Myrtle Beach Golfaway

Links Golf Myrtle Beach Style

By • Dec 23, 2008

Links golf, “aaah yes, just picture it, amusing little bounces off bumpy uneven fairways, thick hay like rough, pot bunkers, fast rolling fairways and wicked- cold- wet- winds, all under a layer of gloomy gray skies along the British Isles, the mere thought of it triggers frightening images of the British Open and some of the misery that the home of links golf serves up”!

Fear not my friends for we have been blessed with formidable links challenges, right here in the world of golf headquarters, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Enjoy outstanding links style golf courses in pristine condition, great warm weather and the sunny blue skies of South Carolina.

Rolling grassy dunes along the Carolina coast, with bursts of seaside winds blowing off the nearby Atlantic Ocean give Myrtle Beach layouts a distinct advantage over most American links courses. Following is a brief description of several links style golf courses that Myrtle Beach has to offer.

Thistle Golf ClubThistle Golf Club

We begin at the north end of the Grand Strand with the Thistle Golf Club in Sunset Beach, NC. The Thistle Golf Club offers one of the most strikingly beautiful and challenging twenty seven hole layouts on the Grand Strand. The Tim Cate designed golf course takes its name from an ancient Scottish golf society dating back to the early 1800′s, and the course layout posses a distinct Scottish links feel to it, with wind-swept fairways, large bent grass greens and surrounding hillsides covered in heather and an array of gorgeous wild flowers.

The Pearl Golf Links

Next we visit The Pearl Golf Links, nicely nestled on the banks of the Calabash River, among whispering pines and the unspoiled natural beauty of the Carolina Coast. The two Dan Maples layouts (East and West) depict typical seaside golf, with weather playing a huge factor. With rolling fairways and manicured greens, The Pearl Golf Links offers a memorable round of links style golf with wonderful Southern charm and hospitality.

Farmstead Golf Links Farmstead Golf Links

Staying on the North end of the Grand Strand, we take a peak at Farmstead Golf Links one of the most exciting courses in the Carolinas. The Willard Byrd design, with enhancements by Dave Johnson, boasts one of the most memorable holes in the Myrtle Beach area, the gargantuan, 767-yard, eighteenth hole, the area’s only par 6, this finishing hole actually begins with a drive into a wide sweeping fairway in South Carolina and finishes on a large undulating green in North Carolina.

The other seventeen holes deliver their own distinct brand of charm and challenge on this links style golf course, using the natural contours of the land, Byrd has excelled at creating a golf course that flows with its native terrain. Spectacular views of native grasses and dazzling freshwater lakes, add to the playing pleasure of the golf course. As with all links golf, the gusty winds on this coastal layout can really mess with your head.

Heather Glen

Moving a little further South, we arrive at Heather Glen, a Willard Byrd and Clyde Johnston design, inspired by the earlier traditions of golf; these two outstanding architects have converted this naturally beautiful site into a majestic golf course masterpiece just north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Imagine dramatic elevation changes, with enormous pines, dazzling dogwoods and elegant live oaks, fused with streams and little brooks that wind their way through this charming golf course. Generous rolling fairways are bordered with heather-laced dunes that lead up to large and sometimes pot bunkered greens, and it is all royally crowned with a 19th Century British-styled clubhouse, a creation evoking the beauty of renowned Scottish golf courses.

Heathlands

Located in the heart of Myrtle Beach, SC is the Heathlands golf course at Legends Resort, the par 71 design by Tom Doak will take you back to the traditional way of how the game was played. It has been noticeably molded in the true image of the British Isles links courses, with holes that are so reminiscent of the home of golf.

With its shortage of tall trees, the golf course presents a unique and stunning visual presentation; however, this also allows the punishing winds to blow constantly and unobstructed, adding more challenge and difficulty to the golf course.

Strategically placed bunkers and lush, deep rough that closely border all fairways, calls for a variety of golf shots and club selection, and many of the greenside bunkers are especially deep and require a lot of creativity in order to escape. The greens are very large and may change your putting stats in a hurry.

Heathland was recently rated #12 in the “South Carolina Best Courses Near You” category by Golf Magazine, 2008.

Wicked Stick

Ideally located in the center of Myrtle Beach, SC is the John Daly / Clyde Johnston design of Wicked Stick. The combination of Daly’s classic “grip it and rip it” style of golf and Johnston’s uncanny ability to convert any piece of land into a majestic golf course is quite evident in this John Daly signature golf course.

The duo have developed a stunning links golf course featuring grassy mounds, fast rolling fairways with strategically placed pot bunkers. Tee boxes provide an invitation to open fairways that will entice even the biggest bombers to have a go, beware though, because when the wind blows, you could be in a whole lot of trouble.

Bermuda greens with subtle undulation and consistently good speed await your approaches, as with all links style golf courses, you may face a rather long first putt, this being primarily due to the large size of the greens.

The clubhouse houses an interesting display case full of memorabilia from Daly’s dramatic 1995 British Open win at St. Andrew’s.

Prestwick Country Club

Nestled in the central part of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is Prestwick Country Club. This Pete and P. B. Dye masterpiece has been recognized as one of the area’s finest golf courses, featuring beautiful dogwood lined fairways with timber-rimmed bunkers, thirty five foot Berms, an array of colorful wildflowers, freshwater lakes and sparkling streams. This magnificent layout offers six sets of tees, catering to golfers of all skill levels and measures 7,058 yards from the back tees. With the combination of wind and the layout of the golf course, you will probably play every club in your bag; get ready for a fair and very enjoyable round of links style golf.

So remember folks, there is no need to pack your bags, load your clubs and trek across the pond to take a beating by a links golf course and torrid weather conditions, just simply plan a visit to Myrtle Beach in warm, sunny South Carolina for your “links  fix”…and enjoy!

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Born in Durban, South Africa, Azor fell in love with the game a little late in life. He served an apprenticeship in the printing industry and then went into print sales. In the early nineties he moved to the United States with his wife Glynis, and their two sons Dave and Clint. In 1994 he and Glynis established "Electronic Pencil" a Graphic Design company. In 2004 they started a golf magazine; he currently enjoys writing for their publication and writing the editorial for Myrtle Beach Golfaway’s website. “Besides the challenge and fun factor, the camaraderie on the golf course is second to none, it’s a blessing to spend time with good people and play a great game in such tranquil settings,” says Azor.
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