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Tradition Golf Club: An Up-and-Comer in the South Strand’s Middle Class

The Course
Tradition opened in 1996 and was designed by Ron Garl. Garl is not well known in the Carolinas and Tradition is his only Grand Strand design. He is better known in Florida, where dozens of courses bear his blueprints. Judging by his effort just north of Pawleys Island, one would wish Garl’s hand on other area courses.

Garl’s work would never be confused with that of the more minimalistic architects out there, but that’s okay—he has whimsy on his side at Tradition, where the first hole has a fairway bunker on the right side, inside of which is a large grass island, inside of which is yet another bunker. The course boasts not one but two island green holes at the 7th (a par 4) and the 15th (a par 3). There are back-to-back reachable par fives at the 9th and 10th.  Tradition Golf Club turns out to be anything but traditional in its approach, which is a pleasant change to most all patrons. It fancies itself a cure for the common Myrtle Beach golf course and almost pulls it off. If only both par threes on the front nine weren’t so similar and holes like the overly straightforward 11th had some more pizzazz. Nevertheless, Tradition is a good golf course.

The Experience
As many frustrated golfers will attest, you can have a wonderfully designed golf course ruined by poor maintenance. Luckily that is not the case at Tradition. The greens don’t tend to ever get very fast but are plenty puttable for daily play. Everything else about the conditioning of the course tends to be as you would expect for a middle-grade course in the area.

Tradition may look, feel and charge like a middling golf course but its practice facility is well above the average. A huge putting green serves as the site of many a late-afternoon putting contest among groups with unsettled bets and an expansive grass-tee driving range will accommodate busy morning and afternoon waves of players with little trouble.

The Verdict
Tradition, despite being a little misleading in its nomenclature, is nonetheless a serviceable course that holds up well among stiff competition south of Myrtle Beach. It is worth incorporating into most any package of courses in the area, especially for the budget-conscious.

Posted 3/1/13

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