Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club is celebrating 30 years of providing the perfect setting for a memorable golf getaway. Set amid the splendor of 200-year old moss-draped oaks in the historical coastal region of South Carolina, the Jack Nicklaus signature course opened in 1988.
But Nicklaus’ vision began in October 1986, when the Golden Bear stood in the middle of the 582 acres, planning the course around what Mother Nature had already set in place. Leaving many of the native trees untouched, Nicklaus incorporated many unique design challenges, giving each of the 18 holes a distinct strategy. Golfers can play this course numerous times and never have the same shot twice. Sand bunkers, water-bordered fairways, and subtle greens well-guarded by bunkers make the course interesting to play. Golfers are challenged by Atlantic Ocean breezes that come onshore at Pawleys Island beyond the marsh.
Nicklaus carved out formidable par 4s, beautiful par 3s, and memorable par 5s from the tree-lined fairways on the front to the marsh-laden back nine. Bordered by a 600-acre nature preserve, the course provides a scenic round every time. Pawleys Plantation has received numerous accolades from Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, and other national media.
Pawleys Plantation measures 7,026 yards, a par 72, and a slope rating of 140. It’s a player’s course that demands strategy, ingenuity, and concentration.
Hole 3 is one of the prettiest on the course with a lake to the left and a backdrop of pines behind the green. The green runs at an angle from right to left with a nice little pot bunker in the neck of the green.
The par 5 hole 4 is one to remember. The wide fairway is higher on the right side and lowers on the left. The gamble is to shorten the hole on the left and possibly reach the green with two long accurate shots. The safer play is to the wide concave fairway on the right, setting up a three-hole shot. It’s a tricky one.
Perhaps the most challenging hole, the par 3 hole 13 is known jokingly as the “Shortest Par 5 on the Grand Strand.” It plays just more than 100 yards to a peninsula green surrounded by the marshy waters separating Pawleys Island from the Atlantic Ocean. The shared rolling green (with No. 16) is surrounded on three sides by marshland. Catch a bad gust of wind, and you’ll be fishing in your pocket for another ball. Par 3 is an excellent score on this hole.
Hole 14 brings you to “Jack’s Tree,” an oak in the middle of the fairway near his old house.
Additional amenities to the one-of-a-kind course include the charming clubhouse and conference facility, as well as the Mel Sole Golf School, named one of the “25 Best Golf Schools in America” by Golf Magazine.
Golf Channel’s popular Big Break competition shot an episode of its 22nd season at Pawleys Plantation. Big Break Myrtle Beach featured a cast of aspiring golf professionals—six men and six women—looking for that jumpstart in their golf careers with the goal of achieving their lifelong dreams of playing alongside the world’s top golfers.
Almost as exactly as it was when it was built in 1988, Pawleys Plantation is a player’s course that all skill levels can enjoy.
“Love this course! Probably one of my top three courses to recommend to people coming in from out of town,” Bill said on Golf Insider. “Beautiful Lowcountry setting with established lush layout. Has both challenging holes for avid golfers, and playable holes for people just picking up the game. I’ve played here many times in the three years I’ve lived in the area and I can honestly say the course is never in bad condition. The groundskeepers do a great job all year round making it an enjoyable round. The staff is friendly from the bag drop/pro shop to the snack bar/restaurant. They make you feel welcome.”
“The layout is fantastic, the course conditions were great. The staff treated us very well,” added Jim. “It is a course I will definitely play again and put on my Myrtle Beach rotation. My favorite hole is 16, a very demanding but beautiful par with the marsh and the actual Pawleys Island in the background. I wish I had my camera with me… I give this a very high rating.”
“This place is fantastic! From tee to green (especially the greens) the course is in superb condition,” John said. “I would recommend this for any golfer. Can be challenging, but it is fun and fair. Staff takes care of you from bag drop, starter, course ranger, and golf shop. The pub is great for post-round drinks and the food is excellent. These folks know what they are doing.”