Story by Ian Guerin
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Those who go all out for St. Patrick’s Day don’t seem to mind when it falls on a Tuesday.
So on the years when it chimes in on a weekend, like it will in 2018 and 2019, the holiday of shamrocks, corned beef and cabbage and plenty of green beer will reach new heights. Golfers may elect to play through the parade options, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take part in the festivities after the round.
South Carolina’s Grand Strand has a number of perfect pairings to match your morning or afternoon 18 with a great Irish pub - or at least ones that fake it pretty well.
ARCADIAN SHORES GOLF CLUB
Recently re-opened after a massive renovation project that updated the clubhouse, greens and cart paths, Arcadian Shores is looking the part of a Rees Jones course again and drawing its share of positive praise again. From one of the holes on the back nine, Finn McCool’s is visible through the trees. The old-style establishment serves up Irish options - both in terms of food and drink - and relishes the opportunity to flex its muscles on St. Patrick’s Day each year.
BEACHWOOD GOLF CLUB
For 50 years, Beachwood’s playability has given ownership every reason to keep its grounds nearly identical to what Gene Hamm had in mind when the course opened in 1968. Going from a course celebrating its golden anniversary to pub that knows how to celebrate St. Patty’s couldn’t be easier. A few short blocks from Beachwood is Molly Darcy’s Irish Pub & Grill, one of the greenest bars around. The indoor/outdoor set up is consistently busy; on March 17 each year, it’s a sight to behold.
GRANDE DUNES RESORT COURSE
The views on the morning of March 17 won’t be much better than if you’re teeing off at Grande Dunes. The Marina Inn and Intracoastal Waterway readily in range of several holes, the course leaves next to nothing to be desired. Up the road a few miles, North Myrtle Beach has perfected the art of small-town St. Patrick’s Day. The 2018 parade and festival there will be the 30th consecutive installment of an annual event that usually draws upwards of 30,000 people (or roughly twice the full-time population of the city). This is also a great drop-in after a round at the like of Long Bay Golf Club, Colonial Charters Golf Club or River Hills Golf Club.
INDIAN WELLS GOLF CLUB
Indian Wells has been referred to as one of the area’s hidden golf gems. Yet, the Gene Hamm layout has maximized its ability to handle everything the golfing landscape could throw at it. Just down the street from the course designed with U.S. Open shot-making in mind is one of the area’s great hidden Irish gems, O’Keefe’s Irish Tavern. The small venue has found a niche with locals looking to hide out. On St. Patrick’s Day, however, all-day festivities make this sleepy tavern pop with activity.
PINE LAKES COUNTRY CLUB
Myrtle Beach’s first golf course, Pine Lakes Country Club, has been entertaining players since 1927. A recent decision to revert back to its days of staff members in kilts and knickers is a nice primer for a day to celebrate traditions that started on another part of the British Isles. Likewise, Bumstead’s Pub isn’t an Irish establishment - it’s distinctively English. However, it will feel every bit the part on St. Patrick’s Day.