Water figures prominently on some of America’s most famed golf courses (here is looking at you Pebble Beach), providing players both beauty and challenge. Given the area’s coastal location, Myrtle Beach features layouts that play along an assortment of rivers, tidal marshes, ponds and wetlands, creating visual players long remember.
As you look forward to your next golf vacation, here are the five Myrtle Beach golf courses where water is the defining trait.
● There isn’t an area course more associated with water than Man O’War (top photo). The Dan Maples design was constructed around a 107-acre lake that comes into play on every hole. Among Man O’War’s calling cards are back-to-back island greens (holes 14 and 15) and the par 4, ninth, an island hole. The course isn’t as difficult as it may sound because there is ample room to the land the ball, but water is everywhere at Man O’War.
● There are courses that feature more water than Pawleys Plantation but few are more defined by the challenges it creates than this Jack Nicklaus design. Five of the final seven holes play along a tidal marsh and it’s on the short list of the state’s prettiest stretches. The 13th, a short par 3 playing to a peninsula green, is one of the Grand Strand’s most recognizable holes and it’s only the beginning. The par 4 16th, a dogleg left that shares a double green with No. 13, might be the best hole at Pawleys and that’s saying something.
● In addition to several watery inland holes, nine of Tidewater Golf Club’s (pictured right) 18 holes play along either the Intracoastal Waterway or Cherry Grove. For many golfers, the title of “Myrtle Beach’s prettiest course” comes down to a choice between Tidewater and Pawleys. Golfers talk about the holes along Cherry Grove long after they’ve returned home, helping Tidewater earn its spot on our list.
● Ironically, River Club doesn’t play around a running body of water but an assortment of ponds come into play on 15 of 18 holes. The name of the Tom Jackson design sets expectations and River Club delivers a round of golf that requires players to deal with water throughout the day. The highlight is the par 5 18th, which requires golfers to carry a pond off the tee and the approach.
● Thirteen of Oyster Bay’s 18 holes feature water, including several that bring the Calabash River into play. Throw in the alligators that roam the property and the wet stuff attracts all the attention on the second Dan Maples design to make our list.
If you play a round at one of these courses and don’t lose a ball, you’ve likely had an outstanding round.