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Having undergone a $2.2 million renovation package that removed trees, updated bunkers and implemented Champion UltraDwarf greens, River Oaks Golf Plantation has increased play five-fold from several years back, and for good reason. Locals have returned to River Oaks in droves, taking advantage of the three nines – Bear, Otter and Fox – on the Gene Hamm and Tom Jackson design. The course recently received an overall rating of 5.8 from reviewers at Myrtle Beach Golf Insider, with even higher marks for staff, grill and pro shop.
Those renovations are apparent, and they’ve added a playability factor here. The 4,600 or so trees that were removed opened up the course, and in burying some of the remaining stumps, it left a mounding effect on several of the holes, adding to the 6,300 yards (white tees) or 6,800 (championship tees) any combination of the three nines averages out to play. Players can pull out the driver on every par 4 and par 5 hole, and the openness of the course allows for a forgiving feel off the tee. No. 1 on Otter is a perfect example. The par-5, 524-yard hole has water lining the left of the fairway, but the landing area is wide and the a true roll can leave most average hitters going for the green on the second shot. The Fox nine opens in similar fashion. The 536-yard par 5 has one of the widest fairways on the course, before closing up near a green protected by four bunkers. The closing hole on Bear is true to that nine’s name. The 547-yard requires a monster tee shot before bending around a small lake on the approach.
Located just outside Myrtle Beach city limits off U.S. 501, River Oaks Golf Plantation sits just moments from the heart of the Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach International Airport.