When many people think of golf in Myrtle Beach, they tend to picture a large, fairly homogenous group of golf courses: water and wetlands everywhere, lots of sand, little to no movement in the land. And for some courses, that’s more or less true.
Meadowlands Golf Club, though, is not one of them.
Opened in 1998 and designed by Willard Byrd, Meadowlands sits in a peaceful community just over the Carolinas’ state line in Calabash, North Carolina, about six miles from the beach. It and its sister course, Farmstead, sit on rolling former farmland tended by the McLamb family since the early 20th century. From the clubhouse to an old silo by the first tee to the gatehouse that greets visitors to the property, a comfortably rustic ethos abounds. One sometimes forgets that the ocean is only six miles away, and that’s not at all a bad thing, as the surrounding scenery is very pleasant.
After a summer-long renovation project, what was already a well-regarded course in the area is now even higher in the stature. The main component of this effort was a complete resurfacing of Meadowlands’ greens from the TifDwarf Bermuda strain that had existed for 14 years to a more advanced, spry variety called TifEagle. TifEagle is grows more consistently and tolerates lower mowing heights, meaning faster putting surfaces for Meadowlands’ members and visitors.
So that’s all well and good. But this wasn’t the only measure undertaken by National Golf Management’s vice president of agronomy, Max Morgan, and his staff in concert with Meadowlands’ principals. Two holes on the front, previously sources of controversy among players, underwent palpable facelifts that have, since the course reopened on August 21, been met with unanimous approval.
After a tame first two holes, Meadowlands gets serious in a hurry with a par four that measures 480 yards from the back Black tees. On a course with a number of lengthy two-shotters (only one under 400 yards from the tips), it is the toughest. Straightaway (i.e. impossible to cut any dogleg and shorten the hole), it calls for a big drive and a long iron or fairway wood over a pond to a shallow, two-tier green. Originally, the fairway ended and the pond began somewhat abruptly around the 150-yard mark, necessitating layup drives from the forward tees. During the summer, Morgan’s crew filled in part of the pond, extending the fairway another 30 yards, making the hole more forgiving while still demanding two good shots for a chance at a par.
Likewise, the par four sixth hole was a difficult proposition before that grated against the golfing sensibilities of many players. But after lowering the fairway by some eight feet to accommodate a view of the green from the tee and enlarge the landing area, the 432-yard slight dogleg left is much improved.
The inward nine at Meadowlands presents a well-balanced diet of doglegs, with each hole, save for the par threes, bending noticeably left or right. That being the case, the player who is willing to try to bend tee shots left or right can be rewarded for such bravery.
Meadowlands closes with a par five, a gentle dogleg-right that measures only 502 yards from the tips. At only 440 yards, it is thoroughly reachable, giving most players a chance to leave Meadowlands smiling, having finished with a birdie or even an eagle. Having the course finish on a hospitable note rather than a harsh one is in keeping with the relaxed atmosphere that prevails at Meadowlands Golf Club, fostering a loyal resident membership and bringing many visitors every year. For more information, please visit myrtlebeachgolf.com/courses/show/meadowlands