My first impression of Myrtle Beach golf comes at Ocean Ridge Plantation in Sunset Beach, N.C.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – A frost delay got my first Myrtle Beach golf trip off to a slow start this morning, but it didn’t take long for one of the country’s most recognizable golf destinations to win me over.
Within an hour of teeing off, the sun came out and stayed out all day. It was a great 36-hole introduction to golf in these parts. I warmed up by playing Tiger’s Eye, one of the four courses at Ocean Ridge Plantation in Sunset Beach, N.C., the most northern outpost of the Grand Strand (although it’s technically not the Strand). Tiger’s Eye had some speedy wild greens with some tough pin placements.
My afternoon round was a completely different experience. Leopard’s Chase plays as the toughest of the Ocean Ridge Plantation foursome, especially off the tee. It’s a big-boy golf course with five penal par 5s. These aren’t birdie holes. They’re full three-shotters that you hope don’t end in double (most of mine did, unfortunately). After another trip tomorrow to North Carolina to play 27 holes at Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club, I’m hitting North Myrtle Beach for two tee times at Barefoot Resort, where I’m staying in a three-bedroom condo larger than my first house.
A trio of studs ranked as the top three golf courses in the area by Golf Digest round out my two-day grand finale next week: The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, the second-oldest course in Myrtle Beach, and True Blue Plantation and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, both in Pawleys Island. What’s most amazing is, as good as this trip will be, I haven’t even touched the surface of all that Myrtle Beach golf has to offer.
It’s only been one day and I’m already dreaming up the schedule for my return trip. That’s the ultimate allure of Myrtle Beach for golfers. No matter how many times you come back, there’s always more to see and do.
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