MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Many of the Grand Strand's biggest events away from a golf course occur at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and adjoining Sheraton Hotel.
On Oak Street and 21st Avenue between King's Highway and U.S. 17 Bypass, the convention center sits within a quick walk to the beach and a short drive from a wide range of Myrtle Beach golf courses. After a morning of meetings, you could book a tee time and then swap your suit and laptop for shorts and golf clubs in minutes.
Just minutes north of the convention center off King's Highway, The Dunes Golf and Beach Club owns the distinction as the area's most prestigious play, with its coveted Ocean Avenue address. A regular among most top-100 magazine rankings, the Robert Trent Jones Sr. design features the area's only beach-view hole, plus numerous other standouts around Lake Singleton on Nos. 10 through 13.
The Grand Strand's oldest golf course, Pine Lakes Country Club, also sits nearby. It's fresh off an extensive remodel and upgrade that moved it from Myrtle Beach's mid-level venues to the upper echelon. It now features firm and fast paspalum fairways and greens. Some holes were enhanced, while others were built from scratch and classically styled to fit the surroundings.
And don't miss the Grande Dunes Resort Course, towering over the Intracoastal Waterway. This is where you can cut loose with your driver from the back tees -- and you'll certainly need some good pokes, with a back-tee yardage that exceeds 7,500 and holes that hug the waterway.
Myrtlewood Golf Club's PineHills and Palmetto layouts are the closest golf courses to the convention center, just west on the 17 Bypass and 48th Street. The Palmetto course measures longer, but it's more wide open and finishes with a par 4 along the Intracoastal Waterway. Most will agree the PineHills demands more precision to manage small greens and narrow doglegs.
If you head just north of the Grande Dunes Resort on the 17 Bypass, Waterway Hills Golf Course offers a 27-hole bargain play. The golf course features a classically designed RTJ Sr. design, and a not-so-classic gondola ride from the parking lot, over the waterway, to the clubhouse.
Just across the Highway 501 Bridge, River Oaks golf course includes 27 recently renovated holes over 800 acres of tall pines and wildlife – all within a sniff of the waterway.
Head south on King's Highway, and you'll find city-owned Whispering Pines Golf Course, a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf course that, despite its central location, is void of any houses along fairways.
For a beachside happy hour, head to Bummz Cafe on Ocean and 20th Avenue, within a brief walk from the convention center. Bummz offers a full menu of pub grub and seafood. The outdoor deck is the top spot. It features live music often, and it's just a few steps from the ocean.
Another favorite local watering hole and lunch joint, Dagwood's Deli sits alongside Bumstead's Pub on Mr. Joe White Avenue at 11th. They display 59 flat screen TVs and even more beers from which to choose.
Off 30th and Ocean Avenue, Sea Captain's House is a local treasure. Formerly a beachfront inn built in 1930, it serves fine seafood in a downhome atmosphere with the sound of ocean waves rolling.
Broadway at the Beach is home to just about every kind of restaurant you could want. Among the choices, Rioz Brazillian Steakhouse and Yamato's Steakhouse of Japan serve their own international twists on beef.
If you're looking for a late night, stay put at Broadway's Celebrity Square, home to more than a dozen bars and night clubs, from Irish pubs to discos. Better yet, the taxi ride back to the convention center -- if you'd rather not walk -- will cost less than a round of drinks.
September 13, 2010