Heritage Golf Club: Often Overlooked But Always Interesting

When you have two of the top golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area nearby, it can be easy to be a bit unfairly overshadowed. Such is the case with Heritage Golf Club, which is practically wedged between its more famous neighbors, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Plantation. But while those courses receive the bulk of attention from golfers seeking a best-of-the-best type of golf trip itinerary, Heritage Club also deserves consideration.

The Course
Heritage is stunningly typical of the best courses in the area, known as the Waccamaw Golf Trail. Situated as it is just west of U.S. 17, it is laid out attractively along tributaries of the Waccamaw River, whose attendant wetlands can be seen from a number of holes. Live oaks—big ones, centuries-old ones—factor into the scene as well, posing problems for tee shots that find the rough or even the wrong part of some fairways. This may sound like a negative trait but it is actually highly strategic—players must work out how to play a given hole before blindly embarking.

One of these holes is the terrific, short par four ninth, where a driver off the tee is not necessary for most players. Due to the huge, undulating green, a tee shot that finds the left side of the fairway may be impeded by trees. Therefore, the bold play is to try and work one’s tee shot slightly from left to right in order to potentially leave a relatively easy wedge shot to the green.

Speaking of greens, Heritage features some of the most boldly contoured putting surfaces in the entire Myrtle Beach area. The best of these is on Heritage’s other shortish par four, the 12th. Its enormous green is unusual in that it falls away from the player, with a large upper level in the front that drops three to four feet to lower left and rear sections, guarded by a bunker on the left and water behind. A good tee shot leaves one of the more interesting short irons or wedges players will ever face.

The Experience
The layout at Heritage is every bit the equal of its rather more famous neighbors, in no small part because Mike Strantz is said to have worked on the original Dan Maples-designed course while building Caledonia Golf and Fish Club just up the road. What holds it back is that it does not enjoy the same level of conditioning as some other, more premier golf courses. That and the pace of play can be somewhat sluggish at times.

The Verdict
If you are planning a golf trip to the southern end of the Grand Strand and you leave Heritage Golf Club off your itinerary, you’ve done yourself something of a disservice. Go, play and enjoy the course. If you find the pace of play a bit on the slow side, take some pictures. The scenery is lovely.

(posted 11/20/13)

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