As we get older, there are few good “surprises” in life, but that’s another perk of taking a Myrtle Beach golf trip. You can expect to walk off a course and think, “Wow, I should’ve played here sooner.”
Here are five under-the-radar layouts that have taken a step forward in recent years:
— Tradition Club (pictured above) has long been one of the area’s most underrated courses. Surrounded by Pawleys Plantation, Caledonia and Heritage Club, among many others, Tradition quietly delivers a quality round of golf without a lot of notoriety. If you haven’t played since the installation of new Sunday Bermudagrass greens in the fall of 2018, you need to head back to the Ron Garl design. There is an argument to be made Tradition is home to the best greens along the South Strand. You won’t regret your next round here.
— The Pearl, located just across the state line in Brunswick County, N.C., closed nine holes on the East Course at the beginning of 2020 and became a 27-hole facility, a decision that has proven to be a good one. In recent years, the Pearl has installed new MiniVerde greens and improved drainage, among other enhancements. Six of the remaining holes play along the Calabash River, providing natural beauty, and the decision to eliminate nine holes made it easier to provide quality conditions throughout the year.
— I’ve been beating the drum for the Palmetto Course at Myrtlewood (pictured right) since the completion of a renovation last fall. The project allowed the Palmetto to restore its greens to their original dimensions, a move that enlarged putting surfaces by more than 25 percent on average, and renovate every bunker on the course. The craziness of 2020 deprived many golfers the chance to play the “new” Palmetto this year, don’t miss your chance in 2021.
— Shaftesbury Glen installed new Sunday Bermudagrass last summer, completing a multi-year facelift that included the addition of more than 500,000 square feet of waste bunkers. A half-million square feet of sand might sound nightmarish, but don’t be alarmed. The sand provides contrast that significantly enhanced the look of the course, which in combination with the new greens makes Shaftesbury a layout you will want to play.
— Aberdeen Country Club is located in Longs, just west of North Myrtle Beach, and the 27-hole property has proven to be one of the area’s most resilient facilities. Aberdeen has overcome a pair of major floods in the last five years and golfers that have stuck with the course have been rewarded. Aberdeen reopened in 2019 and has delighted players with new greens and a brand new clubhouse, among many other upgrades.