Seven days, seven great plays: A week's worth of the best golf in Myrtle Beach

By Travel ArticlesFebruary 12, 2013, 7:54 pm

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Players can often be overwhelmed by the sheer number of courses on South Carolina's Grand Strand.

So many to play, so little time.

No worries, we're here to point you in the right direction. If you've got one week, these are great options to make sure you feel you've played seven fantastic Myrtle Beach golf courses.

But why stop there?

For every course, we've got a post-round option for dinner and drinks. Make the most of the trip.

Day 1: Founder's club at Pawleys Island

Some locals have called this club the 'Transformer.' Recently re-built and re-designed atop an older golf course, Founder's Club is one of the prides of the south end of the Grand Strand.

Instead of fighting the natural layout -- the course is located at a spot where the Intracoastal Waterway and elevation once deposited plenty of sand -- the Tom Walker design put it to good use. Cart paths are made out of that sand, and the only true pavement is that around the greens and tees.

The element can add a bit of extra strategy to a round.

Pro tip: Pawleys Island Tavern may not look like much from the outside, but locals have made the 'PIT' a mainstay. The restaurant features Lowcountry cuisine, meaning seafood is a must. The Pawleys Island Tavern is also home to some of the area's best bands, and they have live music most nights of the week.

Day 2: Caledonia Golf and Fish Club

There's a reason Caledonia Golf and Fish Club routinely ranks on just about every national top-100 list made in the past two decades.

This course is maintained as well as any in the area. Your round will be capped off with No. 18, a par 4 that tests your abilities. Make sure you snap a shot while on the green with the clubhouse in the background.

Caledonia will cost you a little more than your average course, but it is well worth the price tag.

Pro tip: La Playa has some great authentic Mexican food. From the fish tacos to the enchiladas or something a little spicier, you can't go wrong. While you're at it, try one of the margaritas. It will make a possible bad day on the course seem a little better.

Day 3: TPC Myrtle Beach

Tom Fazio wasn't playing any games when he designed TPC Myrtle Beach.

The former PGA Seniors Tour course, like Caledonia, gets plenty of recognition from national and local publications alike. TPC recently underwent green replacement, and the staff touched up many of the bunkers.

This course can also be packaged with others on this list, so there is potential for savings there, as well.

Pro tip: After a fire destroyed the Dead Dog Saloon in 2012, owners and locals made sure it was back up and running as quickly as possible. It's now back in business, and the picturesque shots of the inlet are an added bonus to the food and drinks.

Day 4: Heathland at Legends Golf Course

Use your vacation's hump day to go back in time.

At the Heathland at Legends Golf Course, players will get a feel of the Scottish highlands. The links-style course is different than any other you'll play in Myrtle Beach.

With an abundance of long Heather grass and a wind factor that simply doesn't make sense, put on the tam and go to work.

Pro tip: Just around the corner from Legends sits a local's favorite, Handley's Pub and Grub. The Scottish owners have established one of the best beer selections in the area. And if you want to feel like you're still across the pond, go with the fish and chips.

Day 5: Myrtle Beach National, South Creek Course

While Myrtle Beach National's King's North Course, includes the famous No. 6, the Gambler, the South Creek Course might actually be the more popular of the three MBN courses.

South Creek has a pristine layout, and renovations just a couple years back proved to be worth every penny. The tee boxes are immaculate, the fairways give players nearly perfectly positioned second and third shots, and the greens roll as true as just about any in the area.

Pro tip: What better place to cap off a round than at a place named for one of the all-time greats? Sam Snead's Tavern will be opening a new location down the road from Myrtle Beach National in April 2013. For those who haven't been to one of the other locations in Florida or Virginia, expect to enter a restaurant decked out in memorabilia from some of the game's best players throughout the years.

Day 6: Dunes Golf and Beach Club

If you want a private atmosphere at a semi-private availability, this is the course for you. Dunes Golf and Beach Club stands among the best courses in America every year.

