Farmstead and Meadowlands Golf Course Video Review

This week we are featuring a tag team of sister golf courses.  Meadlowlands and Farmstead Golf Club are two unique courses on the north end of Myrtle Beach and worthy of consideration for your next trip to the Myrtle Beach Area. Each course is considerably different despite being neighbors to one another.

Farmstead Golf Course

  • Only Par 6 hole in the area.  767 Par 6 18th hole
  • Play from North Carolina into South Carolina
  • Natural rolling hills and contours
  • Countless views of native marsh grasses and land
  • Huge Georgian Brick clubhouse and great 19th hole
  • 5 sets of tees
  • 3 par 3 holes on the back side

Meadlowlands Golf Course

  • spacious gently sloping fairways
  • above average elevation changes for a beach course
  • large manicured greens that were recently replaces
  • Rated Top Woman Friendly course in the area
  • Bordered by serene meadows, hardwoods and vast marsh areas
  • Fantastic Southern Hospitality

International Golf Club of Myrtle Beach Course Review

Our featured golf course of the week is one of our long time favorites in the International Club of Myrtle Beach.

The international club is one of our favorite Myrtle Beach Golf courses for a variety of reasons:

  • Most always have the best rolling greens on the beach
  • Friendly lay out to higher handicappers, while providing a good challenge for the more skilled players
  • Center Beach location, makes for an easy trip to the course
  • Range Balls included as a part of the package
  • Expansive clubhouse, perfect for the after round drink and food

For a limited time only, we are running a Spring Special for the golf course.  20% off for all spring bookings… enables you to play the golf course for $59 all spring! 

Check out our latest Myrtle Beach Golf Course Review of the International Club of Myrtle Beach, by click this link.

For more details on the golf course, you can check it out on our website by clicking here:  International Club Golf Course of Myrtle Beach

Black Bear Golf Club Review

Black Bear Golf Course Myrtle Beach South Carolina.

This week’s installment of our Myrtle Beach Golf Course Review is Black Bear Golf Club. Black Bear appeals to a wide range of golfers for a variety of reasons. You may have played it a long time ago…under another name. It was originally called the Gauntlet with a logo of a red rose and and an iron fist. Then it became Myrtle West, and they had a white covered bridge as you entered the golf course. The name was changed to avoid confusion with other area golf courses. It’s gotten over it’s identity crisis and has been known as Black Bear Golf Club for the past 15 years.

Black Bear is an easy drive out of North Myrtle Beach and also a great choice for those driving into town from the North. Right on Hwy 9, it’s very easy to find and enjoy.

Highlights of Black Bear Golf Club:

  • Friendly layout and friendly people
  • Very little trees
  • Wide Fairways
  • Excellent Restaurant
  • Nearly PERFECT Greens
  • No houses
  • Challenging Finishing Holes
  • Some Rolling Hills
  • Not a ton of sand traps

Golf Special for Black Bear Golf club: 36 holes including cart for $59 per person ALL Spring. Or if you want to play it in the afternoon $45 per person.

Check out the video review with Local Golf Pro Meredith Kirk.  Enjoy!

Thistle Golf Club Review

Check out one of our latest golf course reviews of Thistle Golf Club.  This is a top 5 facility in all of Myrtle Beach, and must be given some serious consideration for your next Myrtle Beach Golf Vacation.  Thistle easily has the best 19th hole as their clubhouse rivals some of the best private clubs in the country.  They even imported their bar from Ireland as the course is a tribute to the home of links golf.

Fortunately, the golf course is what keeps people coming back.  With 27 holes to play, it will keep you busy all day.  The conditioning is one of the most attractive parts of the course.  You can see from the video of what a high quality product Thistle has to offer.

One of the most refreshing characteristics of the golf course is the pace of play.  In this day and age, it seems so many courses are packing as many groups as possible on the course, but the Thistle delivers a speedy pace of play.  We played it recently and despite a sold out golf course, we never waited on a shot.  That makes your round of golf a whole lot more enjoyable.

Golf Trek has a spectacular rate for Thistle, when combined in our golf packages.  Depending on the time of year, you can play Thistle for as cheap as $74 per person inclusive of cart.  The rate in the peak season isn’t all that crazy either.  Thistle, previously, was a semi private course, but under new ownership it’s flourishing.  They have opened up the tee sheets and want to get everyone to come out and play.  We certainly think the rate is attractive enough to appeal to a wide audience and should be considered for your next Myrtle Beach Golf Vacation.

