Wachesaw Plantation East: An Idyllic Southern Strand Stop


For those who believe great meals are earned by a good day’s exercise, there are luckily a number of golf courses in the immediate area to fill the bill. One of them is Wachesaw Plantation East, a 1996 Clyde Johnston-designed course that serves as a great appetizer course to any Myrtle Beach golf vacation.

With five sets of tees, the course referred to, for expediency’s sake, as “Wachesaw East” is as much of a challenge or as relaxing a golf experience as any of its players desires. Even the longest Green tees—6,933 yards, a rating of 73.6 and a slope of 132—are not overly brutish.

The majority of players seem to gravitate toward the middle White tees which, at just under 6,300 yards, carry a rating and slope of 70.4 and 126, respectively. Those figures are in a sweet spot on the spectrum between “tough” and “pushover.”

The golf course winds to and fro on the land of a former rice plantation, with a nice mix of pine and deciduous coastal forest providing the backdrop to most holes. Johnston took care to dial the drama up at the end, as the best hole on the course comes near the end.

The 17th is a par five of 500 yards from the Green tees (470 from the White set) that encourages—nay, begs players to try for the green in two shots, especially after a drive that skirts past a tree guarding the left side of the landing area. But that second shot is fraught with danger in the form of four greenside bunkers and a winding stream that crosses in front of the green. Speaking of that stream, it can gobble up a wedge shot hit with too much spin that lands on the front-left portion of the green—shades of Kevin Costner’s Roy McAvoy character in the movie Tin Cup.

As daunting as this sounds, the player who can string two or three decent shots together will still have a good chance to make birdie or eagle, which is the essence of an exciting hole.

Wachesaw East has a history with women’s professional golf, a distinction only one other golf course in the Myrtle Beach area (The Dunes Club) can claim. In the late 1990s, Wachesaw East hosted the best women players in the world at the time, from Annika Sorenstam to Karrie Webb to Rachel Hetherington and Patti Sheehan. Signed memorabilia from those four players lives in the clubhouse, which is a perfect blend of function and comfort. A cozy patio bar area out back is just about ideal for enjoying a beer and watching golfers tee off or return from their rounds.

Wachesaw East is like that favorite sweater you like to put on when it starts to get chilly outside. It’s very comfortable and reliable, and won’t let you down. It fits perfectly into the wide continuum that is the Grand Strand golf scene, no matter how you slice it (or hook it).

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