North-of-the-Border Best: The Top Myrtle Beach-area Golf Courses in the Tar Heel State

About a quarter of the area’s complement of courses sits on the northern side of the border, and some of them are among the best you can play:

Thistle Golf Club
Thistle Golf Club was built to be home to one of the premier golf experiences in the Myrtle Beach area. With 27 holes and a distinctive, Scottish-style clubhouse that is regarded as one of the best places for a post-round drink in the region, Thistle manages to stand out a bit from the mainstream. Its Cameron, MacKay and Stewart nines can be played as three different 18-hole configurations, but many visitors find themselves eager to play all 27 holes when they come to Thistle. It’s understandable – each nine is distinct, but architect Tim Cate managed to produce a coherent overall style that makes the course an enjoyable one to play, no matter the order in which one plays it.

Leopard’s Chase Golf Links
The newest of the “Big Cat” courses at Ocean Ridge Plantation, Leopard’s Chase opened in 2007 and, like Thistle, is a Tim Cate design. It was a tall task to follow up his highly acclaimed Tiger’s Eye layout on property, but Cate managed to turn Leopard’s Chase into a worthy companion, to the point where golfers are hard-pressed to name the superior. We appreciate Leopard’s Chase in particular because, even though it is located relatively close to the coast, it showcases a good bit of elevation change. This is especially apparent at the par-5 14th hole, which plays up a ridge and whose green drops away considerably in the back.

River’s Edge Golf Club
In the wake of the 2016 passing of Arnold Palmer, an outpouring of love and appreciation has come forth from all corners of the golf world. One particular way in which people have chosen to honor The King’s memory is to play one of the courses he and his design firm laid out. Located in Shallotte, NC, River’s Edge Golf Club is one of the best places to do just that. It opened in 1999 and is particularly popular among local players as well as vacation visitors. Its scenery is some of the most spectacular on the East Coast, with a number of holes overlooking the Shallotte River and its outlying wetlands. As a result, the wildlife that can be seen at River’s Edge is among the most diverse anywhere on the Grand Strand.

You can book rounds at these North Carolina golf gems right here at

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