Founders Club is the Myrtle Beach area’s southernmost course, though it’s located less than two miles from Pawleys Plantation, and therein lies one of the Thomas Walker design’s most significant challenges.
To get to Founders Club, players drive by layouts such as TPC Myrtle Beach, Willbrook, Caledonia, River Club and True Blue, among many others. The South Strand is home to some of America’s best public courses and the trip to Founders requires a little more effort, leading to the question: is it worth the drive?
Playing on the site that used to be home to Sea Gull Golf Club – a course that wasn’t worth the trip – Founders Club opened in 2008 after Walker designed a completely new and far better layout.
He turned Founders Club into one of the area’s most creative designs, differentiating the layout from its nearby peers.
On a relatively benign piece of land, Walker crafted a course defined by elevated fairways framed by waste bunkers and memorable greens complexes, which are also guarded by sand. The waste bunkers eliminate the need for cart paths, making Founders a favorite of locals after it rains because 1) the fairways drain exceptionally well and 2) those waste bunkers occupy both sides of the fairway, meaning players are always near the ball.
The sand provides visual appeal and it adds to the challenge on a layout that provides a demanding test.
For many, the highlight of a round at Founders is the par 5 12th, which features dual fairways divided by a line of bunkers, forcing a decision on the tee as to which direction you want to play.
It’s emblematic of the challenge on one of Myrtle Beach most interesting and entertaining layouts.
Verdict: Founders Club is different, it can be tough, and it’s absolutely worth the drive. In a market with 90 courses, the design stands out which a good thing, and it’s a layout players need to give a chance.
Photos from our Instagram Account. Follow along in real time at @myrtlebeachgolftrips