Tradition opened in 1996, a Ron Garl design that was immediately nominated for Golf Digest’s “Best New Public Course” award. It was named “Golf Course of the Year” in 2001 by the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association and is a perennial stop for numerous groups of visitors who enjoy the par 72 track.
In an area where many golf courses have overly flat, featureless greens, Tradition’s putting surfaces have a good amount of movement, meant to at times facilitate or block the golf ball’s easiest path to the hole. A great example of the former is the 9th green, coming at the end of a reachable par five where wetlands crosses the fairway at a strategically opportune juncture, forcing a decision. If playing to a pin located in the rear-right quarter of the green, players may use a slope in the rear-left section to move the ball within close range for a birdie—or eagle—opportunity.
Tradition’s other three three-shot holes are particularly strong as well. The 4th, a 540-yard hole from the back tee, plays over a rise and snakes downhill and to the left around a pond to an elusive green. An aggressive tee shot that flirts with an encroaching tree on the left brings the prospect of an eagle putt into focus. The 10th, at 530 yards from the tips, swings hard to the left around a large sandy waste area to a pedestal green. Once again, the player has the opportunity to be as conservative or aggressive as he or she desires.
The course’s final long hole brings water into play once again. Ron Garl was clearly thinking of the famous 15th at Augusta National Golf Club when he designed number 14 at Tradition, as it featured a shallow, sloping green perched above a pond and a bunker to the right. Reachable in two blows, it comes at a potentially crucial juncture in any match.
After a quasi-island green par three 15th, Tradition closes with three straight par fours. The final test is the sternest, at 455 yards from the back tee. A drive that finds the fairway set between sandy scrub on the left and forest on the right leaves a long iron to a broad green.
Complementing the course at Tradition Golf Club is a superb practice facility, with a grass-tee range that affords numerous angles of shots and a large putting green with both flatter sections for practicing one’s stroke and more undulating areas for honing one’s powers of speed and green reading.
Tradition Golf Club is a thoroughly enjoyable Lowcountry golf course with enough charm to bring its guests back year after year. Its staff, led by Head Golf Professional Kevin Williamson, is extremely welcoming and eager to facilitate the best possible golf experience. For more information on Tradition Golf Course, visit http://myrtlebeachgolf.com/courses/show/tradition-club.