Pearl Golf Links: West Course is a Gem

March 22, 2013

“The West is similar to an aircraft runway,” head pro Jimmy Biggs said. “You have to do something wrong to miss a lot of these fairways. They are pretty wide, very forgiving and give you a very good angle at the green.”

The West Course has undergone no substantive changes to it routing since it opened, but the greens were rebuilt six years ago and the result was a much more interesting set of greens complexes. Many of the L93 bentgrass greens now feature multiple tiers and plenty of break, but they are very fair. The greens are uniformly smooth and quick.

Just as the greens are consistent, so is the presence of water on a layout that plays along the Calabash River. There is water on all 18 holes at the West Course though its impact on strategy and nerves varies.

The front nine is an outstanding start, highlighted by three par 3s and a varied collection of par 4s. The West Course’s longest and shortest par 4s are on the front nine and each offers distinct challenges.

The sixth hole is only 358 yards from the tips, tempting everyone to bomb away. It’s a birdie hole but an undulating green demands an accurate approach, so players that go for to much and put themselves in a bad situation off the tee will be looking at trouble.

The 458-yard ninth is a par that rarely surrenders a birdie. It’s a dogleg left with a green that is 35 yards long. Par is a great score.

While the front side is good, the home nine is the West Course’s most memorable. Beginning with the 15th green, the scenic Calabash River and marsh come into view on the final four holes.

On 16-17-18 the marsh lurks on the right, and the par 5 16th is particularly daunting, playing 604 yards from the tips with the marsh running from tee to green. Players that miss right will lose a ball (or two).

The par 5 18th (534 yards) is by far the shortest of the three back nine par 5s, but it’s a great closing hole. The green is reachable in two but it requires a carry of more than 200 yards over water, so the risk is considerable.

The closing holes on the West Course understandably garner the attention, but the par 5, 14th hole shouldn’t be overlooked. At 614 yards from the tips, it’s one of the area’s five longest holes and requires three good shots to get home in regulation.

The Verdict: The West Course at Pearl Golf Links offers natural beauty with the Calabash River and it remains a trailblazing layout. Setting history and scenery aside, the West Course’s greatest attribute is its playability. With wide fairways and five sets of tees, including four that range from 5,768 to 7,000 yards, it’s a good layout for any level of golfer, which is vital for large groups. The West Course makes for an outstanding round, and should be included on any Myrtle Beach golf vacation.

Have you played it? Share YOUR review at the Pearl pages!

The Pearl – West Course | The Pearl – East Course