Most Underrated Myrtle Beach Golf Courses: Part 2

The Myrtle Beach area contains a whopping 100 (approximately) golf courses in a 70-mile stretch. They occupy a wide spectrum—a number of them, in fact—from the scandalously hard to the boringly easy, from the immaculate to the dogtrack-like, from the expensive to the dirt-cheap. On the heels of last month’s introduction to this concept, here are three more area courses that don’t get as much ink as the Big Dogs, but are also more than worthy of your four to five hours (hopefully closer to four, most often) and your dollars in greens fees:

Parkland Course at Legends Resort
The newest of the three golf courses at Legends is often overshadowed by the Heathland Course for its Tom Doak pedigree and by the Moorland Course for its sometimes-controversial Pete-and-P.B.-Dye grandeur. But the Parkland is a strong companion to both of its antecedents and, in a way, incorporates elements of both of them to positive effect. The Heathland course excels on the strength of its usually large, undulating putting surfaces. The Parkland Course, too, features some of Legends’ wildest greens, such as the fall-away fifth green and the wide, meandering tenth green. The Moorland Course, in its own right, uses visual intimidation, in the form of some nasty bunkering, to great effect. Yet the greenside bunker in front of the green of the short par-4 ninth at the Parkland may be the most fearsome at the entire resort. For all the tough bits, though, Parkland is extremely playable, boasting many spacious fairways and friendly bounces, provided you miss in the right spots.

River Club
True Blue, Caledonia and Pawleys Plantation are seen as the luminaries of the Pawleys Island area of the Grand Strand, but River Club is a solid-as-a-rock alternative to any of them. It boasts some of the best putting surfaces from Pawleys all the way to Wilmington, North Carolina: Champion Bermuda, maintained with an excellent blend of firmness and speed. The course plays under 6,700 yards from the tips, so that even players who tend to play the tips when they have no business being there will not be abused by the Tom Jackson design. No matter who you are, the 18th prevails as the course’s most memorable hole, boomeranging as it does around a lake and offering the chance for an eagle to players who can follow a bold tee shot with a gutsy fairway wood or long iron over said lake.

Wachesaw Plantation East
It is perhaps the greatest testament to the breadth and depth of golf choices on offer in the Myrtle Beach area that a bona fide former LPGA Tour venue flies under the radar to most. But there Wachesaw East is, with its clever Clyde Johnston design and cozy, convivial clubhouse and practice facilities. The back patio is especially excellent in the spring, summer and fall—no need to play golf, even; just go for a drink. But if you do decide to play the golf course (and you should!), you will not be disappointed, especially by the penultimate hole, a gambler’s-delight par 5 with a meandering stream that cuts clear across the front of the green.

Stay tuned for future installments of “Myrtle Beach’s Most Underrated Golf Courses.” There are a lot of them!

(posted 2/14/14)