Check out the below video review of the golf course.

Sandpiper Bay Golf Course Review

Check out our latest edition TV broadcast showcasing Sandpiper Bay Golf Club.  This video reviews the latest course conditions, and happenings at our of our favorite Myrtle Beach area golf courses.  Our show airs weekly on Comcast.  Check your local listings.  It is currently showing on MASN (Mid Altantic Sports Network) and ROOTS sports.  If you can’t pick it up on your local TV…we will be sharing the shows on our website and via you tube.

As the weather is becoming more like Winter, this will keep you primed for the Spring golf season.  Enjoy!

Tips For Getting The Best Price On Golf Packages

If you have already planned your Myrtle Beach golf vacation, this information will keep you up to date. If you are still thinking about planning a trip, the following is full of ideas for you and your group. It’s not too late to get away for a trip to Myrtle Beach and to enjoy the variety of golf courses available.

 

There are hundreds of organizations booking golf packages on the Grand Strand. Ninety percent of these people work for hotels, motels, condos or property management companies. Their overriding primary concern is to rent their rooms first and foremost. The game we love – golf – is an afterthought. Then there are the golf travel agents, of which Golf Trek is one of the largest at the beach.

 

We specialize in golf. Since 1979, Golf Trek has booked more than a million rounds. No hype, shinola or bull – those are the straight facts. Almost 30 years of golf knowledge tempered by playing thousands of local rounds, working closely with course owners and being at the forefront of many golf promotional organizations has put the Golf Trek GolfMasters in a unique position with many courses and lodging providers. This is just the start of the preferred pricing advantage that Golf Trek “golf nuts” like yourself will enjoy.

 

To find out more about our exceptional Myrtle Beach golf packages just take a look at our website. We are also happy to serve you directly. Just call us at 1-800-394-3764 for personal service with your questions about Myrtle Beach golf.

Myrtle Beach Golf Getaway

Concierge Group for your Myrtle Beach Golf Getaway

Myrtle Beach golf getaway

?#@*&%! – where are my clubs?

You checked your clubs with your airline and you arrived safely.  You are ready for your Myrtle Beach golf getaway.   You are the last one standing, looking at the baggage carousel go around and around.  But your clubs never appeared.  Your heart sinks, this is your annual Myrtle Beach golf trip.  Your buddies even hassle you.  It happens.  Ask Roy McIlroy.  He had this misfortune when he arrive in Dublin, Ireland for a tournament.  It turned out happily for him after some angst.  Golf Trek has an answer for you.

But what about your clubs?

Think you would get all the attention that Rory got?  Actually the answer is yes, but you have to plan for that.  Here’s how.  There are better solutions than forking over your dollars and clubs to your airline.  Better yet, your clubs can get right to your final destination and return without you even having to fuss with them.  The Beach Concierge Group in Myrtle Beach provide a host of services that take the hassle out of your Myrtle Beach golf getaway.  One is taking care of your golf clubs from your home to your destination and return home, saving you the hassle and it is cheaper than your airlines charge.  Ship them before you leave and you know they are there before you board your plane.  How’s that?  Listen up Roy.  And cheaper too?  You may not be on the way to a tournament, but we bet you want your clubs to arrive as much as Roy does.  Don’t miss a tee-time waiting at the airport for those clubs.  Your nerves need to be steady when you take that first swing.

Contact the Beach Concierge Group can take those clubs off your hands and get them to you easily enough.  Check them out  Golf Trek recommends them to you.  Now, enjoy your Myrtle Beach golf getaway.

Myrtle Beach Golf Packages

Myrtle Beach Golf Packages

The  USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards said Myrtle Beach is the top destination for its golf-loving readers.

 In Myrtle Beach, there seems to be a golf course around every corner, and with some 100 area courses, the perception’s not far from the truth. Pretty much every notable golf architect has a course in the ‘Golf Capital of the World,’ and a majority are public, making a golf trip to Myrtle Beach an affordable option.

That’s the sentiment of golf-loving readers and that may also be you.

