By David Theoret
If you’re a cost-conscious golf fanatic like me, there is no better golf destination than Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, especially in the early spring. The earlier the better will get you the best deals!
Golfers that frequent Myrtle Beach know that last year’s abnormal winter weather in the Southeast took a later toll on spring playing conditions. This year, it’s a different story. Temperatures have already been running considerably warmer in 2019, with a forecast of continued milder weather heading into March and the early part of the spring season. Better yet, many of the courses that struggled last spring with turf conditions have had a chance to replant, regrow and restore playing conditions to peak levels that are better than ever!
There are several things to consider when planning a golf trip to Myrtle Beach. The first is who to take with you. Since my wife doesn’t play golf, the choice is easy: take a few friends! For those of you with spouses who play, Myrtle Beach is the one destination with many lady-friendly golf courses. In fact, a few, such as Ron Garl’s Tradition Club and Dan Maples’ Willbrook Plantation, have been recognized by Golf For Women Magazine as being female favorites.
Golfers have a plethora of courses to choose from. For serious golfers, you can’t go wrong with Caledonia or True Blue. These two Mike Stranz designs are some of the finest in the Southeast; meticulously maintained, they are as visually stunning as they are a serious test of golf. TPC Myrtle Beach is another top tier track and home to the Dustin Johnson Golf School. What better place to get a lesson from!
One of the most memorable courses on the Grand Strand has to be King’s North at Myrtle Beach National, designed by none other than “The King” himself, Arnold Palmer. King’s North has three truly distinctive holes. The par-3 12th Hole features an island green and an “SC” bunker, making it one of the area’s most photographed holes. My favorite is the par-5 6th, affectionately nicknamed “The Gambler.” Like most par-5 holes, The Gambler offers a risk/reward opportunity in the form of an island fairway. For those willing to roll the dice, success landing on the island off the tee leaves a realistic opportunity to reach the green in two, albeit over the water. Not to be outdone, the par-4 18th Hole has no less than 40 bunkers to help guide you back to the clubhouse.
Pawleys Plantation is another unforgettable design with two par 3’s that will leave their mark and make the round that much more exciting. Although listed at 115 yards on the scorecard, Number 13 typically plays between 67 and 90 yards and is often referred to as ”The World’s Shortest Par 5” because double bogeys are so popular. To get to the tee, you drive from the 12th green across a causeway, past the 17th tee box, and stop about three quarters of the way across. The tees for 13 and 17 are built into the causeway; 17 is a par 3 that plays 150 yards, over a saltwater marsh to a green that is a lot wider than it is deep. It, too, is a tough hole. The prevailing winds add a lot of excitement to each of these holes. Low tide here is a ball-hawker’s paradise!
These are just a few of my fondest memories of golf in Myrtle Beach. Early spring is a great time to play; the courses are primed and ready and the price savings are tremendous; not only at the course, but on accommodations as well. To see some of the deals available and to get a head start on planning your next golf vacation to Myrtle Beach, be sure to visit the Play Golf Myrtle Beach spring specials page!