Pine Lakes was Myrtle Beach’s first course, opening its fairways in 1927, and it remains one of the area’s most popular tee times. From bag drop attendants in kilts to the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame garden and the plaques outlining the club’s role as the birthplace of Sports Illustrated, Pine Lakes Country Club holds a special place in the market.
What can you expect once you tee it up on the Robert White design?
— The par 70 layout isn’t short, playing 6,305 yards from the No. 3 tees – the equivalent of the whites – but the fairways are generous, allowing players to put a little extra oomph in the driver.
— Speaking of distance, do your scoring on the front nine, which plays just 3,062 yards. The 426-yard (all distances from No. 3 tees) par 4 third hole has water along the right side of the green and it’s a hellacious challenge, but you otherwise have no excuses for getting off to a slow start.
— Pine Lakes really starts to bare its teeth on No. 12, the beginning of a three-hole stretch of par 4s that will tax every
part of your game. For most players, there is nothing lucky about the 13th, a 424-yard two-shooter and No. 14, which plays one-yard longer is even more demanding. The 14th features a downhill tee shot and an uphill approach to a green that offers a view of the Ocean Boulevard skyline. The prevailing wind, coming off the nearby
Atlantic, is in your face, compounding the difficulty. Survive this trio of holes, which may be the area’s toughest, and a good score should await.
— This is a great layout to walk. Founders Group International now allows walking on all of its courses, and with greens and tee boxes in close proximity, Pine Lakes is an easy stroll. Covid-19 has, understandably, reduced the time people are spending inside, but when things clear up, take a tour of the Pine Lakes Clubhouse as well. It’s on the National Register
of Historic Places for a reason and it’s a great spot to grab a post-round meal and drink.
— What will you be talking about after your round? For starters, holes 12-14 will be a point of discussion. After that, talk will turn to how much fun the course is to play. Pine Lakes is an old school design and I mean that in all the best ways. It’s tough, but there are no onerous forced carries and plenty of room for bailout/recovery.
Being Myrtle Beach’s first golf course is a selling point for Pine Lakes Country Club but the quality of the experience is what brings players back.