Myrtle Beach Golf Packages

 

Many have booked Myrtle Beach Golf Packages

The top five winners were all east of the Mississippi.  All five are in the warmer year-round golfing and beach destinations.  Myrtle Beach golf packages are always in season.  There is a season for everyone.  GolfTrek’s experts can get you or your group on the greens quickly.

Why Myrtle Beach and why book Myrtle Beach Golf Packages now?

If you have ever been to the Grand Strand in the fall, you should return again.  If not, explore the possibilities and the great package arrangements available from GolfTrek.  Explore GolfTrek’s offerings and get our expert GolfMasters involved to help you arrange a package for you, or your group.  Fall is in the air and you can be here too, putting your clubs to good use.  Are they sitting in your car or garage with you wishing you had them on a green?  Will you be wishing you had pulled off another golf vacation before calling it a season?   The Myrtle Beach golf courses are open and waiting.  You deserve it.  So, try it, you’ll know what the USA Today golf-loving readers are saying.  Myrtle Beach golf is number one.

Idle Clubs can be a target for non-golfers

So get them in use so they don’t go wandering.

 

Fall 2014 Myrtle Beach Golf Weather

Cherry Grove Pier Myrtle Beach

Cherry Grove Pier Myrtle Beach

The fall equinox is September 23 and your Myrtle Beach summer has been extended at bargain prices.  Think fun and savings, especially for Golf Packages in Myrtle Beach. GolfTrek can arrange any size plan for you or your group’s golf package at Myrtle Beach. Play on pristine Myrtle Beach courses under blue skies, warm days and cool nights, accommodations are affordable, the crowds have thinned and you have it easy.  It is no secret if you have ever stayed beyond Labor Day in Myrtle Beach, SC and played any of our Myrtle Beach golf courses.  If you are looking for 60 miles of coastline and appreciate learning about the best kept secret that the locals know firsthand, then look no more.  You know now.  Now all you have to do it step up and join the locals for another the rest of summer with its warm days and cool nights.  Enjoy the many opportunities for leisure, golf, nature, and strolls.  Learn about the campaign called “The Secret’s Out: 60 More Days of Summer,” that begins on September 1 with its many opportunities.

Pawleys Plantation: Marshside Jewel of the South Strand

The Grand Strand is home to over 90 golf courses.  Not all are luminaries in the golf world, but a very high number of them can be considered “must-see” and those high-mark courses are scattered throughout the region, from Pawleys Island in the south up to Calabash, North Carolina.  In the former area sits Pawleys Plantation, one of two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses on the Grand Strand.  Since it opened in 1988, Pawleys Plantation has entranced golfers with the beautiful natural setting it enjoys and confounds others with the challenge it poses.

As its rating and slope figures suggest, Pawleys Plantation is one of the most difficult courses on the Grand Strand.  But instead of beating hapless players over the head constantly, it gives the golfer, regardless of handicap, opportunities for glory while punishing carelessness and poor execution sternly.  It is this judiciousness that earns it an especially lofty reputation among the many high-level amateurs and mini-tour pros who spend time in the Myrtle Beach area.  There are some holes where it is necessary to hit quality shots, of course, but there are a number of other holes where prudence is rewarded.

The par 5 fourth hole is a perfect example of the latter dynamic.  Playing 543 yards from the back “Golden Bear” tees and a more sporting 468 yards from the middle “White Egret” tees, it features a string of three fairway bunkers that sit in the middle of the fairway, forcing an interesting decision off the tee.  Hit for the narrower, lower left-hand fairway and the chance to reach the green in two shots increases.  Hit for the safer right side and play the hole as a standard three-shotter.  Many golfers get wide eyes off the tee and try to take the short route by slinging a drive right-to-left, only to end up in the deep fairway bunkers with little hope of making birdie.

Any discussion of Pawleys Plantation would be incomplete without due mention of perhaps the single most iconic hole on the Grand Strand, the 145-yard 13th.  The putting surface, part of a double green with the 16th, juts out into the expansive marsh that separates the mainland from Pawleys Island proper.  That green is effectively an island–miss it and you will likely be heading for the drop area.  Hit it and you will have a good chance to make birdie.  It is one of the few holes the author has seen that would yield more double bogeys than bogeys in a major amateur or professional tournament.  This factor causes it to be a somewhat polarizing hole, but if you play the proper set of tees, it can be safely navigated more often than seems likely.

