Myrtle Beach's Most Underrated Golf Courses

From, 11/05

Myrtle Beach's most underrated golf courses are worth a look
By Tim McDonald
National Golf Editor,
Golf Publisher Syndications

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (Nov. 14, 2005) - The Grand Strand as a whole gets more publicity than your average presidential candidate. But only a handful of Strand courses are really up there in the marketing stratosphere.

We've told you our opinion of some of the Strand's most over-rated courses .

Here are some of the under-rated tracks worth a hard look:

Myrtlewood Golf Club, Pine Hills ( ). This course doesn't get as much notice as its sister course, Palmetto ( ), but actually may be the better course, minus the views of the Intracoastal Waterway. "I really do think this is an under-appreciated course," golfer Wendell Hardee told "It's more challenging than the Palmetto. It's target golf. You don't have a huge window. You've just got to get your ball into those small targets. Arthur Hill's redesign dramatically changed the nature of the course. It was nominated for Golf Digest's 1994 "Best new resort course" and measures 6,640 yards from the back tees. The fairways are narrow, squeezed in by condos, which detracts from the ambience but adds challenge.

Oyster Bay Golf Links ( ): Oyster Bay was voted the 1983 Golf Digest "resort course of the year" and ranked by the same publication among the top 50 public courses in the country in 1990. But, as new courses opened to great acclaim, Oyster Bay fell out of favor with the major golf publications and their rankings. Still, those who continue to play it swear by it.
"The real story is that Oyster Bay is still one of the must-plays of Myrtle Beach," a review said. "The haunting layout on the shores of Twin Lakes has a collection of holes that are as well-conceived and scenery-soaked as any in the Grand Strand."

Pawley's Plantation: Pawleys was one of the first plantation-style clubs on the Grand Strand 16 years ago, and has aged like fine wine. It doesn't get as much publicity as some of the newer, gaudier courses in Myrtle Beach, but it remains a favorite of Myrtle Beach insiders.  "Pawleys is very under-appreciated," golf packager Robet Klirtz said. "It has every element you want out of a golf course. You get more bang for your buck and it has the strongest par 5s in the South Strand."

Possum Trot Golf Club: First thing you should know: Possum Trot allows coolers. That gives you the first clue that this isn't one of those new Strand courses offering an "upscale" experience. Possum Trot opened in 1968 with a mission to serve the common man and it's stayed that way all these years. It's a public course and a traditional coastal Carolina layout, and they space the tee times so you can enjoy the beer you brought. It's a very playable course, with a slope rating of 127, and the greens are TidDwarf Bermuda. A great bargain for the price.

Lockwood Folly: Lockwood Folly is included because it is one of the Strand's most secluded courses. It's located about 30 minutes north of the NC/SC border.