Story by Ian Guerin
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | We’re never going to complain about 18 holes.
Hey, it’s better than working
For those who want to stretch the day on the links to include more, however, South Carolina’s Grand Strand offers opportunity after opportunity to pair multiple rounds on separate sites with minimal effort.
Thanks to geography, players can knock out a round in the morning, take a break for lunch and then scoot over to a nearby course. To provide variety under the same day’s sun, we’ve put together a list that won’t repeat designers or even layout style.
Take note: you’ll want to start the first course in as early as possible. It will allow you ample time, of course, but also a realistic window to grab a bite at either of your drafted locations that day.
So double up your tee times, stretch accordingly and get ready for a full morning and afternoon. Just remember to hydrate.
TPC / INTERNATIONAL CLUB
TPC of Myrtle Beach is regularly considered one of the top options in the area, and the Tom Fazio layout stands as a great test for your game. The tour-caliber course requires precise shots - and shot selection - in order to navigate a difficult design laid atop pristine conditions. Opened just a few months after TPC, International Club of Myrtle Beach is a great nearby addition to the latter. At International, Willard Byrd placed water on 11 holes (including seven on the front nine), with the wet stuff visible from another three. It’s all the inspiration you’ll need to ease up some, especially after playing 18 holes at TPC earlier in the day.
PAWLEYS PLANTATION / FOUNDERS CLUB
The combination of Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club and Founders Club of Myrtle Beach is a natural one, as the two southern-most courses in Pawleys Island are essentially across U.S. 17 from each other. At Pawleys Plantation, players are greeted by the lore of Jack Nicklaus himself, with advice on tackling some of the Golden Bear’s creative holes here a standard portion of the starters’ speeches. Founders Club couldn’t look much different. With sand used extensively for the course’s re-opening in 2008, the track will play unlike any other along South Carolina’s Grand Strand.
WILD WING / SOUTHCREEK
Wild Wing Plantation was inadvertently built with speedier golf in mind. Not only does the course play all 18 holes consecutively without a natural turn back at the clubhouse, it also opens with three par 4s and a par 5 before players reach the first of the par 3s for the day. It frequently means that players can play fast without feeling rushed. Three left turns off Wild Wing Boulevard will lead you to Myrtle Beach National and the SouthCreek Course. Get used to that approach for the second half of your golfing day. While Wild Wing plays about as straight as possible, a third of the holes at SouthCreek feature frequently maddening doglegs.
PINE LAKES / PINEHILLS
They share part of their names, and they’re also both two of the oldest course sites in all of Myrtle Beach. But touched-up designs at these two centrally located courses through the years have given them distinct looks. At Pine Lakes Country Club, visitors will be jettisoned back to 1927, with staff donning Scottish garb while welcoming players to Myrtle Beach’s first course, a par-70 layout with very few tricks built into it. A few blocks away at Myrtlewood Golf PineHills, Arthur Hills’ early 1990s redesign added plenty of elevation changes and some deceiving bunkers to make up for the fact that it plays no more than 6,640 yards.
GLEN DORNOCH / RIVER HILLS
The flagship course of the Glens Golf Group, Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links continues to build up anticipation toward its final three holes. Massive elevation changes and the last stretch along the IntraCoastal Waterway make this Clyde Johnston layout a gem among the several courses on the north tip of the Strand. River Hills Golf & Country Club has some of that same rise and drop feel; however, it does so while mixing in extreme doglegs, fairway landing zones with forced water carries and a dynamic that moves trouble back and forth from the beginning of one hole to the end of the next.