Until the last 18 months, Pawleys Plantation operated as an independent, semi-private facility.  As such, a limited maintenance budget saw some areas of the course fail to reach peak potential of upkeep.  But since National Golf Management purchased the course, proper attention has been paid to all aspects of the golf experience, including a recent project that renovated the entire practice area, from enlarging the putting green to rebuilding the short game area to expanding the grass teeing area for the driving range.

At the far end of that range sits the facility for the Phil Ritson-Mel Sole Golf School, which has been operation since 1991 and boasts locations in Atlanta, Greenville, S.C., Ellicottville, N.Y. and Mexico in addition to its post at Pawleys Plantation.  Add to this a stately clubhouse with a full-service pro shop, the Palmetto Pub and a gracious and professional staff and it is easy to understand the respect Pawleys Plantation receives from locals and visitors alike.

Golfweek Ranks Eight Myrtle Beach Golf Courses Among Top 15 in South Carolina

South Carolina is one of America’s most golf rich states, and much of its bounty can be found in the Myrtle Beach area.

Golfweek magazine just released its 2013 ranking of the Best Courses: State by State, and Myrtle Beach golf courses claimed eight of the top 15 spots in the Palmetto State.

Golfweek ranked Caledonia as the third best course in the state, followed by the Dunes Club (No. 5), True Blue (No. 6), Tidewater (No. 7), TPC Myrtle Beach (No. 9), Love Course at Barefoot (No. 12), Fazio Course at Barefoot (No 14), and Grande Dunes Resort Course (No. 15).

Each of the eight courses have been ranked among America’s Top 100 public courses by either Golf Digest or Golf Magazine in recent years.

Caledonia and True Blue are sister courses, both designed by the late, great Mike Strantz. The South Strand layouts, located less than a mile apart, offer two distinct experiences. Caledonia weaves through the grounds of an old rice plantation, taking advantage of the Lowcountry’s abundant beauty, while True Blue is a modern design, featuring wide fairways, large greens and Strantz’s trademark visuals.

Dunes Club, the primary host of the 2014 PGA Professional National Championship, is the area’s most decorated course.  The Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design is a consensus top 100 layout and has hosted PGA, Senior PGA and LPGA Tour events.

Tidewater is arguably the Grand Strand’s most scenic layout. With holes that play along Cherry Grove Inlet and the Intracoastal Waterway, in addition to offering views of the Atlantic Ocean, Tidewater is a stunning design.

The Love and Fazio courses anchor Barefoot Resort, one of golf’s premier four-course resorts. Davis Love III crafted his first high profile design at Barefoot and the results were spectacular, particularly the fourth through sixth holes which play around the faux ruins of an old plantation home.

The Fazio Course, as visually pleasing at it is challenging, is one of two Myrtle Beach layouts designed by Tom Fazio on the Golfweek list, joining TPC Myrtle Beach. TPC, which was recently ranked as one of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest, has hosted the Senior Tour Championship as well.

Grande Dunes’ Resort Course, also a host of the PGA National Championship in 2014, has been one of the area’s most popular courses since its 2001 opening. With seven holes that play along the Intracoastal Waterway, it’s an unforgettable layout.

Leopard’s Chase at Ocean Ridge Plantation was ranked the fifth best course in North Carolina. The Tim Cate design is the fourth and most popular Big Cat at Ocean Ridge Plantation.

Myrtle Beach to Host 2014 PGA Professional National Championship

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club of Myrtle Beach, S.C., the historic jewel among the famed 60-mile “Grand Strand” in the Palmetto State, will be joined by the popular Grande Dunes Resort Club as co-hosts of the 47th PGA Professional National Championship presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA, June 22-25, 2014. It marks the second visit to South Carolina by The PGA of America’s showcase event for PGA Professionals.

The Championship will bring a field of 312 to Myrtle Beach, acclaimed as “the Golf Capital of the World” for its roster of 120 golf courses. The PGA Professional National Championship was last conducted in South Carolina in 2005 at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island.

