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Myrtle Beach/Pawley's Island group golf trip....need advice!


gkoch207
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All, I am in charge of organizing our groups golf trip for this coming March 2023.  We have a group of 12-16 guys that go on a trip every year.   We've done Pinehurst, FL (many diff locations), Scottsdale, and few other spots around the US.  

We all live in the Northeast (except one that's in Chicago) so I think the next play is Myrtle Beach to keep it easier, cost effective, etc.  

I have read that True Blue and Caledonia are the best options in that area for public.  Is that true?  What other recommendations for golf courses within 30 minutes of Myrtle or Pawley's Island?  

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Whenever I make the trek to the Myrtle Beach area, I always try to get a round in at Aberdeen and Long Bay Club, both courses located close to one another, and always seem to be in decent shape with scenic views and some challenging holes.

 

Pretty certain the spies who live in that area will contribute more than this...................................................

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27 minutes ago, gkoch207 said:

I have read that True Blue and Caledonia are the best options in that area for public.  Is that true?  What other recommendations for golf courses within 30 minutes of Myrtle or Pawley's Island?  

I have played both and they are both very nice courses designed by the same visionary (Strantz) but very different in style/approach. True Blue is fairly open (for a course near the beach) and has some pretty boldly designed holes. I am very partial to TB and I try to play it every time I am anywhere near it. Very fun and scoreable. 

Caledonia is a visually stunning golf course from the Spanish Moss lined drive up to the way the course almost seems to sit naturally in the marsh lands. However, I find Caledonia to be quite challenging off the tee because it is so narrow. If you are an accurate driver of the golf ball or just like to see a beautiful golf course, you will love Caledonia. For me, playing it once was probably enough unless I get super straight and accurate in the next few years (unlikely). 

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I liked Pawley's Plantation. Has some good views and interesting holes. River Club in Pawley's is ok. Heritage, to me, was absurdly tight and both times I played there it was 5 hour rounds so I may be biased against that place but won't go back. I didn't particularly like TPC Myrtle Beach and found it to be overpriced and repetitive. 

 Just north of Murrell's Inlet (south Myrtle) is Prestwick Country Club. This is a very cool golf course but it is also quite challenging off the tee. I played it "short", or up a tee from where I would typically play and that made it more manageable (I do the same thing at Caledonia). It has a lot of the Pete Dye touches like railroad ties and small greens, etc. Typically this course in pretty good shape and I think the back 9 is all quite compelling, especially 11 - 18. Again, I played this course at 5,800 yds which would be short for me most places but was plenty enough to still have a good experience. There are others that know this area better but those are the courses I have played and liked. 

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I go to Myrtle every year for a week. Always get in a few rounds and always try to play different courses. Before I rattle off a bunch, can you answer a few questions?

1) What is the range of handicaps in your group?

2) Where are you staying. 

3) How far are you willing to drive from your accommodations to play golf? (In time) Theres a big difference just from Pawleys to Myrtle Beach.  MB alone is broken down into three sections (South, Central, and North) 60 miles from one end to the other then 30 more if you add in Pawleys.

4) How much are you willing to spend per round of golf on average? March is usually a higher fee time.

5) How many rounds do you want to play ?

6) Do you want to play 18 each day or play a course that has 27?

I'm not being nosey, This will help me narrow down some options for you as there about 90 courses down there. I've probably played over 30 of them so far. There are management groups that own 4 or 5 courses and will give to package discounts. Play 3 courses get  a forth round free. Play here and get free lunch and a beer. Lots of options.

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On 7/25/2022 at 8:10 PM, Tom the Golf Nut said:

I go to Myrtle every year for a week. Always get in a few rounds and always try to play different courses. Before I rattle off a bunch, can you answer a few questions?

1) What is the range of handicaps in your group? Lowest is 4, highest is 22 with the majority of the guys playing between 9-13.  We've played some tough courses in Pinehurst and Scottsdale so I'm not so much worried about the difficulty of the course because we're flexible to let the high caps play forward if they want.  Anyways...

