Bob Gillespie



Inlet Sports Lodge: Luxury rooms, fine dining … and Myrtle Beach’s best golf

Posted 11/24/2011 8:53:00 AM

It’s a concept that was bound to happen.

In recent years, vacation destinations around the world have sought to distinguish themselves from the competition by finding tourism niches and filling them. So Disney World goes for family vacationers, offering packages that include on-site hotels and all manner of G-rated entertainment. Ski lodges, Caribbean island resorts (think “Sandals” and the like) and others also try to carve out specialty areas.

You had to figure sooner or later, someone would take the same approach to Myrtle Beach’s two most popular sports: golf and fishing. Someone has: the Inlet Sports Lodge in Murrells Inlet.

This fall, the 34-room luxury lodge is celebrating its first year in the heart of the historic fishing community, directly across from seafood restaurants and boat launches. The Springs family – with ties to the Pawleys Island Hammock Shops, as well as True Blue and Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, two of the Grand Strand’s highest-rated golf courses – built the Inlet Sports Lodge “to create the same luxury environment as at the golf courses and fish club,” says marketing director Michelle Sutton, who says the lodge’s visitors are “mostly golfers.”

For vacationers, the Inlet Sports Lodge has much to offer: central location, studio and suite accommodations, on-site restaurant/bar (Bliss, owned by chef Ernest Bledsoe), plus daily complimentary continental breakfast and Wi-Fi, heated pool, a business center and gift shop, and an outdoor courtyard with fireplaces, fountains, grills – even an outdoor kitchen. For anglers, there’s a Fish Preparation Room, complete with walk-in refrigerator/freezer, where a day’s catch can be cleaned for dining or frozen for transport home.

For golfers, though, the best thing about Inlet Sports Lodge is complimentary memberships at True Blue and Caledonia, designed by the late Mike Strantz and destinations for avid golfers. Strantz, a one-time Tom Fazio associate and landscape artist, created golf venues that are both visual and playing delights.

The golf memberships are for those who purchase “fractional memberships” at the lodge, which is affiliated with Interval International and offers world-wide destinations. But if such time-share deals aren’t in your budget, the Inlet Sports Lodge also offers nightly and weekly accommodations to non-member visitors.

If a relaxed, luxurious place to stay in Myrtle Beach for golf and/or fishing sounds enticing, the Inlet Sports Lodge is well worth a look. It’s hard to imagine a more relaxed venue after a day on the links: besides the aforementioned amenities, there’s even a fourth-floor “widow’s walk” with its view of Murrells Inlet’s marshes and docks.

Anniversary events remaining on the lodge’s calendar include a Thanksgiving buffet at Bliss – call (843) 357-6106; and a Christmas tree lighting, complete with carolers and hot cider, on Dec. 3. And naturally, golf in Myrtle Beach is, most of the time, a 12-month-a-year option.

The Inlet Sports Lodge is at 4600 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet. For information on memberships and/or non-member accommodations, click here or call (877) 585-9360.