“The PGA of America is very proud to be taking our National Championship in 2014 to Myrtle Beach, a resort destination that has embraced the game of golf unlike few other sites in the world,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “The Dunes Golf & Beach Club and Grande Dunes are outstanding venues to test our best-playing PGA Professionals. When you think about the history of golf in Myrtle Beach and how many members of our Association made an impact upon that region, you could not ask for a better setting for this Championship.”

Designed in 1948 by legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr., the Dunes Golf & Beach Club will serve as the primary host course in the National Championship, including the final 36 holes. All contestants will compete the first two rounds on The Dunes and Grande Dunes Resort Club.

The site of the Senior Tour Championship from 1994-1999, The Dunes also has hosted the final stage of the 1973 PGA Tour Qualifying School that yielded such golfers as Ben Crenshaw, Gary McCord and Gil Morgan.

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club is ranked among “America’s Greatest 100 Public Courses” by Golf Digest and Golfweek, and Golf Digest’s “Best in State.” It is listed by GOLF Magazine among “The Best You Can Play” 100 courses in the U.S. The par-72 Dunes Golf & Beach Club extends to 7,195 yards and the only layout in Myrtle Beach with ocean views. Prior to the 2014 National Championship, Rees Jones, son of the late Robert Trent Jones Sr., will lead renovations that include converting green surfaces from bentgrass to Champion Bermudagrass, and modifying tees and bunkers.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome the country’s most skilled club professionals for their most prestigious annual event,” said Dunes Club PGA head professional Dennis Nicholl. “We have been fortunate to host a number of high-level professional and amateur golf tournaments in the past and are excited to serve The PGA of America.”

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club was host of the former Senior Tour Championship from 1994-1999, and was home to the Golf Writers Association of America National Championship from 1954-2005.

The Robert Trent Jones course has been named one of the nation’s “Top 100 Courses” by Golf Magazine, Golf Digest and Golfweek, and the famed 13th hole, known as “Waterloo,” has been selected by Golf Digest as one of the “Best 18 Holes in America.” The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, the premier golf course in Myrtle Beach is the only one with Ocean views.

Grande Dunes Resort Club, designed by the Robert Rulewich Group and opened in 2001, lies in the heart of Myrtle Beach. It was recognized as the National Golf Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association in 2009, and rests among Golf Digest’s “Best in State” roster for 2013-14.

The winner of The Sun News “Best of the Beach” from 2001-07, Grande Dunes has hosted two John Deere World Championships and two Carolinas PGA South Carolina Opens among many other regional and Section events. PGA Magazine calls Grande Dunes, “one of the great golf clubs of the world.”

“There have been many great venues in this country to host the PGA Professional National Championship. We believe that The Dunes – one of the greatest Robert Trent Jones Sr. of all-time – and Grande Dunes Resort each provide the same championship challenges for this great field of PGA Professionals,” said PGA Professional Bob Mauragas, president of National Golf Management, which oversees Grande Dunes Resort Club among 22 facilities within the Myrtle Beach area. “Grande Dunes could be extended to 7,600 yards, and its mixture of par-3s and par-5s have the ability to offer all sorts of challenges. The views along the U.S. Intracoastal Waterway add to a great golf experience.”

The Grande Dunes Resort Club’s links-style design is situated on a bluff along the Intracoastal Waterway featuring seven holes with dramatic views of the waterway. Complementing the outstanding course is a world-class practice facility.

In 2014, the low 20 scorers in the PGA Professional National Championship will advance to the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

About The PGA Professional National Championship
Begun in 1968, The PGA Professional National Championship provides additional playing opportunities for PGA Professionals. In over four decades, it has become the showcase event for PGA Professionals, featuring some of the finest players in the Association. The Championship features a 312-player field representing 41 PGA Sections competing at the peak of their games, and with its 20 top finishers earning a berth in the PGA Championship.

The National Championship was first televised live by Golf Channel in 1997 to viewers across the U.S., Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Malaysia, the Middle East, Scandinavia, and Singapore. This year’s PGA Professional National Championship has a potential audience of 110 million.

This summer’s 46th National Championship will be contested June 23-26, at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort. The PGA Professional National Championship has been conducted in 15 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

About The PGA of America 
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.

Norman Course at Barefoot Resort

The Norman Course is the least heralded and has traditionally been the least requested of the three resort courses at Barefoot Resort.

