Golf is great. Just you and nature: 18 holes, some sand, maybe a few water hazards, your clubs and the ball (hopefully you won’t need too many to play those 18 holes!). But sometimes you want a little something extra to spice up the experience. With 100 golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area and the resulting stiff competition, many facilities have interesting amenities aimed at adding to the experience of playing around at their courses. Here are a few such cases from around the Grand Strand.
Tradition Up Front
Pine Lakes is the oldest course in Myrtle Beach, having opened in 1927. It was designed by Robert White, a Scot who became the first president of the PGA of America. In a nod to the heritage of their employer’s creator, the staff who mind the bag drop area at Pine Lakes are always dressed to the nines in tartan plus-fours. Golfers rolling up to the course for the first time are likely to be taken aback—in a positive way—by the sight.
There is one hole in all of Grand Strand golfdom that offers a generous view of the Atlantic Ocean. That hole is the par-three ninth at Dunes Golf & Beach Club, where the beach spreads out before the players and the breeze turns pleasantly salty. This may not be so much an amenity as a feature, but it’s close enough for the purposes of this article.
Beam Me Up
One of the great recent innovations in golf is the GPS-enabled golf cart. The four courses at Barefoot Resort offer this feature, where you won’t need to track down a sprinkler head to know how far you have to the pin (not the middle of the green, mind you, but the actual hole location) or other landmarks like bunkers, ideal lay-ups in the fairways, or carry distances for water hazards. Plus, you can keep score, order lunch and check sports scores using the console. Hopefully you will stay ahead of the prescribed pace of a round—if you don’t, the rangers will find out and might ask you to pay more attention to your rapidly inflating score.
Not all practice facilities are created equal, and with so many courses, there is a decided hierarchy in the Myrtle Beach area. If you are looking for a place to log a couple hours with a few bags of range balls or just want to mess around on a putting green somewhere, seek out the multi-course facilities first. The aforementioned Barefoot Resort is a good starting point, as is Legends Resort, whose practice facility is some 36 acres. Their putting green is close to the size of a football field and contoured almost like the famed Himalayas at St. Andrews in Scotland and will give you the opportunity to practice any type of putt you are likely to encounter, as well as some you almost definitely never will.