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Myrtle Beach Trip Report, March '09

MyBluC4

Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2008
489
35
Myrtle Beach Trip Report
March, 2009

Could not wait to get out of N.Y. and land in Myrtle. Left the airport and headed straight down to Pawley’s Island to play Heritage. What can I say about this beautifully designed golf course that hasn’t already been covered? It is one of my favorites and a classic track in every way. The course was designed by Larry Young in the early 80’s who later called upon the then little known Mike Strantz to redesign the greens and do some bunker tweaking in the ‘90’s. What I like most about Heritage, aside from its sheer plantation beauty, is that length and power are not a great advantage here, this is a shot maker’s course. Due to challenging pin placements with subtle breaks in the greens, the second shot is everything. We played from the blues that delivers a 74.8/144 rating at 7000 yards. This afforded us views of how the course was laid out from the eyes of the designer and full range of each hole. Conditions were good with blue skies and only a light wind.The greens were a little patchy but rolled very true. Saw a bunch of gaters today, some fairly large. Again, a pure classic that is always on my must play list.



After playing we ventured over to Martin’s. Always a very dangerous move. If you haven’t been, Martin’s is the single most fantastic golf store on earth. A shoe department larger than most shoe stores. Every club in existence. Got away lucky with only one purchase of a pair of Footjoy’s on sale. Whew!

For dinner we headed to Broadway on the Beach. Sadly, the place was empty. A true sign of the times. Weather was good and nobody around. Stopped into the Key West Grill for dinner. We didn’t expect much from a chain restaurant and was very pleasantly suprised. The food, service and prices were terrific. We are NY food snobs and really enjoyed dinner.

Back to the condo at True Blue to watch college hoops. The condo was a two bedroom, 2 bath deal that was comfortable, clean and well located. We had one with a balcony overlooking the 15th. Good showers with plenty of hot water. No complaints.

Next day, we scheduled Caledonia for the morning round, followed by True Blue in the afternoon. This is what I consider one of the best back to back 18’s you can play in MB. Back to back Mike Strantz all the way.
Caledonia, built in 1993, is a 4.5 star Golf Digest rated track and has received, and continues to receive numerous awards. It is visually fantastic. Just driving up to its entrance with 150 year old oaks lining the way with the moss hanging down is worth the visit. Really nice Antebellum club house. Course was in very good shape, greens rolled true. Maybe the best combination of par 3’s on any course in Myrtle. It was very windy on this day causing a lot of back and forth on club selections. I always bring a camera when playing Caledonia because there are so many great vantage points. It was a good move today because the course was absolutely empty. The fish stew at the cross over was, as usual, delicious. We were a twosome and had the entire track to ourselves. Couldn’t believe it. Again, a sign of the times. A must play track for me each year’s visit. We had a great time and finished with lunch in the club house. Actually, the grill seemed to have more people in it than on the course.


True Blue, another Mike Strantz stunner, was brutal this day with the wind. More open than Caledonia so the wind takes a greater toll on your game when it’s up. A lot of rough sandy areas and huge waste bunkers throughout. The greens were hard and fast, almost impossible to hold, even with high lofted shots. Don’t be afraid to bump and run here. This is a risk reward track all the way. Deceptive views of greens and strategic placement of bunkers are a great combination of good versus evil. The routing of the holes are terrific because you feel you are playing very different types of holes one after the other. Great finishing hole and one that lets you walk off happy or miserable...either way a reason to head straight for the bar. You are exhausted after playing this beauty.

As in previous year’s reports, looking up to course designer’s heaven, I raise a glass and say “thank you Mike Strantz with all my heart for the vision you were able to share with us in these two fabulous courses”.

Dinner tonight was special. We hit Frank’s on 17. This IMO is the absolutely best restaurant in all Myrtle. In fact, Frank’s would do well anywhere, including N.Y. if it were there. The food is just excellent and complimented by a terrific wine list that is priced right. Service matched the cuisine. Never visit Pawley’s without scheduling a dinner at Frank’s.

Woke up to a beautiful low country morning and headed to TPC in Murrell’s Inlet. This is a course we always play when in Myrtle Beach. If it’s not on your list, it should be. The track, designed by Tom Fazio with collaboration from Lanny Wadkins, is one of his more mellow projects but also one of his more dramatic ones, with holes fashioned within borders of beautiful tall red pines, old oaks and different varieties of tall grasses and fescue. A lot of lakes with beautiful reflections too. In fact, there is water on 10 of the 18 holes. Another plus is that there are very few homes adjacent to the course and those that are, are very attractive.

This track is about using your head and not your ego, especially so on the par 5’s where laying up on the second instead of trying to blast one is the smarter move. Some of the best scenery of any course we have played over the years.
Excellent par 3’s throughout. The par 5, 18th is terrific with the lake looming out there on the left and a meandering stream floating up the right to a stand of deep naturally shaped bunkers. The green is framed by the club house in the background. The day before there was a big college tournament won by Wake Forrest for the 2nd year in a row.

