Golfers often prioritize convenience, which can include minimizing travel time, but a destination the size of Myrtle Beach rewards driving, if you want to enjoy everything it has to offer.
It’s not difficult to ask golfers to travel 10 more minutes if it means a tee time at Pawleys Plantation, but the area is also home to a handful of under the radar gems that are worthy additions to any trip, even if it means a few extra miles.
– The area’s southernmost course, Founders Club (top photo) is surging in the eyes of golfers – both locals and out-of-town players. Reflecting ownership’s commitment to the course, Founders Club offers outstanding conditions and a unique design – the course is virtually devoid of cart paths and elevated fairways are surrounded by waste bunkers. Located a mile south of Pawleys, if you haven’t played Founders in recent years, make it a priority to do so; a challenge that is as enjoyable as it is creative awaits.
– Given how many people drive in via Highway 9, Aberdeen Country Club (pictured right) is a popular day of arrival or departure layout, but don’t be afraid to challenge this Tom Jackson course during the middle of your trip. Good conditions, a links-ish style design and a new clubhouse restaurant are just a few of the reasons to play Aberdeen. It’s also worth mentioning that the drive is an easy one due to Highway 31.
– Full disclosure: the trip to Burning Ridge isn’t really a long one but given that you have to drive by World Tour, Wild Wing and Myrtle Beach National, among others, before getting there, it’s easy to get distracted. Truth is, Burning Ridge is one of the area’s hidden gems so while the bright lights of other courses are attractive, a round at Burning Ridge won’t disappoint. Just make sure you let us know how you do on No. 12.
– Some “drives” are shorter than others, but it’s definitely a haul to Carolina National. The 27-hole Fred Couples design plays along the Lockwood Folly River and it’s one of the Grand Strand’s prettiest layouts. You won’t likely make the drive to Bolivia, N.C., to play Carolina National every year, but it’s more than worth your time to tee it up on occasion.
– In recent years, Shaftesbury Glen has added 500,000 square feet of waste bunkers and new greens, significantly enhancing an already enjoyable layout (I know what you are thinking, but you are wrong. The sand, which brought much needed definition to the course, was a good thing.). The challenge for Shaftesbury, in addition to distance, is the fact it’s off a road – Highway 905 – golfers otherwise never travel but live life on the edge, because Shaftesbury is worth your time.
The beauty of a Myrtle Beach golf trip lies in the options it offers, and these five layouts, while out of the spotlight, are worth the drive.