That means a lot of people may be missing out on a layout that is more fun and scenic than difficult and incorporates what may be the resort’s best piece of property along the Intracoastal Waterway.

The front nine features a lot of sand and the presence of the Waterway brings water more into play on the back nine. It is the backdrop of the ninth hole, is viewable on six of the final nine holes and is an integral part of four holes.

“The waterway holes are just gorgeous and you don’t get that on many courses,” said Becky Ray, a 30-handicap and retired court secretary from Calabash, N.C., who took part in a review of the course in December. “It’s an absolutely gorgeous course. You can get into trouble on almost each hole but it can be a very enjoyable round of golf.”

Joining me and Becky in the review group were Becky’s husband Steve, a retired boat trailer salesman who carries a handicap of 18, and Scott Neville, a 7-handicap and police officer from Woodbridge, Va.

Despite the presence of the Waterway, there are few water hazards creating forced carries on the course. Bunkers, which are often deep, present the difficulty on most holes. The sand was consistent for the most part and well manicured, with the exception of an occasional rock. “The course is in great condition,” Steve said. “The fairways and greens were excellent.”

The greens are A1 bentgrass and were in excellent shape. “I like these greens a lot,” Becky said. “I’m not used to this grass and these greens, but I’d like to get used to them.”

The back tees allow a driver on possibly every par-4 and par-5. “I think it plays a lot easier from the tips than the [6,487-yard] black [tees],” Scott said. “You have a lot of decisions to make from the black. From the tips you can hit driver about every hole.”

The course has housing – mainly condominiums – on or near most holes. “I’m surprised at the number of condos out here – more than I’d like on a golf course,” Steve said.

As a member of Barefoot Resort, Scott appreciates the quality of golf on Barefoot’s three resort courses designed by Greg Norman, Davis Love III and Tom Fazio. They opened simultaneously in 2000. “I think the fact they have three really good golf courses on the same piece of property is pretty phenomenal,” Scott said. “They’re always in good shape no matter what time of year you play.”

Likes

The local fee was $80 when the group played, “which I think is pretty fantastic for this golf course,” said Becky. She also thought the 4,953-yard gold tees were very manageable for women. “It’s very lady-friendly,” she said. “All holes are reachable if you’re playing well.”

Scott liked the fairness of the course and ability to see everything off the tee: “I think it’s a fair golf course. What you see is what you get,” he said. “There’s nothing tricky about it, but there is sneaky trouble. If you make a bad shot it will cost you some strokes. But it also allows you to recover without too much of a penalty.”

Steve enjoyed the greens. “Bentgrass greens make a world of difference from Bermudagrass greens, and these greens were beautiful,” Steve said.

Dislikes

Golfers have to take a shuttle down a road to reach a huge and pristine driving range, and teeing areas at the range that day were nearly 100 yards from the drop-off point. “The driving range was very nice and well-marked, but it’s unusual for a resort course to have to carry your clubs so far to the hitting area,” Becky said.

Faded paint on the yardage markers made it difficult to distinguish colors. “The tee box markers need to be repainted,” said Steve, who also would have liked different flag colors for pins on the front, middle and back of greens. They were all green. “If they’re not going to provide pin sheets they should make the flags different colors,” he said.

Scott thought the condos affected the course’s aesthetics. “Most of the course is through condos, but there are a nice stretch of holes along the Intracoastal Waterway,” Scott said.

Par-3s

The 203-yard 10th is a stunning hole that measures 176 from the black and is perhaps the most memorable on the course. The hole sits atop a bluff along the west bank of the Intracoastal Waterway and features a steep downhill tee shot to a green situated between the Waterway on the right and a large bunker front left. “I loved the look of the Waterway beside the hole,” Steve said.

The green is also well below the cart path on the left, and you need to walk down a steep hill to get to it. “Myrtle Beach is so flat you don’t expect to see hills like this,” Becky said.

The 194-yard third is 170 from the black and features a long green with a long and deep bunker left and red-staked wooded area right. The 175-yard seventh is 148 from the black and requires a carry over a waste bunker. Deep bunkers protect both sides of the green.

The 170-yard 16th is 160 from the black and has a slight downhill tee shot to a green backed by the Waterway. Becky thought the 16th rivaled the 10th for beauty. “The prettiest par-3 was the 16th with a downhill shot to the green with a view out to the waterway,” she said.