The Robert Trent Jones course includes three of the best holes on the Grand Strand packaged together on the back nine. No. 11, No. 13 and No. 18 have the notoriety among locals and tourists alike, and they make sure you remember your round well after it has been completed.

Pro tip: You've just played an upscale course. Throw on a jacket and keep it going. A short drive down Ocean Boulevard will lead you to Sea Captain's house, one of the finer restaurants Myrtle Beach has to offer. From fish to steaks to drinks, you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.

Day 7: Tidewater Golf Club

Golf Channel's Matt Ginella recently ranked Tidewater Golf Club as one of America's top-40 courses (along with Dunes Club, TPC Myrtle Beach and Caledonia).

That was added to a long list of accolades the North Myrtle Beach golf course has garnered since it opened in the early 1990s. Located near Cherry Grove, on the north end of the Grand Strand, Tidewater has averaged more than three national and regional top play honors annually.

The views certainly haven't hurt that. Players can do their thing while seeing the Atlantic Ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Cherry Grove Inlet salt marshes all in a matter of holes.

Pro tip: You've finished your week of golf, but there's one more spot you should try for food before you go. Give Hamburger Joe's in North Myrtle Beach a shot, and try the bacon double cheeseburger. You won't need to eat again for some time.

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook sank a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without making a bogey on the Plantation Course or the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

Cook was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back.

Bubba (64) fires his lowest round of 2017

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:12 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Bubba Watson’s plan when he left the Dell Technologies Championship in September was to take a few months off and come back fresh in 2018

Those plans changed after a few weeks.

“What we figured out was the mental side, preparing for kindergarten - not for me, for my son - preparing for [wife] Angie's knee surgery. It's been a tough go,” Watson said.

“Being home and being with the family and everything, I realized how much I missed the game of golf, and that's why I wanted to come and play in these tournaments.”

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

The plan has paid off this week at the RSM Classic, where Watson is tied for 12th place after a second-round 64 on the Seaside course moved him to 7 under par.

Watson, who tied for 51st two weeks ago in Las Vegas, got off to a quick start on Day 2, playing the opening nine in 29. Despite a miscue at the 14th hole, when his tee shot wedged into a tree, he was solid coming in for his best individual round this year.

The left-hander was particularly sharp with his ball-striking after what has been a difficult year.

“I want to play golf now and right now I'm swinging at it pretty nicely,” he said.

S.H. Park (65) builds three-shot lead at LPGA finale

By Doug FergusonNovember 17, 2017, 9:58 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Golf felt so easy to Sung Hyun Park that only when she took out her card to catch up on her scores did she realize she had closed out the front nine with five straight birdies at the CME Group Tour Championship.

Park kept right on attacking.

The 24-year-old from South Korea added a 30-foot eagle putt late in her second round and finished with a 7-under 65, giving her a three-shot lead going into the weekend at Tiburon Golf Club.

Nothing seems to bother her, even the chance to cap off an amazing rookie season by sweeping all the big awards on the LPGA Tour.

''To be honest, I don't feel quite as nervous as I thought I would,'' Park said through an interpreter. ''After the first shot, after the first hole, I felt a lot more comfortable. I'm not feeling as nervous as I thought I might be going into today.''

Leave that to the players chasing her.

Even with a three-putt bogey on the final hole, Park was at 12-under 132 and was three shots clear of Caroline Masson (66) and Sarah Jane Smith (69).

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

More importantly, none of the other players in the chase for the $1 million Race to the CME Globe bonus or any other big award was within five shots of Park, who is trying to become the first rookie since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to win LPGA player of the year.

Lexi Thompson, who leads the Race to the CME Globe and the Vare Trophy for lowest adjusted scoring average, shot a 67 and wound up losing ground. She was six shots behind and must stay within 10 shots of Park to win the Vare.

So Yeon Ryu, who leads the points-based award for player of the year, managed a 71 with her sore right shoulder but was 11 shots back.

The other two players who need to win the tournament to collect the $1 million bonus also had their work cut out for them. Brooke Henderson had another 70 and was eight shots behind, while world No. 1 Shanshan Feng shot 73 and was 11 shots behind.

