named after the Battle of Waterloo, its strategic challenges and inherent beauty have struck in the minds of golfers ever since.
The Challenges and Strategy of the 17th Hole
Spanning 590 yards from the Championship tees, the Par-5 17th hole is not intended for the faint-hearted. The layout of this hole is unique, featuring a sharp dogleg right that wraps around the beautiful Lake Singleton. This gives it the distinction of being one of the most unforgettable holes, not just on the course, but on the entire Atlantic coastline.
The tee shot of this hole is a true test of a golfer’s ability to balance aggression with precision. An errant tee shot running too far left may land in the native area, while an overly ambitious drive to cross the lake from the right might be swallowed by water.
The second shot can either be a play-it-safe approach using a mid-iron to set-up a short third shot, or an audacious attempt to carry the lake, a strategy potentially rewarding the golfer with an eagle opportunity.
A well-positioned bunker on the right of the fairway demands strategic shot placement, while the undulating bean-shaped green flanked by two deep bunkers requires precision, patience, and a deft touch to save par.
The Uniqueness and Mesmerizing Beauty
While its strategic complexity is undoubtedly enticing, what truly sets this hole apart is the grandeur that one witnesses while standing on the tee-box. The breathtaking views of Lake Singleton alongside the abundant presence of majestic Eastern White Pines and blooming Oleanders draw an aesthetically pleasing backdrop that is unmatched along the east coastline.
The way the hole harmonizes with the natural topography of the land, one can imagine the inspiration that Jones drew from the battlefields of Waterloo to design this hole. The sense of tension and strategy needed to play this hole is an echo from that historical battle.
‘Waterloo’ – A True Testament to Golfing Excellence
The 17th hole’s reputation as a challenging and visually stunning hole has given it substantial recognition. It was crowned as the “Most Outstanding Hole” by the SC Golf Ratings Panel and is included in the “100 Most Significant Holes in SC” list.
‘Waterloo’ is a testament to the genius of Robert Trent Jones, a hole that captures the essence of strategic golf amidst a beautifully challenging landscape. It’s more than just a golf hole; it’s an unforgettable experience that compels golfers to return to its tees. Be it the amateur handicapper or the seasoned professional, conquering ‘Waterloo’ is an achievement every golfer aspires to. Whether marked by victory or defeat, a round at the 17th is always an adventure, every shot a tale penned in the heart of the player.
In conclusion, ‘Waterloo’ is an awe-inspiring marvel of golf course design and architectural excellence. Its enduring charm lies in its compelling blend of challenge and beauty, setting it apart as an emblematic symbol of what makes golf such a cherished sport. So, if you’re planning a round in Myrtle Beach, remember to brace yourself for ‘Waterloo,’ for it truly is, in every sense, a beautiful battlefield.