MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | We’ve all come a long way since that starter club set we got as kids.
Back then, it was some pre-packaged sticks, maybe with a rubber band around them or possibly – if you were lucky enough – presented in a bag that you weren’t sure you’d even be able to lift. As adults, though, we mostly don’t get our hardware like that anymore.
We fall out of love with our driver. We decide the 5-wood is junk. The irons get a little dead. And don’t get us started on the putter. And since equipment can get a bit pricey, we piece-meal a new set, a club or two at once.
That being the case, the Grand Strand golf scene has courses that will help you break in that bad boy (or boys), allowing you to get a feel for them once that shrink wrap is removed.
The Grande Dunes Resort Club (pictured right) is long; there’s no mistaking that. However, what it was also designed to do was allow you to shave that distance considerably by giving you more room off the tee than you’d probably imagine. Those wide fairways inspire you to swing a little harder without as much penalty. Since you’re most likely not going to be sure exactly how to crank that new driver yet, this is the perfect complement to that toy.
When you’re talking about the second-longest club in your bag, you don’t necessarily need to think of it simply in terms of second shots. Precision off the tee is important here, too. That’s where World Tour Golf Links comes into play. Via both the course’s Par 5s and its mostly short Par 4s, you’ll have ample opportunities to take the cover off a 3-wood or 5-wood here in order to reach the green. On top of it, the putting surfaces aren’t overly protected, giving you some wiggle room.
The PineHills track at Myrtlewood Golf Club is going to be your huckleberry here, and for many of the same reasons those shorter woods are prepped well at World Tour. Of the Par 4s at PineHills, none play longer than 394 yards from the white tees. So if you wanted to leave your driver at home altogether and just work on that part of your game, you can do so with a sense of confidence that this relatively short track provides.
Be it a new 7-, 8- or 9-iron, what you’re going to be hoping for is a chance to try it out on a per and over. And within the final approach zones up and down River Hills Golf & Country Club, you’re going to have just that. The rolling terrain here can affect your distances some earlier, but up close it’s smooth sailing into greens that aren’t so tucked away that you’re going to consistently find yourself hitting out of the sand or dropping because of an errant shot.
Whether you tossed your putter in the trash after a bad round or just re-gifted it to someone else who was in need, Tradition Golf Club is a perfect spot to try out the replacement. The renovated greens here are huge, yes, but they’re also diverse in undulation (some are, some aren’t). What’s more, the cropped fringe area around the actual greens is kept at a length where putting from there is encouraged, too. This is your end-game confidence builder.