Thistle is Among Myrtle Beach’s Best

May 10, 2013

“You have room to hit your tee shot, but after that, you don’t want to miss the greens,” said Gene Weldon, the only head pro Thistle has known. “The greens aren’t elevated but the bunkers go down, leaving you with interesting shots, especially if you don’t have much green to work with.”

Being short-sided is the only time Thistle, an Affiniti Golf Partners course, will leave players wanting more. The three nines help ensure good pace of play and each is held in equally high regard.

The Cameron and MacKay nines opened in 1999 and both are defined by their strong finishing kicks. The MacKay concludes with a pair of 550+ yard par 5s sandwiched around a short, picturesque par 4.  The par 5s are the hardest holes on the MacKay, according to the scorecard, and few players will beg to differ.

The Cameron nine is a member’s favorite because it’s an easy walk. The layout is lauded for its strength throughout, highlighted by the devilish second hole, a dogleg right that plays only 356 yards from the white tees but offers a great challenge.

A pair of long pars 4s followed by a rugged 211-yard (from the tips) par 3, provide the Stewart nine, which opened in 2000, a memorable finish. But the hole players love is the 543-yard fourth hole. The par 5 is a great risk-reward opportunity, daring players to cut the dogleg right with a 240-yard carry over water to setup a possible eagle attempt.

While golf attracts players to the Thistle, the 16,000-square-foot clubhouse keeps them long after the final putt has dropped. Nearly 200-year-old memorabilia from the original Thistle Golf Club is on display and a pub that features a broad selection single malt scotchs is perfect for a post-round meal and/or drink.

The Verdict: Play it. Thistle is an outstanding design, it’s always in great shape, and the bentgrass greens are among the area’s best. From the 12-minute tee times to one of the nicest clubhouses on the East Coast, Thistle is a memorable golf experience.

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