Park was in control, only she didn't see it that way.

''I don't think it's quite that far of a lead,'' Park said. ''Two, three shots of a lead can change at any moment. We will have to see what's in store for this weekend.''

Park began her big run with an 18-foot birdie on No. 5, got up-and-down for birdie from just off the green at the par-5 sixth, holed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 7, and then closed out the front nine with birdie putts from 8 feet and 15 feet.

''I actually didn't know that I was going five birdies in a row,'' Park said. ''Come hole No. 10, I realized that I hadn't been jotting down my scores as diligently, and so I realized it a little bit later on. And it felt great.''

That gave her the lead by one shot over Suzann Pettersen, except that Pettersen faded badly on the back nine.

Pettersen dropped four shots in a three-hole stretch by getting out of position off the tee and she shot 39 on the back nine for a 70 to fall five shots behind.

''I feel like I'm playing good,'' Pettersen said. ''Three bad drives on the back nine cost me four shots. That should not be possible on this course, where the fairways are about 100 yards wide.''

Park was honored at an awards banquet Thursday night as the LPGA rookie of the year. Now, she has more awards in her sights. A victory would give her the award for player of the year. She would capture the money title, which she leads over Ryu. And depending on how the weekend goes, she might be able to surpass Thompson in the race for the Vare Trophy.

Thompson did well to recover from two bogeys on her opening three holes.

''I hit a few really erratic shots in the beginning. It wasn't a good start to the round,'' Thompson said. ''Just tried to stay positive and find something that could work for the last 14, 15 holes.''

Lydia Ko fell six shots behind in her bid to avoid a winless season. She was one shot behind going into the second round but managed only three birdies in her round of 71.

Park, meanwhile, had everything going her way. Even when she pulled her drive on the par-5 14th into a sandy area with a root next to her ball, she picked it clear and sent it through a goal post of trees back to the fairway. Three holes later, she blasted a drive and had only a 7-iron into the green at the par-5 17th, which she hit to 30 feet and made the long putt.

Does anything make her nervous?

''I hate spiders,'' she said. ''But in terms of golf, I always get nervous to this day on the first tee. I can feel my heart pounding.''

It's a feeling that doesn't appear to last very long.

Korda sisters poised to make a run at CME

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 9:47 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Jessica Korda wasn’t feeling well making her way around the CME Group Tour Championship battling congestion Friday, but the leaderboard walking to the ninth tee gave her a nice lift.

That’s where she saw younger sister Nelly’s name tucked right next to hers.

They were within a shot of each other amid hard charges up the leaderboard, with Nelly playing just in front of her.

“I was like, 'Dang!’ It was good to see,” said Jessica, 24. “It’s fun to see her playing this well. I know what she puts into it. I’m kind of jealous of the rookie year she’s having, because mine sucked.”

Nelly, 19, is looking to put a special ending on her first year on tour. She posted a 6-under-par 66, good for a tie for fourth, six shots behind Sung Hyun Park (65). Nelly has given herself a weekend shot at her first victory.

Just a year ago, Nelly was here as a spectator, watching her sister.

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

“I found it funny,” Nelly said. “I was walking to the range on Tuesday, thinking just last year, people were asking me, 'When are you going to be out here?’ It seems surreal to be out here, playing alongside my sister and the best players in the world.

“Being in contention is really, really special.”

Jessica shot 68 and sits a shot behind her sister.

Nelly said seeing the leaderboard gave her a lift, too.

“Maybe it amps me up just a little bit,” Nelly said. “It’s a friendly competition. Even though we want each other to succeed, we also want to beat each other. I think she would say that, too.”

Jessica is seeking her fifth LPGA title. She’s coming off a tie for third at the Blue Bay LPGA last week.

Jessica is 35th on the LPGA money list this year, with $515,521 in earnings. Nelly is 51st, with $388,983 in earnings.

“I definitely look for Jess on the board,” Nelly said. “We’ve very supportive of each other.”