Founders Club is located on the quiet, tranquil southern end of the Grand Strand in the town of Pawleys Island. Originally opened in 1969 as Sea Gull Golf Club, the course was completely redesigned by Thomas Walker and reopened in 2008 to rave reviews from locals and visiting golfers alike. Walker maintained the corridors of most of the holes but introduced a thoroughly modern aesthetic and type of shaping, moving more than 250,000 cubic yards of dirt and bringing the course boldly into the 21st century. Walker replaced much of the long rough with sandy waste areas that allow for creative recovery shots by all levels of player, adding more fun to the experience of playing a round at Founders Club. It is the only course on the Grand Strand to use Emerald Bermuda grass on its greens, which are known for being kept in excellent shape year-round.
The course at Founders Club builds to a climax on the back nine. The inward half of the course is stellar, kicked into high gear by the split-fairway par five 12th, where going for the green in two requires an fairway wood shot that must carry a pond to a shallow, elevated green surrounded by bunkers and chipping areas. The 14th through 17th holes sit in an undulating, pine-forested part of the property, bookended by two long par fours where a par is an excellent achievement. The closing hole, a short par four is actually a birdie hole if one can find the fairway off the tee.
Founders Club’s facilities got a major upgrade along with the golf course in 2008. The new plantation-style clubhouse features a wraparound porch, well-appointed pro shop and cozy dining area overlooking the 18th green. The practice putting and chipping green simulates most any short shot or putt one is likely to find on the course and a large driving net is available for warming up before the round.
9 by Christine (Ladson, SC) - 08/08/2016
It was a challenging course. I think had we not been with friends who have played the course before, it would have been hard to find the next hole, especially where there are road crossings. Signage could be better. All in all, we enjoyed our round.
8 by Gary (Rock Hill, SC) - 07/07/2016
Nice, fair course. We played from the gold because we had a new golfer with us, but will return to go from the whites for a truer picture.
10 by Ray (Madill, OK) - 06/29/2016
Last played when it was SeaGull. Loved the course changes. Was nice not to hit any cart paths with your ball.
5 by Timothy (Bristol, TN) - 06/28/2016
The layout is really fabulous but unfortunately, I'm sure because of money, the condition has suffered to the point that the greens were truly unplayable. Absolutely great layout though if it was even in marginal shape.....
5 by Charles (Charlotte, NC) - 06/28/2016
I understand the need to aerate the greens, but it seems as though someone went a little overboard this year.
5 by James (Boiling Springs, SC) - 06/11/2016
(Would like to have known prior to play) that the greens were in such cases poor condition.
8 by Nick (Wolcott, CT) - 06/08/2016
Very unique course for the area. Had a great time playing here. Not too flashy of a track but provides challenge.
9 by James (Corryton, TN) - 06/02/2016
Great experience. good layout, even though we played in the rain, course drained relatively well. Each hole challenging with great bunker placements.
8 by Jon W. - 05/31/2016
I've played this course a lot in the last 2 years and I can honestly say I'm pleasantly surprised by its progress. Two years ago the course condition wise was average at its best. Usually it was, to be honest, a mess. Last year I commented on the improvements, but still felt it lacked behind the other courses in the area. This year I can honestly say they have done a great job to get the course on par with the others. The greens are different than most of the other courses, which for me being from the northeast, was fine. For those who dislike waste bunkers, this course has them so you have been warned. Personally I prefer those over deep rough. The starter is nice enough. A bit of a ?good ole boy? who caters to the locals first, but that?s to be expected. If I have one issue it was with the guy in the club house. I had played the course 4 times in 8 days and on the final (Sunday) I finished my round and went in to have a beer before I left. This was around 5:00. After my beer and chit chatting with the lady working the bar I went in to buy a couple of shirts and a hat. The guy was closing out the register, a bit early I thought. Anyway I asked if I could still buy the items and he said no he couldn?t do it. Now maybe it?s me, it wasn?t a staggering amount (~$100) and it was a Sunday, but why are you turning a sale down? Just seemed silly to me. Other than that, I would recommend playing the course.
6 by Michael (Leland, NC) - 05/25/2016
Sand running down both sides of fairways.
Back-to-back rounds aren’t for everyone. For those electing a jam-packed day of golf, South Carolina’s course-loaded Grand Strand has options galore for a morning-afternoon combination. Sure, several locations host multiple golf courses. But we’ve got something else in mind.
In early January 2016, we spent some time compiling flyover footage of each hole at Founders Club at Pawleys Island. We’re happy to present this compilation to you here, and offer several observations from our January experience in filming and playing this design.
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