First-Hand look at the Barefoot Norman course from the MBGolfProThe Author: Craig Chinn
Published: December 19th, 2011
Last Updated: May 22nd, 2015
The Barefoot Norman Course in North Myrtle Beach underwent a nice renovation this past summer. The greens were switched from Bent grass greens to Champions Ultra Dwarf Bermuda. With the weather in the high 60`s a week before Christmas (yes, I’m rubbing that in), I had to get out and play to see the work that was done and give it an ole’ MBGolfPro (that’s me) golf course review.
I took the student with me and gave him a rematch in our “Teacher vs Student” golf match. (See the results below.) The Par 72 Norman Course has 5-sets of tees and will challenge any player of any level. The course measures at just under 5,000 yards from the forward tees and just over 7,000 from the championship tees.
Barefoot Norman – The Front 9
Keeping his own playing philosophy in his design (Greg Norman of course, World Golf Hall of Famer), the “Bump and Run”, he gives you a chance to make the up and down, on nearly ever hole, even with a green miss. Barefoot Norman course features huge green complexes. The average green size is 6,300 square feet and includes only 60 acres of mow-able grass! Waste bunkers and native grasses line nearly every hole.
Let me explain the “Bump and Run” real quick. Norman’s philosophy is to get the ball rolling on the ground without getting it airborne when you are close to the green. The higher you chip, the likely it is you will lose control or stray “off course,” no pun intended. This of course, is only applicable if you don’t have anything between you and the green.
Finishing out the front is the tough par-5, the 9th hole that can make or break your front nine score. The 9th hole is lined with bunkers down the left side. To make matters a bit more difficult, wetlands extend the entire length of the hole on the right side of the fairway and cross about 50 yards in front of the green. If you can avoid the bunkers or wetlands, it gives you a perfect opportunity to lay up around the 100 yard marker. This leaves your third shot into a green that slopes severely right to left. Making par on the 9th-hole will win you the front nine 60% of the time.
Barefoot Norman – The Back 9
As you approach the 10th tee, you get your first glimpse of the IntraCoastal Waterway. The Barefoot Norman course is the only one of the four courses at Barefoot Resort & Golf that has Waterway views. Not only does this hole have Waterway views, but six of the eight holes after it as well. The par 3, 10th hole is guarded with the waste bunkers and the waterway on the right side. There is a bailout to the left of the green (not visable from the tee, this is where the GPS on the carts comes in) that goes back into the Greg Norman “Bump and Run” philosophy if the green is missed.
Overall the course is one of the more underrated courses on the strand. With the new greens, Barefoot Norman will climb up every ranking category and should be on everyone`s playlist.
Oh, and back to the Teacher vs Student….
The teacher closed out the Student 5 and 3 with a two putt birdie on the Par 5, 15th hole.
FUN FACT: Greg Norman not only designed this COURSE, but he designed the GRASS for the tees and fairways as well, a hybrid called GN-1, made by Norman’s own turf company.
FUN FACT #2: Not only is this course unique because it’s the only course in Myrtle Beach with the architect’s own grass, but Norman ALSO has his own restaurant here, just across the Waterway from Barefoot Resort. (And hey, we’ve got coupons!)
As always, “Fairways and Greens” –@MBGOLFPRO