Story by Ian Guerin
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | If South Carolina’s Grand Strand has golf for everyone, then it has a season for everyone, as well. For those getting a jump start to early spring conditions up north, that frequently means taking advantage of what our climate here affords. Warmer temperatures equate to greener surfaces, blooming azaleas and crystal clear on-course water. That’s what we’ve come to expect during spring golf in and around Myrtle Beach. And if you join us during that part of the calendar, you’ll see it, too. Here are four courses we recommend to get the most out of your spring vacation to the area.
GLEN DORNOCH WATERWAY GOLF LINKS
Glen Dornoch incorporates natural grasses better than most. And even though there are sections of the course that present beautifully colored flowers, it is those grasses that tend to star in the spring. Prior to the heat of summer, these strands - often drawing their life from the nearby Intracoastal Waterway and or the accompanying marshes - are fully clustered. They affect shot and club selection, to be sure, but they also add great views to the first chunk of the calendar.
PAWLEYS PLANTATION GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB
There’s plenty at Pawleys Plantation for horticulturists to fawn over. Somehow, it all comes together at once on the No. 12 tee box. With just the right angle, a photograph can include the large oak shading the tee, the fully bloomed flowers underneath, the super green fairway, an oversized waste bunker up the right side and a sliver of the marsh views on No. 13. Play your cards rights, hand one of your playing partners the phone or camera, and have a souvenir pic that will make your friends back home a wee bit jealous.
RIVER HILLS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB
Ask anyone who has played here in the spring and there’s a good chance the reaction will be something along these lines: The course was just … so… green. Like most Tom Jackson designs - especially those in this area - River Hills is framed nearly throughout by various amounts of water. Coupled with undulation seldom seen along South Carolina’s Grand Strand, the grass is replenished more naturally than most sites. It makes the contrasts from the fairways to roughs to water to bunkers stand out that much more.
For our money, we’ll take the views of the tee box from No. 5 and the final few yards on No. 18 and stack these two up against anyone, and that’s because of the heavenly feel provided by the extra touches put in place and then maintained for years. The large oaks, the flowers, the rolling terrain, the tunneled feel - it all combines to form the type of look that will push a really good course over the top when it comes to a player’s memory of a round.