Story by Ian Guerin
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.
These perfectly paired rounds take you from one site to the next, all the while delivering two distinct styles in the same day. Consider this list a mini-road map to something slightly different.
This duo is one of the more tried-and-true combinations the area has to offer.
Due to their location at the southern tip of the Myrtle Beach area, players have been making the trek and then pairing these two for years. The mere chip shot across U.S. 17 helps – but so, too, do the variances between the two.
Whereas Jack Nicklaus’ Pawleys Plantation design has all the feel of a course set atop the natural marshlands, Founders Club takes into account an abundance of sand - utilized through massive waste bunkers and even cart paths.
Both play to those identifying qualities time and again.
There may not be another course in the country that has accomplished what World Tour Golf Links has. There certainly aren’t many in the Myrtle Beach area that match Arrowhead Country Club’s biggest bragging right.
At World Tour, holes dip and dive around the globe, patterning themselves after some of the most notable in all of golf. Augusta National and Royal Troon, Winged Foot and St. Andrews; they’re all represented.
An 8-minute drive away is Arrowhead, one of the more secluded courses in the area. While its other two nines - Cypress and Lakes - are distinguished in their own right, either one paired with The Waterway portion is exceptional. It crescendos as the midway point with the 407-yard, par-4 No. 5 playing parallel to the Intracoastal Waterway.
Visitors should take notice of relatively longer entryways off the bustling U.S. 501 corridor each of these two sites employs.
It allows the two tracks to feel miles away from the cars zooming in and out of Myrtle Beach.
At Wild Wing Plantation, specifically the 18-hole Avocet Course, players can take advantage of an extremely clean and considerably open layout coinciding with seemingly endless visuals of the wildlife calling it home.
Meanwhile, the Moorland Course at Legends Golf Resort, extreme undulations and an overabundance of deep bunkers test you off the tee and then continue to mess with what you thought you knew about the clubs in your bag.
The bourgeoning portion of South Carolina’s Grand Strand known as Carolina Forest has served as home to the Myrtle Beach National trifecta for some time. Matching the SouthCreek course there with Mystical Golf’s nearby Man O’War, though, shows both sides of an area that not all that long ago wasn’t laden with development.
At Man O’War, Dan Maples crafted a round set along a 100-acre lake. Every hole has water in front, behind or alongside the path of the ball. It is, simply, everywhere.
The same aerial shots displaying how close these two courses are - and how prevalent the water is at Man O’War - also provide a glimpse of how tree-heavy SouthCreek truly is. The fact that every hole is lined with them is unavoidable.
Much like Pawleys Plantation and Founder Club, Long Bay Club and Aberdeen Country Club are a natural pairing based on their proximity in a low-traffic portion of the area. In Longs, both courses have taken advantage of plenty of space with which to work.
Aberdeen includes three nines - Highlands, Meadows and Woodlands - any combination of two measuring approximately 6,800 yards from the back tees. There is some form of water on all but three of the 27 holes, while a significant number of other hazards are in play throughout.
Just up S.C. Highway 9 sits Long Bay, one of two local Jack Nicklaus Signature courses (along with Pawleys Plantation). There, the Golden Bear meant business, using elevation differences to magnify an already long course.