Opened in 1998 and located on the north end of the Grand Strand in Bolivia, N.C., Carolina National is the only Myrtle Beach area course designed by 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples. It is one of a handful of area facilities with 27 holes—the Egret, Heron and Ibis nines. All three birds after which those nines are named, as well as an awesome variety of local wildlife, can be found throughout the course, which winds its way through coastal forest and out onto expansive tidal marshland bordering the Lockwood River. Golf Digest gives the course 4 ½ out of 5 Stars on its “Places To Play” ranking.
Each of the nines plays to a par 36, with five par fours, two par fives and two par threes, making for a par-72 golf course no matter how which combination of nines one plays. Many visitors will play all three nines while on property, given the unique character and challenge of each. The signature hole at Carolina National is undoubtedly the par three 5th hole on the Heron nine. It measures 203 yards from the back tees and features a green complex that juts out into the marsh with commanding views of the Lockwood River. The tee boxes are arranged do that the hole can play from massively different angles, affording the opportunity for very different looks on consecutive plays. Given Carolina National’s robust membership, this is a welcome feature. A number of other holes include split fairways and centerline bunkers, which add considerable interest to the experience of playing a round.
The facilities at Carolina National are excellent, with a 320-yard long driving range, 14,000 square foot putting and chipping green and a spacious clubhouse housing an excellent dining room called the Plantation Grille. The Grille served members and guests alike seven days a week for lunch, as well as dinner on Tuesday and Friday nights.
4 by George - 03/20/2015
Hard greens with little or no grass. Pins on slopiest part of greens. Tees way back. Wouldn't think the average golfer would enjoy this. Used to love this course but the maintenance seems to be slipping. Cart attendant didn't seem to be interested in handling our bags even though you can't take carts into the parking lot.
5 by JJ - 03/17/2015
Used to love this course but greens in terrible shape. They used the old dormant Bermuda excuse but it seemed that on the greens with the least grass the pins were placed on the slopiest portion of the green. Also most holes were cut poorly giving the volcano effect around the hole. The gold tees were all back as far as possible making them play almost as long as the black tees. Not much fun for the average golfer.
10 by Art (Wilmington, DE) - 10/28/2014
The new champions greens were very good, smooth and fast. Good conditions everywhere. CN had the best conditions I have ever seen there. This is again a great value. Lunch off the menu was included, but I can't say if that is ongoing or only a 2014 deal.
The drive time from the hotel was 55 minutes, about the same as driving to Heritage/Cal. It?s difficult to pick a best 9, as all 3 nines are interesting and blend together in any combination. I like the Heron 9 the best. Most holes are tree lined, interesting
and different, thanks to Freddy. CN is a must play in this price range.
7 by Mike (Broomfield, CO) - 10/03/2014
The new greens are really nice. Unfortunately the course had a tournament going at the same time we were there so the bag drop-off area, putting green, and driving range were packed with people. As such, the bag attendants and starters were a bit rude from being stressed out with trying to get things coordinated. Then they had the grill closed off to only the tournament participants, so when we were done we had to squeeze our 16 person group into the little snack bar downstairs that has only has one 4-person table in it. We did get coupons for a free lunch so that took a bit of the sting off of that inconvenience...but with no place to sit and eat for 12 of our 14 guys it was kind of a joke. The actual golf course itself was in great shape though and all of our guys enjoyed that actual golf part.
7 by Don (Toms River, NJ) - 06/09/2014
Based on conditions of the four courses we played, Carolina National was in the first shape . Fairway looked like they were under water the night before.
7 by Tom (Castleton, NY) - 06/06/2014
I really liked the design, all the traps, and the challenge the course presented. The greens were the fastest of the five course we played. Unfortunately, the conditions were the worst of the five courses we played. The fairway grass was very sparse and very tight. A ball in the rough was actually a better lie. Would really like to play there when it grows in.
8 by Wayne (Battle Creek, MI) - 06/03/2014
Par 3s are tough
8 by Ken (Penhook, VA) - 06/02/2014
Very friendly staff. Course was in good shape. Some greens didn't have a lot of grass in spots but putted well.
8 by Sandy (Piedmont, SC) - 06/02/2014
Fair to players and well maintained. good value
4 by Chris (Lorton, VA) - 04/30/2014
Will never play this course again.............very poor!