Par-4s

The 377-yard first hole is straightforward and relatively easy. The 427-yard fourth hole has a big waste bunker with vegetation on the right side of a landing area and another waste bunker beginning deep in the landing area on the left.

The 448-yard sixth measures 431 from the black and is the course’s No. 1 handicap hole for a reason. You need a big drive, especially into the wind as we were, to take the wetlands crossing the fairway from 80 to 60 yards from the green out of play.

The 327-yard eighth is a dogleg right that measures only 297 from the black and features a waste bunker down the right side and a myriad of bunkers in front of and around the green.

The wide 420-yard 11th has a waste bunker that comes across the front of the green from the left, and is followed by a pair of tough par-4s. The left portion of the green on the 438-yard 12th is tucked behind wetlands, and the 440-yard 13th has a waste bunker down the left side of the fairway and both trees and out-of-bounds stakes right of a wide fairway. The Intracoastal, which runs along the right side of the 387-yard 14th hole, sits behind the 13th green. The 409-yard 17th is slightly uphill and has the waterway along the right side.

“The par-4s were challenging in both yardage and bunkering, but not overwhelming for a mediocre player,” Becky said.

Par-5s

Both nines conclude with par-5s. The 568-yard ninth measures 533 from the black and plays slightly downhill with bunkering down the left side and a creek down the right that crosses the fairway beginning 75 yards from the green on the right and 50 yards from the green on the left. The green is elevated behind the creek and a trio of deep bunkers on the right begin 70 yards from a green that slopes sharply to the left and front.

“The par-5s were tough with hazards in front of the greens,” Steve said.

The 552-yard 18th measures 506 from the black and turns sharply left off the tee around a waste bunker, giving the illusion there is little landing area. Wetlands front the green, so a drive that drastically cuts the corner is required to reach the green in two.

The 571-yard fifth hole is a pretty hole cut through hardwoods that measures 511 from the black, has bunkering down both sides of the fairway, and has a slight dogleg on the second shot. A deep bunker protects the right front of the green. The 526-yard 15th is a slight dogleg right that measures 511 from the black and is birdieable.

“From the tips the par-5s allow for attempts at reaching them in two with a good tee shot, but they will bite you if you miss,” Scott said. “They also allow a fair chance at birdie or par if you choose to lay up.”

Favorite holes

Becky enjoyed the par-3 16th and 10th holes, and Steve also liked the 10th the most. “It is a surprise when you come to the top of the hill on the 10th tee and see the waterway along the right side,” she said.

Scott’s favorite hole was the ninth. “It’s a nice par-5 along the Intracoastal Waterway that is reachable in two,” Scott said.

Least favorite holes

Becky thought there was too large an area of waste bunker on the par-4 fourth hole, and though she loved the look of the par-5 ninth, she said, “it was too difficult for me with the wetlands and the bunkers to shoot between and around.”

Steve also liked the ninth the least, finding trouble a few times. “I should have looked at the yardage book closer and paid more attention to the GPS,” he said.

Scott’s least favorite hole is the dogleg-left par-5 18th. “You find yourself in between clubs on the tee box,” he said. “You have to cut the left corner with a driver, but you have to be careful not to hit it through the fairway on the right side.”

How To Book Your Next Myrtle Beach Golf Packages

If you have any questions or wish to book your next Myrtle Beach Golf Vacations, please visit YourGolfPackage.com or MyrtleBeachGolftrek.com

Polishing the Pearl Provides a Pair of Gems

The Pearl opened its East and West courses in 1987, helping usher in the golf boom on Myrtle Beach’s North Strand. Both courses were designed by Dan Maples and among the area’s most popular, attracting golfers with stunning views of the Calabash River and challenging golf.

Over time the Pearl lost some of its luster as age took a toll. Fortunately, the impact of age isn’t irreversible on a golf course, and the Pearl is undergoing a revitalization, led by new general manager Bryan Thomas, that is restoring the shine to the 36-hole facility.

The most significant phase of the project was the installation of new greens on both courses. The East Course installed new MiniVerde greens during the summer of 2011, and the West Course reopened with new A1/A4 bentgrass greens on December 26, 2012.

