Crow Creek, a Hidden Gem Worth Discovering

December 8, 2008


 It all sounds goods, but it’s not entirely true. The driver is the most expensive club in the bag, and people love to hit it.
For players who enjoy swinging the big stick, one of Myrtle Beach’s most inviting courses is Crow Creek. The Calabash layout challenges golfers without taking the driver out of the bag, one of its many charms.

Designed by Rick Robbins, a former Jack Nicklaus Design associate, Crow Creek has approximately 90 bunkers and water on nearly every hole, but the hazards, despite their, abundance, don’t overwhelm players. The yawning waste bunkers and water define holes, clearly showing golfers where the ball should and shouldn’t be hit. (click here for a virtual tour of the course)

Crow Creek, which has five sets of tees that range from 7,101 to 5,097 yards, has generous landing areas and is visually appealing. Only the most wayward drives are punished with penalty strokes or drown in the ponds or creeks throughout the property.

The ability to bomb the driver doesn’t equate to an unchallenging round. Golfers have some latitude to spray the drive, but to score one must deliver quality iron shots. Crow Creek’s greens are typically open in front, allowing golfers to run the ball up, but that avenue is only available to those in the fairway.


The layout’s L93 bentgrass greens, are protected by bunkers and full of contour, rewarding players who excel from 170 yards and in.

“You can pretty much hit driver on every hole,” Bryan Thomas, Crow Creek’s general manager, said. “The most important clubs in your bags are your irons into the greens. Hitting the right distances to make sure you can get close enough for a birdie or par (is vital).”

Crow Creek’s most famous player – basketball great Michael Jordan – hit enough quality iron shots to card a 76 during an October of 2006 visit. Jordan, who was four over playing from the tips, surely found out what smart Myrtle Beach golfers have known since the course’s opening in February 2000 – Crow Creek is one of the Grand Strand’s hidden gems.

Owned by the McLamb family, Crow Creek can get lost in the attention Myrtle Beach’s Top 100 courses generate, but it is a very strong layout, garnering 4 stars in Golf Digest’s prestigious “Best Places to Play” guide.

Here is a quick look at what you can expect at Crow Creek on your next Myrtle Beach golf trip:

Get off to a good start: The first and 10th holes are among the course’s easiest, inviting golfers to start each nine in a positive fashion. Take advantage of the opportunities Robbins created.

Signature Hole: The 193-yard, par 3 eighth hole looks like it should be on a postcard. A large pond, complete with cypress trees growing in the middle, fronts the green and a bunker on the right frames the hole. Just across the wooden bridge that connects the tee box to the green is a cabin that has been on the land since the McLamb’s used it for farming years ago. It adds character to a course that already has plenty of it.

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GM’s favorite hole: The eighth hole may be the course’s most photographed, but it’s never a bad idea to ask the boss which hole he likes best.

“My favorite hole is No. 18,” Thomas said. “It’s a par 5 that if you can hit a good, good drive on then you have a good opportunity to hit the green and make a good score.”

The 18th is 538 yards from the black tees and has an open fairway, begging players to rip the driver and play the risk-reward game involved in going for the green in two. It’s an exciting way to finish the round, particularly if there is a wager involved.

If you haven’t been to Crow Creek in a while: Check out the newly opened 19,000 square foot clubhouse, complete with a full service dining room, a deck overlooking the 18th green, and a beautiful new pro shop.

The Verdict: Crow Creek, a Myrtle Beach golf favorite, will send you home happy. The course begs you to hit driver, it offers a straight-forward challenge (there are no blind shots), and the new clubhouse provides the perfect venue to rehash the round. In short, Crow Creek is a good time.

Your Verdict: Have you ever played Crow Creek? What did you think and what were your favorite holes?

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