Course Review: Tradition Club Makes Golfers Feel At Home

March 17, 2013

Two of the course’s four par 5s are reachable in two, and the par 3s are distinct.

In short, Tradition has a little bit of everything.

“None of the holes play alike, and they all have a different look,” Tradition’s general manager, Clay DuBose, said.

The course plays 6,875 yards from the tips and 6,313 yards from the white tees, so Tradition doesn’t overwhelm players with length. Playability is one of Tradition’s strengths, and while the course isn’t a pushover by any stretch, golfers that play well can expect to score well.

For the mid to high handicapper, there aren’t a lot of forced carries and there is room to run the ball up to the green. Speaking of greens, Tradition’s average more than 8,500-square feet per complex.

When players arrive at the green, they will find complexes that challenge with subtle break as opposed to being forced to make putts with more twists and turns than a country road. Most of the greens run from front to back and are receptive to approach shots.

“(The course) isn’t going to beat you to death,” DuBose said. “But if you are a good golfer and want to step it back, it will give you all you want.”

Par 3s
Garl used water, waste bunkers and natural waste area to craft a memorable quartet of par 3s that give players a chance to score.

The 201-yard second hole (165 from the white tees) has water and a waste bunker on the left side, encouraging players to play to the right side of a relatively small green (28 yards deep).

The 203-yard fifth hole is clearly the hardest par 3. Only a disaster off the tee will bring water into play but sand in front and on the right side present challenges on the longest par 3. A back right pin placement can be particularly dicey because the green narrows and a bunker looms.

The 12th hole is Tradition’s easiest, playing 185 from the tips (but just 147 from the white tees) into a large flat green. The 12th is a good place to start a back-nine run. The 15th hole (174 yards from the tips/157 from the whites) plays into what amounts to an island green. The green is a massive 46 yards deep and it’s surrounded by water and sand. While trouble lurks, if players can past the visual intimidation, the 15th isn’t exceedingly difficult.

Par 4s
The par 4s at Tradition offer great diversity, ranging from the 329-yard third hole to the 455-yard 18th.

The longest of hitters might be tempted to try and drive the third hole, which plays 300 yards from the white tees, and is a slight dogleg right, but it’s a daunting challenge.

On a course with large greens, No. 3 is the exception. The third green is Tradition’s smallest and a waste bunker runs the entire right side of the hole, claiming its share of errant shots. The percentage play is a 225-yard drive up the left side of the fairway, leaving a good angle into the green.

The most memorable front nine par 4 is the seventh, which features an island green. The water that surrounds the green requires a 100-yard carry.

The scenic seventh is followed by Tradition’s most difficult hole, the 430-yard eighth. The hole offers a slight dogleg left and players must drive the ball to the right side of the fairway to avoid the risk of having their view of the green blocked by trees. A fairway bunker on the right increases the difficulty of your drive, as does the fact that the prevailing wind is typically in your face.

Tradition closes with three strong par 4s, all playing at least 379 yards from the white tees. The 18th is an outstanding finishing hole, playing 455 from the tips and 407 from the whites, and it requires a decision off the tee. Players that opt to hit driver face a fairway that is pinched by a waste bunker 250 yards from the white tees.

If you are accurate enough to hit the sliver of fairway untouched by the sand, a relatively short approach could await. If you play the percentages and layback, a long approach into a green flanked by a large bunker on the left awaits.

Par 5s
Tradition has an outstanding collection of par 5s, giving players a pair of opportunities to reach the green in two.

The 540-yard fourth hole, isn’t one of those opportunities – it’s a true three-shot hole.

The ninth hole, the first of consecutive par 5s, opens the door for a possible eagle putt, but players have to thread the needle. The hole is relatively short (490 from the tips/453 from the whites) but the area’s natural wetlands dissect the fairway 300 yards from the back tee. Any chance of reaching the green in two requires players to push up against the wetlands without going in. Either way the opportunity for birdie exists.

The 10th is a dogleg left with a waste bunker that runs the length of the hole on the left side. The most memorable par 5 is the 500-yard 14th, which requires a carry over water into the green. The hole is reachable in two, especially from the white tees (450 yards), but there is little margin for error. It’s a great risk-reward hole.

The Verdict: Tradition comes highly recommended. It’s the type of under the radar course – if a 4.5-star layout can lay claim to that mantle – that makes a Myrtle Beach golf trip memorable. The course won’t beat you up but at the same time it’s challenging. If your group leader books Tradition, he (or she) is doing you a favor.

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