North Strand Golfing Gems Include Little River’s Band of Beauties

River Hills Golf & Country Club

Numerous communities comprise the Grand Strand and some, such as Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island, attract a disproportionate share of the attention. Just be sure not to overlook Little River.

The waterfront community is the last outpost in the Palmetto State before golfers cross into North Carolina, and it’s home to three courses that leave players with smiles on their faces. Here are three Little River layouts you need to check out.

Eagle Nest enjoys the distinction of being the longest course in South Carolina, stretching to 8,168 yards from the perch tees. The reality is, you aren’t going to play from those tees, but the Gene Hamm design has long touted the strength of its closing holes. The 603-yard (blue tees) 17th hole is one of the Myrtle Beach area’s longest par 5s, and Eagle Nest is the rare layout that concludes with a par 3. The 185-yard one-shotter requires a carry over water, providing a memorable end at one of the area’s most venerable layouts.

Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links is the most prominent of the Little River courses, featuring five holes that bring the Intracoastal Waterway into play. Both sides at Glen Dornoch finish along the water, and holes 9 and 18 share a double green, but the layout’s most memorable challenges are the par-4 16th and the par-3 17th. A downhill par 4, the 16th features an approach that brings the marshy waters of the Intracoastal into play, making it one of the Grand Strand’s most daunting shots. The 17th green, the left side of which plays along the water, is flanked by a bunker with soaring railroad ties on the right. After you finish, make sure you enjoy a drink on the clubhouse deck and the view of the water.

River Hills, long one of the Myrtle Beach area’s most underrated tracks, is better than ever following a recent greens and bunker renovation project that reinvigorated the course. The restored putting surfaces are more than 40 percent larger, dramatically expanding the number of pinnable areas and enhancing the creativity of the challenge. Similarly, the bunkers, which now include Concrete Capillary Bunker Liners, feature greater definition and outstanding year-round conditions.

This trio of Little River layouts is worth the drive on your next trip to Myrtle Beach.