Vacation planning can take many different forms. Some folks like to develop detailed itineraries for themselves, aiming to pack as much fun into a trip as possible. Others like to play things by ear, go with the flow, and let ideas for how to spend their down time come naturally and often on the spur of the moment. Myrtle Beach has plenty to offer both these personality types, particularly for families looking to experience all the Grand Strand has to offer.
Sometimes, if you’re vacationing with the family, opportunities for golf may require those aforementioned spur-of-the-moment decisions. Rather than early morning rounds with your normal foursome, you may want to sneak out for an “emergency 9” (or 18) while everyone else is at the beach or shopping. If that’s the case, these are some of the best courses to seek out for an ad hoc round, situated close to the beach and close by Myrtle Beach’s main centers of lodging:
Whispering Pines Golf Course
If the rest of the gang is at, say, the Coastal Grand Mall, you might prefer to head over to this often-overlooked Myrtle Beach layout. Recently renovated, Whispering Pines sits on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base and is very close to Myrtle Beach International Airport. Owned and operated by the City of Myrtle Beach, Whispering Pines may be a “muni,” but it is a fun experience for golfers of all handicaps. It will challenge better players but still provides higher-handicappers with plenty of room to miss shots on most holes. The highlight is the par-3 17th, which features the airport terminal as a unique backdrop.
Tidewater Golf Club
For those staying in North Myrtle Beach, Tidewater has the dual distinction of being really convenient to most hotels and one of the Grand Strand’s best layouts. Built and designed by local businessman Ken Tomlinson, it features gorgeous marsh views on both sides of the property, facing the Intracoastal Waterway on the west side and the Cherry Grove Inlet on the east. Holes like the par-3 third and par-4 fourth make it worth the price of admission, especially when played with the sun setting.
Litchfield Country Club
One of the quieter and more underrated courses of the southern Grand Strand, Litchfield Country Club is a perfect spot for a late-afternoon 18 while the rest of your family peruses the nearby Hammock Shops Village or Brookgreen Gardens. Designed by Willard Byrd and opened in 1966, Litchfield is traditional and attractive, rewarding precision and smart golf more than brute force. Its Plantation-style clubhouse is a wonderful place for a post-round drink, as well.
Pine Lakes Country Club
If you're vacationing at one of Myrtle Beach's fine resorts downtown, then your Myrtle Beach experience is complete with “The Granddaddy” of them all. Pine Lakes history as the areas oldest course, as well as its central location makes it quick trip for the individual or family that's taking a break from the beach. With the rolling fairways and freshwater lakes, golfers are spirited back to the beginnings of golf in Myrtle Beach. Around here, it's a golf tradition.