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.

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Spieth looking forward to Colonial after T-21

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:10 am

DALLAS – Jordan Spieth finally got a few putts to drop at the AT&T Byron Nelson, but after a frustrating week he’s looking forward to heading across town.

Spieth shot a 4-under 67 amid soggy conditions at Trinity Forest Golf Club, his lowest score of the week but one that still left him in a tie for 21st at 11 under par. His frustrations had a common theme throughout the week, as he ranked seventh among the field in strokes gained: tee to green but 72nd in strokes gained: putting.

“Felt like I played better than I scored,” Spieth said. “Just burned the edges or barely missed, and I misread a lot of putts, too. Overall just struggled a little bit matching line and speed and kind of getting it all together out here.”


Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


Spieth remains in search of his first win since The Open in July, but his results in the interim haven’t exactly been a struggle. This marks his seventh top-25 finish in his last nine starts as an individual.

Spieth is in the midst of a busy part of his schedule, and will play his third of four events in a row next week at the Fort Worth Invitational. With runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2017 sandwiched around a victory there two years ago, Spieth did little to contain his excitement for a return to venerable Colonial Country Club.

“It’s one of those courses where whether I have my A game or not, I seem to find my way into contention, which is really cool,” Spieth said. “It’s one of four or five places I go into, no matter where the game is at, I’m excited to get started and feel like I have a chance to win.”

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Razorbacks, Fassi scrambling to recover in NCAAs

By Ryan LavnerMay 21, 2018, 12:56 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – We’re not even halfway through this NCAA Championship, and the top women’s player in the country is already worn out.

Indeed, it’s been three rounds of hard work for Maria Fassi as she tries to claw herself and second-ranked Arkansas back into contention at Karsten Creek.

“I haven’t been able to create momentum of any kind,” she said after a third-round 73 left her at 16-over 232, 23 shots off the individual lead and outside the top 90. “I’ve been fighting every single hole. It’s just been exhausting.”

It’s been that way for her teammates, too.

Arkansas entered nationals as one of the pre-tournament favorites. The Razorbacks won the SEC Championship for the first time. They won seven events, including a regional title in which they shot 26 under par on the University of Texas’ home course. They were comfortable knowing that they not only had Fassi, the top-ranked player and a six-time winner this season, but also a strong supporting cast that includes Baylor transfer Dylan Kim and Alana Uriell.

And then the first two rounds happened. The Razorbacks had shot a team score in the 300s just once all season, but they posted two in a row here at Karsten Creek (308-300).

Fassi’s play has been even more of a mystery. In the opening round she shot 81 – with two birdies. She followed it up with a second-round 78, then birdied her last two holes just to shoot 73 on Sunday. She thought she had a smart game plan – taking fewer drivers, putting the ball in play on arguably the most difficult college course in the country – and it just hasn’t worked out.

“I just need to stay really patient, be true to myself and keep fighting,” she said. “I know what I’m capable of doing, and if I play my game it’s going to be plenty good.”

So what’s been the conversation among teammates the past two nights?

“It involved a lot of cuss words,” Fassi said. “We know this is not Arkansas golf. We know this is not the game that we play.”

The top-15 cut line should have been an afterthought for a team as talented as the Razorbacks, and yet they needed a 1-over 289 just to play Monday’s fourth round of stroke-play qualifying.

“Backs against the wall, they had to go get it done and they did an awesome job,” said Arkansas coach Shauna Taylor. “In our locker room we call it ‘Do the Possible.’ It’s doing what you’re capable of doing.”

And now the Razorbacks sit in 11th place, just six shots off the top-8 cut after their two worst rounds all season. They still have a chance to advance.

“You can’t panic,” Taylor said. “We’ve played great golf all year. We’ve put ourselves in a hole and it was time to go to work and dig yourselves out of it.”

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Crenshaw pleased with reaction to Trinity Forest

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 12:02 am

DALLAS – Despite the tournament debut of Trinity Forest Golf Club coming to a soggy conclusion, course co-designer Ben Crenshaw is pleased with how his handiwork stood up against the field at this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Crenshaw was on property for much of the week, including Sunday when tee times were delayed by four hours as a line of storms passed through the area. While the tournament’s field lacked some star power outside of headliner Jordan Spieth, Crenshaw liked what he saw even though Mother Nature didn’t exactly cooperate.

“We’re pleased. It’s off to a nice, quiet start, let’s say,” Crenshaw said. “The week started off very quiet with the wind. This course, we envision that you play it with a breeze. It sort of lends itself to a links style, playing firm and fast, and as you saw yesterday, when the wind got up the scores went up commensurately.”


Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


That assessment was shared by Spieth, a Trinity Forest member who has become the tournament’s de facto host and spent much of his week surveying his fellow players for opinions about a layout that stands out among typical Tour stops.

“A lot of guys said, ‘It’s grown on me day to day, I really enjoyed it as a change of pace, I had a lot of fun playing this golf course.’ Those were lines guys were using this week, and it shouldn’t be reported any differently,” Spieth said. “It was an overwhelmingly positive outlook from the players that played.”

Crenshaw didn’t bristle as tournament leaders Aaron Wise and Marc Leishman eclipsed the mark of 20 under par, noting that he and co-designer Bill Coore simply hoped to offer a “different experience” from the usual layouts players face. With one edition in the books, he hopes that a largely positive reaction from those who made the journey will help bolster the field in 2019 and beyond.

“To me, the guys who played here this week will go over to Fort Worth, and hopefully the field at Colonial that wasn’t here would ask questions of the people who were here,” Crenshaw said. “You hope that some good word spreads.”