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Story by Ian Guerin
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Every group golf outing is immediately at max potential. None of the members of your party would possibly display any signs of rust (or jet lag) and jumping right into the Myrtle Beach area’s most difficult golf courses without any hesitation makes perfect sense. If you got to this point without laughing, this story probably isn’t for you - and the majority of us can’t stand you. For the rest of us Average Joes, we could use a primer. Like Alabama playing Jacksonville State, even Nick Saban’s guys need a warm-up game every now and again. We here at Myrtle Beach Golf Trips want to make sure that the first day on the course doesn’t beat you down so much that the remaining days seem like a chore. The easiest way to do that, of course, is by giving you some great playable options that won’t leave you scraping the last few balls out of your bag on Day One. These five provide lesser golfers a great tune-up without sacrificing the tenets of the game.
ARCADIAN SHORES GOLF CLUB, MYRTLE BEACH
This Rees Jones course is significantly easier now than it was when it originally opened in 1974. Several renovation and restoration projects have taken much of the edge off the original product via tree removal and bunker cleanliness. Entering the midway point of its fifth decade, Arcadian Shores ultimately adds to it inviting nature with a short-game-boosting layout around the greens; trouble does exist at times, but only on a handful of holes.
COLONIAL CHARTERS GOLF CLUB, LONGS
The average player is going to tee it up from just a tad over 6,000 yards at Colonial, with seniors paring it down another 600 or so yards. And while distance takes into consideration a par-71 round, any player with decent distance off the tee has the ability to play extremely well here. Several of the par 4s are all but reachable and the forced water carries on four holes do little to prevent stroke-shaving.
FOUNDERS CLUB, PAWLEYS ISLAND
When Founders Club was re-named and re-opened in 2008 after a complete overhaul, the first thing visitors who had played the old Sea Gull Golf Club noticed was that the nines had been reversed. The second thing they noticed was a ton of sand. Well, several hundred tons of its, to be exact. The waste-trap-heavy course, though, provides clearly defined green targets throughout, eliminating any guess work from tee to fairway.
POSSUM TROT GOLF COURSE, NORTH MYRTLE BEACH
Describing itself as “core golf,” Possum Trot is known as a fantastic teaching property, both in terms of its actual massive teaching facility and its 18 holes. There is still a built-in test in the form of smaller greens that allow for fewer mistakes on the approach. However, with minimal bunkering around those greens, players can opt to perfect the bump-and-run safety shots that may come in handy later in the week.
WORLD TOUR GOLF LINKS, MYRTLE BEACH
Part of the mystique of the best golf courses in the world in the lore attached to them: Jack’s putt, Arnie’s stroll, Tiger’s fist pump. So even though many of the holes at World Tour are nearly identical to their inspirations - the swing through Amen Corner at World Tour matches the distances of Augusta National - the lack of pressure eases the tension. The picturesque trot around the globe, then, can certainly be shot in under 80 strokes.