Many group leaders don’t book a day of arrival round of golf, opting to let their charges schedule tee times based on their travel schedule.
As trip time draws near, excited players often bump up their arrival time, making room for an extra round before the official start of their package. If you are one of those people, here are five courses that offer the perfect beginning to a Myrtle Beach golf vacation:
– Located on 501, going from the front seat to the first tee is a treat at Myrtle Beach National’s West Course (pictured right). The Arnold Palmer design is the area’s easiest, according to the USGA’s slope and ratings system, providing a layout that doesn’t beat golfers up. The player-friendly design is light on water, the greens are open in the front, and it features wide fairways, allowing golfers to swing away. This is an ideal way to start your trip.
– If your group is arriving via Highway 9, Aberdeen Country Club is the place to go. The Tom Jackson design has outstanding greens and a new clubhouse, setting the stage for a hospitable challenge. After a front nine that offers large greens, an inviting target after a couple hours in the car, Aberdeen’s putting surfaces become smaller (but flatter) over the second half of the course.
– Golfers coming in from the south will want to play Litchfield Country Club. This old school layout doesn’t require players to bomb away, allowing them to ease into the round if they are a little stiff. Architect Willard Byrd designed a course that rewards precision and will test various parts of your game, especially around the greens, something that will come in handy as the trip wears on
– If you fly in, Arrowhead Country Club (pictured right), located less than seven miles from the airport (even closer as the crow flies), should be the first course you drive too. PGA professionals ranked the Raymond Floyd design among the area’s top 20 layouts, and the holes that play along in the Intracoastal Waterway offer a beautiful start to any trip. Did I mention Arrowhead is consistently one of the area’s best conditioned courses?
– Golfers traveling down Highway 17 from points north have a surplus of options, with Crow Creek leading the way. Crow Creek (top photo) is as easy to find as it is well regarded. The Rick Robbins design is home to V-8 bentgrass greens, delighting players with one of the game’s premier putting surfaces.
Myrtle Beach features a surplus of arrival day courses, but these five are tough to beat for playability, accessibility and value.