River Hills Golf & Country Club: Myrtle Beach Quality in a Quaint Community

River Hills is a Myrtle Beach-area golf course that is true to its name. Set in the charming fishing village Little River just north of Myrtle Beach, River Hills features rolling terrain throughout the layout – a relatively unique quality when it comes to courses in the Grand Strand. Typical with most tracks these days, River Hills offers four sets of tees to accommodate various skill levels. It may not be the biggest name course in the area, but it’s certainly worth consideration when planning your Myrtle Beach golf itinerary.

The Course
Located just north of Myrtle Beach in the quaint town of Little River, River Hills presents all of the challenges normally associated with a solid golf course. Heavily tree-lined holes, several water hazards, strategically placed bunkers and those hills that give the course its name, the course requires shot planning and most of the clubs in your bag. Did I mention doglegs? Did I mention a lot of holes that dogleg left? One of the keys to a good round at Little River is being able to shape your drives around fairway water hazards and bunkers. It’s essential to be in a good position for your approach shot because the Bermuda greens are speedy. The back nine is especially memorable. Surrounded by wetlands, the par three 12th hole is filled with natural beauty, which can easily distract you into making a bogey or worse. With a wayward shot or two, your score may be much worse on the winding, double dogleg, par five 17th. At 526 yards, the hole is certainly reachable if a strong drive is placed in the fairway, it’s a classic risk-reward decision that can leave you on top of the world or highly flustered headed to 18.

One potential drawback of the course is the lack of seclusion. The course is lined with homes, which can be an issue for some golfers. If you’re looking for a peaceful parcel of land away from manmade structures and reminders of reality, this may not be the course for you. And of course, if you’re struggling with a major slice or hook, you may come dangerously close to hitting into someone’s backyard.

The Verdict
While River Hills isn’t the newest, flashiest or most famous course in Myrtle Beach, it is a solid course with cleverly conceived holes. The course is designed by Tom Jackson, not Tom Fazio, but it still represents a somewhat off-the-radar course that can be a lot of fun. While the lack of privacy on the course will certainly be an issue for the pickiest golfers in the world, others will find playing in a quaint old southern town to be pleasant and charming. It may remind them of a course back home, but instead filled with natural elements of a Myrtle Beach course. You likely won’t book River Hills as your first tee time when you schedule your golf vacation to Myrtle Beach, but once you have your fill of the big name courses, it’s a great option in the Grand Strand.

(posted 7/19/14)