2) Where are you staying. Likely staying on Murrells Inlet as it looks like a somewhat halfway point between MB and Pawleys.

3) How far are you willing to drive from your accommodations to play golf? (In time) Theres a big difference just from Pawleys to Myrtle Beach.  MB alone is broken down into three sections (South, Central, and North) 60 miles from one end to the other then 30 more if you add in Pawleys.  If we staying on Murrells Inlet, we'd like to keep it under 30 minute drive any direction. 

4) How much are you willing to spend per round of golf on average? March is usually a higher fee time. No more than $150/round including cart.

5) How many rounds do you want to play ? 4 days, 4-5 rounds

6) Do you want to play 18 each day or play a course that has 27? Likely play 18 each day but open to playing 27 or 36 if doable. 

I'm not being nosey, This will help me narrow down some options for you as there about 90 courses down there. I've probably played over 30 of them so far. There are management groups that own 4 or 5 courses and will give to package discounts. Play 3 courses get a forth round free. Play here and get free lunch and a beer. Lots of options.

Thanks for the help

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Most courses have different rates depending on the time of day you want to play. As an example Litchfield is around $100 early am, $70 for am, $50 for pm and late pm.

Caledonia is always in the top 100 courses. But you are looking at $175 to $200 but it is a bucket list course. No driving range but you can use True Blues range. Its sister course is True Blue another top 100 and right up the road and usually about $25.00 cheaper than Caledonia. Both very very good. True Blue has wider fairways. Other good ones right in that area are all located in Pawleys Island are: Pawleys Plantation, one of Jack's courses which has a famous island green second only to the 17th at TPC Sawgrass. Probably on the pricey side. Heritage, a Dan Maples design. I happen to like the course. There are some that don't  but you can spend more on Caledonia and play Heritage and save money that way. River Club, this is a Tom Jackson design. Wide fairways, excellent greens but water on 15 holes. Litchfield Country Club, probably the only walkable course. Its one of the older courses with a lot of character. Probably a good warm up course for day 1 or at the end when your all beat up. All of these are all between 10 and 15 minutes from Murrells Inlet in the same general area. TPC Myrtle Beach, its a Tom Fazio design. TPC is a true players course, lots of wetlands and towering pines. For me I would rather play the others but all of these are good. 

You can go to www.golftownusa.com or myrtlebeachgolf.com to dig further. 

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Tom gave some excellent advice. I am from Myrtle (now live in Charleston) but still go up there very regularly to play.

If you are just going to a trip and don’t go often, Caledonia and True Blue are a must. Best courses in the area, by quite a long shot. Spend the money to play them, they are worth it. I would say that the Heritage Club (whose green complexes were redesigned by Stranz in between his Caledonia and True Blue designs, may be the best course in SC you can play for under 80 bucks. In the last few years its “secret gem” status has gotten out of the bag, so it can be crowded, but try and play it on a weekday. Also solid in Pawleys is Pawley’s Plantation. If you like Nicklaus courses you will like Pawleys…if you don’t you will hate it.

The Legends courses (Moorland, Heathland, and Parkland) are all decent courses and all share a property. Of those three, Moorland is the best, IMO. But Heathland is also good. Parkland I would only play if you try and put a package together with the three.

TPC Myrtle Beach is a very tough track, but always is maintained very well. Other notables worth playing are Pine Lakes (gets more rounds than any course in SC, but layout is a lot of fun), Grande Dunes (its a resort course, so doesn’t feel very “SC”, but it is a good track), Barefoot Landing (Dye>Love>Norman), and Prestwick (a PD Dye design).

But I would say if you wanted to put together a trip and play the best courses, I would stay in Pawleys. If I played 4 rounds I would do Caledonia, True Blue, Heritage, and then move up a little to TPC Myrtle. If you wanted to be closer to MB proper, I would do Legends Moorland and Heathland and then drive down to do Caledonia and True Blue.

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On 7/25/2022 at 8:54 AM, gkoch207 said:

All, I am in charge of organizing our groups golf trip for this coming March 2023.  We have a group of 12-16 guys that go on a trip every year.   We've done Pinehurst, FL (many diff locations), Scottsdale, and few other spots around the US.  