After the round we moved to the club house veranda that overlooks the 18th for lunch. They recommended the chicken salad with crushed pecans. The best I ever tasted.

We were going to play our afternoon round at Pawley’s Plantation, but TPC was so well conditioned, so beautiful and so empty that we decided on the replay and did it again. The course did not disappoint the second time around. As with Caledonia, bring a camera.
All in all a great day. On the way out, Chip Smith the owner and president of TPC came over to introduce himself and ask a how we liked the course and its condition. Very nice guy who obviously takes great pride in the course, cares about customer service and like a good family owned Italian restaurant, believes having the owner in the kitchen and on the premise.

Dinner at some joint on 17 called Salt Creek. Again surprised by how good the food was. Place was pretty empty, but served up some terrific low country comfort food. Worked out just fine and would actually go back.

Last day before hitting the airport and heading for home. Decided on something different to finish up. As we had played parkland and plantation courses all week, we chose Legend’s Heathland as our closer. I really like this Tom Doak designed course. It’s quite unique from the other layouts in the area because of its links layout, throws you a really different challenge and requires a different game head to play it. The winds hit big again making club selection and flight placements a challenge. What I like most about Heathland is the colors and vistas. It’s very different without the trees and marshes you experience at the other courses. Here deep bunkers are very strategically placed with large hard greens to hit, many having multiple tiers with a lot of slope. From the gold tees, the course played 6785 with a 72.3/127 rating, although the slope felt larger than that. Very cool to look over the course from certain vantage points on the back nine and see the large castle like club house in the distance. Glad we played it
Fun trip with good weather and great company. Can’t wait to do it again next year.

Pictures to follow:
 
OP
MyBluC4

MyBluC4

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Jan 23, 2008
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Heritage Plantation

Heritage Plantation, Pawley's Island SC
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MyBluC4

MyBluC4

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Jan 23, 2008
489
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Caledonia

Caledonia Fish & Hunt Club
Pawley's Island, SC
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MyBluC4

MyBluC4

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Jan 23, 2008
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True Blue

True Blue
Pawley's Island SC
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MyBluC4

MyBluC4

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Jan 23, 2008
489
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TPC, Myrtle Beach

TPC
Murrell's Inlet, Myrtle Beach SC
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MyBluC4

MyBluC4

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Jan 23, 2008
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Legend's Heathland

Legend's Heathland
Myrtle Beach, SC
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SiberianDVM

I love Hooters
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Jul 25, 2005
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Very nice. I've only been to Myrtle to play golf a couple of times, and you almost need a tour guide to pick the right places to play and to eat.

It's about a 6 hour drive from my house, which doesn't sound like much, except when the GF doesn't want to drive, then it's a killer. And, she doesn't want to play golf every day, and she doesn't want to be left alone, either. :( I think that means she wants me to go shopping with her.

:eek:
 

Dusty90

Another Canuck
May 6, 2007
457
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I was in Myrtle Beach for reading week and I must say that there are some of, if not the nicest courses there that I have seen. The favourite course that I played was Glen Dornoch. Just an all around beautiful course that forces you to think before each shot. I would like to go back there to play again knowing the course a bit better to see if I could have a better result. And if you ever do play there, bring a camera. Thats a mistake that we made. The 16th hole has the most picturesque second shot that I have ever seen.
 

VAGolf

MHS Varsity Golf 09'
Aug 15, 2008
93
1
This is complicated, so try to follow along.


my friend whom i play golf with most of the time, well his grandparents live at Pawleys Island(not the course, literally) and we get to play there this summer. My little brother, and his little brother both play on my dads baseball team. They are playing in a tourney in MB in July, and both of our families are going. And that is how i get to play Pawley Island courses.

So:

Me
My Brother--\
Baseball tournament in MB
His brother--/

MB-is where Pawleys Island is.

I get to play. :beach3:
 

SCGolfer

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2007
760
0
Good looking pics.....glad you enjoyed the trip south.
We are going over that way in a couple weeks. I think we are going to venture up around calabash or sunset beach in NC and play Sandpiper Bay or The Pearl. True Blue and Caledonia are definately two of the best in MB.


Jason
 

bryguy

New Member
May 15, 2008
628
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I get to go down several times a year and play down there. For whatever reason, I think the courses down south are better than the north Myrtle/Brusnwick courses to me. It could also be time of year. I tend to play the southern courses during the summer, and the north/Brunswick courses in the winter and spring. Blackmoor is another great course down there, almost to many to paly. I have been going down 3 times a year for the last several years, and playing for 3 days each time, and still have not made a dent in how many courses there are to play down there.
 
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MyBluC4

MyBluC4

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Jan 23, 2008
489
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Thanks for the comments VT. I really like playing the Myrtle tracks and do my best to describe the experience so others have a benchmark if they decide to book a trip. Glad you liked the report.
 

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