MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Courses long ago figured out that giving players a reason to stick around after their golf was good for the bottom line.
Maybe they’d spend a few extra bucks on food and drink. But having that bow to put on the package was also great for a course’s reputation.
What better selling point than to have a foursome reminiscing about their shots (good or bad) and talking about the round. It’s why we’ve seen a rebirth in attention property owners are putting into their overall experience.
Our local experts, Chris King and Ian Guerin, have been making post-round stops at the area’s clubhouses for years, taking in the sights and sounds, food and grub. They know a thing or two about what makes that clubhouse pop.
Now, they’re here to talk out the most underrated ones up and down South Carolina’s Grand Strand.
IG: Chris, I’m worried that you’re going to steal mine, so I’ll come right out and say it – River Club in Pawleys Island has shot way up my list during my last two visits there. The ambiance of the elevated clubhouse overlooking the practice putting green and the 18th hole bending around that huge pond is the view that sets up everything else you’re about to get yourself into with a beverage and a meal.
CK: I think everything about River Club is underrated, so you won’t get any pushback from me, but I’m heading north for my first choice. Have you been to River Hills (pictured below) since they remodeled the clubhouse restaurant? It’s great. I love the l-shaped bar, the additional televisions, and they’ve overhauled the menu – the fried green tomatoes with Cajun shrimp is awesome. I have no problems recommending groups enjoy a post-round meal and drink at River Hills.
IG: Somewhere in the South Carolina Upstate, Tom Jackson is sitting in a recliner saying “Excellent.” I swear, we didn’t plan to promote two of his Myrtle Beach properties with this one. But I digress… Part of what makes these underrated is the renewed commitment to the post-round experience. It is clear that a revamped menu at River Club has had the same effect. Last time I was there, I did the Italian Round sandwich with waffle fries. I skipped dinner that night.
CK: The next clubhouse on my list wouldn’t need to offer a cold turkey sandwich to be appealing. I love sitting on the porch at Glen Dornoch, which overlooks the double green the ninth and 18th holes share and the Intracoastal Waterway. You can enjoy a cold beer, bet a dollar on whether people make putts, and dream of owning the boats that cruise by AND you can do it all in 15 minutes! If you can’t tell, I think the clubhouse experience at Glen Dornoch is criminally underrated.
IG: If I’m negligent in mentioning one part of Glen Dornoch (pictured below) when I’m writing about it, the part about taking in the sights from the clubhouse is probably it. I’m typically just as bad about talking about the post-round opportunities at Myrtlewood. On its lonesome, probably no one is gonna look at it and say “Wow.” However, tack on the refurbished back deck overlooking the Intracoastal, and you’ve got a shaded spot that for some odd reason is underused by players – despite the fact that this is one of the area’s more trafficked properties.
CK: Myrtlewood is definitely overlooked, which is surprising given the property’s popularity. The final entry on my list would be Arcadian Shores. They built a new clubhouse in 2018 that included an outdoor patio that absolutely enhances what is already an underrated experience. It’s an ideal way to cap a day on the Rees Jones design.
IG: Arcadian Shores is a perfect example. It dumped a bunch of money into course renovations and would have been fine stopping there. Instead, the remodel plans included the clubhouse – and it helped put that exclamation point on the entire project. I think it was further proof of how important that part of the vibe is to a property. All five of these have it.