Bob Gillespie



High-end Grand Strand: GolfWeek magazine highlights trio of upscale S.C. courses

Posted 2/26/2012 5:17:00 PM

Mention Myrtle Beach to most golfers around the U.S., and images of affordable (and even inexpensive) getaways usually spring to mind. The Grand Strand is America’s golfing capital for a reason: An “everyman” culture that suggests you don’t have to spend big to enjoy a visit to the “Golf Coast.”

But that doesn’t mean upscale golf isn’t also there for those with more refined tastes (and deeper pockets). That’s what GolfWeek magazine, which bills itself “For Serious Golfers Only,” learned when it sent contributing writer Evan Rothman on a luxury golf adventure to the north end of the Grand Strand. Rothman’s article, “Grand Plan,” appears in the Feb. 10 issue.

“To go to Myrtle Beach, as I did, with the notion of having an upscale vacation with a strong sense of place would seem to many a fool’s errand … I’m here to tell you that it can be done and done well,” Rothman writes. His review includes three of South Carolina’s best courses, all within easy distance of his accommodations at North Beach Towers in North Myrtle Beach.

Rothman hit the ground running at Cherry Grove’s Tidewater Golf Club and Plantation, consistently “one of the Grand Strand’s grandest courses,” he writes. He spotlighted two of Tidewater’s famed par-3 holes, the third and the 12th, but was most taken with the “elegant par-4 fourth hole, a gently sweeping dogleg left that … could be dropped onto Pebble Beach without complaint.“

Next on the agenda: Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links, where Rothman calls the par-4 15th “perhaps (the course’s) finest, a neat little 360-yard hole with a semi-blind drive and a blind approach.” Also earning praise is the course’s three-hole finish, notably the 430-yard, par-4 16th: “It’s as if someone turned on the floodlights … the hole before you is a stunner. … This is big league, make-or-break stuff.”

Rothman’s final stop – and perhaps his favorite – is the Surf Club, a 1960 George Cobb design. While the club is private, it maintains partnerships with local hotels that allow for guest play. Favorite holes are the par-3 sixth and the par-5 10th and the Surf Club is “at once subtle and pleasingly straightforward … a must, a high-point of high-end Myrtle Beach.”

The author also found time to enjoy elegant and casual Myrtle Beach cuisine. His recommendations: Villa Tuscanna, a “family-run place in the best sense,” and Crab Catchers, “the kind of relaxed waterfront fish joint you’ll return to for dinner even after having lunch there,” and a block from Glen Dornoch. To read the entire article, click here