The new greens have been met with rave reviews by members and visiting golfers alike, providing putting surfaces that equal the quality of the layouts they accompany.

Both courses at the Pearl are highly regarded architecturally. The East Course earned 4 stars in Golf Digest’s prestigious Best Places to Play guide and the West Course garnered 4.5 stars.

While the new greens are the most obvious sign of the work being done, they are only part of the process, because the rejuvenation of the Pearl is a comprehensive one.

Tee boxes have been re-sodded and hundreds of trees have been “limbed up,” allowing for an exponential increase in sunlight and airflow, important factors in keeping a course healthy and green.

Over the years, roots on some of the soaring pine trees grew through cart paths, creating a bumpy ride. But that problem has been eradicated.

Any roots interfering with a cart path have been removed, smoothing out the driving surface. In the short term a mixture of coquina was put down and when the spring golf season ends, new asphalt will be installed.

New bunkers and refurbished restrooms, among other things, are also on the immediate horizon.

The West Course is the more open of the two designs and is defined by its meaty par 5s and holes along the Calabash River.

Three of the West Course’s par 5s play longer than 550 yards from the tips, including the 614-yard 16th hole, the fourth longest on the Grand Strand. The 16th also plays along the Calabash River, providing stunning visuals and enhancing the challenge (don’t slice the ball!).

Beginning with the 15th green, the Calabash River comes into play on the final four holes of the West Course.

The East Course is a traditional parkland layout, carved through a pristine forest with many scenic views, all ending with a dynamic finish along the Calabash River.

The Verdict: The Pearl is an attractive facility that is, literally, getting better every day. Both layouts are strong, the holes along the Calabash River provide take-home memories, and the new greens are outstanding. Spending a day at this Pearl will make any Myrtle Beach golf trip a gem.

Interesting Myrtle Beach Golf Course Facts

All courses in Myrtle Beach have some unbelievable stories to tell. But, this is a little bit of “Did you know?” Several courses in Myrtle Beach have very interesting facts that you probably are not aware of. Get this…

Did you know?      If you hit a ball into someone’s back yard at Wicked Stick, the clubhouse will give you a ball for every ball you lost. They also have free coffee and tees all the time.

Did you know?      The only out of bounds on Oyster Bay is the road on #18. On #17 (an island green), the oyster shells surrounding the green are considered part of the water hazard.

Did you know?      Thistle is the only course in Myrtle Beach that has twelve minute tee times. Most courses are seven, eight or nine minutes. They will also be opening one of the biggest and most technologically sound clubhouses in the area in the next weeks. Also, they average the largest greens at about 7,300 square feet each.

Did you know?      World Tour has the largest green in Myrtle Beach. It is #9 on the Open nine and is a little over 18,000 square feet. This is the hole that resembles #18 at St. Andrews.

Did you know?      Grande Dunes is the longest course in Myrtle Beach. From the tips, it reaches seven thousand, six hundred and eighteen yards. That’s longer than the U.S. Open!!! I think Tiger still would have won…

Did you know?      Blackmoor has a graveyard on #13. It dates back to 1839 and it rests a plantation family and their slaves.

Did you know?      Farmstead is right on the North Carolina / South Carolina border. 22% of the course is in SC and the other 78% is in NC. On #10 you tee off from NC to SC. If only you could hit it to Georgia…

Did you know?      Heritage has two graveyards. One is on #8 and rests slaves and off the tee of #4 are the settlers that owned the land.

Did you know?      Bald Head Island has no OB. There are no cars allowed on the island; only golf carts are allowed. There are alligators and deer on the island, but how did they get there? Well, during low tide, the deer and alligators can move easily from island to island and eventually end up on Bald Head. And this might be the best we’ve heard… Bald Head Island got its name from the days of Blackbeard. That’s right, the pirate. You see, when low tide would come around, ships would consistently run aground, Blackbeard knew this happened all too often and the ships were there for the taking. Word spread to beware of the “bald head”. Blackbeard’s men would scalp stranded sailors when they raided the grounded ship. Hence, it is named Bald Head Island.

How To Book Your Next Myrtle Beach Golf Packages

If you have any questions or wish to book your next Myrtle Beach Golf Vacations, please visit Your Golf Package or Myrtle Beach Golf Trek.