We all live in the Northeast (except one that's in Chicago) so I think the next play is Myrtle Beach to keep it easier, cost effective, etc.  

I have read that True Blue and Caledonia are the best options in that area for public.  Is that true?  What other recommendations for golf courses within 30 minutes of Myrtle or Pawley's Island?  

My group went to Myrtle Beach for 20 years and the golf there is fantastic. We always stayed at The Legends which has condos, a large clubhouse and four courses on the property which we usually played the first day as guys took in different flights. Caldonia and True Blue are fantastic courses but is a bit of a drive from Myrtle because you have to take a highway instead of an expressway. You can get accommodations closer to those two courses if that's all you were planning to play but there is NOTHING to do after you finish golf. Myrtle Beach National, Grande Dunnes, Tidewater, Thistle, Myrtle Beach National... are all worth playing but in the opposite direction(except Tidewater).  This list is pretty spot on and we've played them all except for 16-20.  Since you are coming from the Northeast, warn you group about bermuda greens. They play very different from the bent grass we see up north.  My main advice is choose your overnight location with food and nightlife in mind. Some guys want to go out every night but you all have to eat every day.  Some facilities include breakfast which was a great way to get everyone feed before teeing off. There are a lot of newer courses in North Myrtle Beach, which is actual in North Carolina. Plan on taking 30-45 minutes to get to any course because there is no interstate to get you where you need to go.

https://www.mbn.com/news/pga-professionals-rank-myrtle-beachs-top-20-courses

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I go to MB each year.

 

Caledonia is nice, but overpriced (in my opinion).

Love Pawleys Plantation.

Others I really like include some on the north side, like Thistle and Tidewater.

I usually have a had GREAT using a tour group guy to make all the arrangements, even for me as a single. Call Dave Kirchdoerfer ((800) 344-5590 / (843) 314-1687)

Tell him Montie sent ya.

Have fun.

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On 7/25/2022 at 9:54 AM, gkoch207 said:

All, I am in charge of organizing our groups golf trip for this coming March 2023.  We have a group of 12-16 guys that go on a trip every year.   We've done Pinehurst, FL (many diff locations), Scottsdale, and few other spots around the US.  

We all live in the Northeast (except one that's in Chicago) so I think the next play is Myrtle Beach to keep it easier, cost effective, etc.  

I have read that True Blue and Caledonia are the best options in that area for public.  Is that true?  What other recommendations for golf courses within 30 minutes of Myrtle or Pawley's Island?  

 

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they are the best......Heritage is nice.......Tidewater and Pawley's Plantation..........most all courses in the middle of the Beach are good, the outliers are questionable........plenty to eat and entertain............good luck n enjoy

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I've run a northeast snowbirds group to MB for 20+ years.  My advice is to choose a section (North MB/Calabash NC, Central (near airport) or south (Murrels Inlet/Pawleys and go from there.  No one wants to spend 45 minutes driving when there's so many local courses.

Our group plays 36 holes a day - I've found with some packages you can get free replays or other deals.  I've used both Golf Trek and Golf Desk to assist with booking.  They will know the best deals.

Legends had good courses, lodging, free beer and breakfast but is a bit of a golf factory with 4 slammed courses out of the same clubhouse.

Barefoot is less so - 3 really good courses with Dye, Fazio and Love - Norman course just ok.

If you go south, there's a Litchfield group - River Club, Litchfield, Heritage, and Tradition.  Willbrook Plantation is a gem.

Another good multi-course location is MB National.  King's north there is one of the most fun courses in MB, other two tracks are also always in good shape - well run facility.

Good luck - I don't think there's anywhere in the US with a better selection and reasonable cost.

 

 

 

Dave

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Caledonia is very pricey I would recommend the river club , Myrtle Beach national ,TPC Myrtle Beach, Willbrook , tradition, Grand dunes public is really good. And the dooms also check out the granddaddy.  Good luck

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