Indian Wells100 Woodlake Drive, Surfside Beach, SC, 29575
Indian Wells Golf Club opened in 1984, located just minutes south of Myrtle Beach in Garden City, S.C. It is especially convenient to Myrtle Beach International Airport, making it an ideal place for a round on one’s way into or out of town. Gene Hamm, the designer, crafted a course that reminds one of the classic courses of the American northeast while also incorporating many more modern touches. In 2004, it was named Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year by the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association.
At only 6,624 yards from the back set of tees, Indian Wells Golf Club does not punish players length but rather rewards prudent, confident shotmaking with a rating of 72.6 and a slope of 136. Its tree-lined fairways and smallish, pushed-up greens encourage superior distance control and water comes into play on all holes but two, making placement the priority over raw power.
Nowhere is this precept more true than on Indian Wells’ par fives, where players are called upon to balance a little bit of power with considerable strategy and clear-headedness if they want a good chance at birdie or even eagle. Take for instance the 13th hole. At only 481 yards from the back tee, it is short by modern par five standards, but that does not make it a pushover. Far from it: the landing area bends hard to the right, with bunkers both beyond and shy of the dogleg turn. It is possible to hit one’s driver, but it is critical to fit it to the shape of the hole. Then, after a successful left-to-right tee shot, the player must shape his or her next from right to left around a pond, a tree and four greenside bunkers in order to gain a chance at eagle. The task is doable, but two excellent shots are required, which is the nature of the best reachable three-shot holes.