River Club: Classic Golf in Pawleys Island
On my recent vacation to Myrtle Beach (Garden City Beach, actually) I had the pleasure of playing at River Club in Pawleys Island. As I travel out of the Washington DC area, I have seldom ventured all the way to the southern end of the Myrtle Beach area to play golf. Certainly there are enough options in North and Central Myrtle.
First and foremost, here’s the particulars on course set up. River Club has wonderful bent grass greens that were a medium fast speed. The length of the rough was perfect at approximately ball height. The terrain is not quite flat with some movement and scalloped bunkering nicely frames up each hole. And here is a Shanks Tip for you: the greens will NOT break as much as they look. The pace of play was excellent as my foursome was done in 4 hours. The only downside is the range situation. The putting green and chipping/bunker area is quite nice but you can only hit full practice shots into a net for warm-up. Satisfactory, but not in concert with everything else here.
The first hole is a solid opener to get your attention, with water in play in the crook of the dogleg left and further up on right guarding the green against a weak approach shot.
The fifteenth hole, a dogleg right, is easily the toughest on the course. You must play out past the trees on the right to have an unfettered approach to the green, so a tee ball to the left side of the fairway is the wise route. (There is only water running down the left side of the fairway as opposed to the OB on the right.) If you happen to play a short iron approach, use caution, as I sadly proved that spinning it back into the pond guarding the front of the green is a possibility.
The finishing hole is a fun risk/reward par 5, wrapping around a lake to the left, somewhat reminiscent of the Gambler at Kings North but without the island fairway. Not having a great score going, I absolutely roasted my tee ball on an aggressive line and was rewarded with just a mid-iron approach over the lake – again.
The River Club is a worthy inclusion to any golf itinerary in the Low Country of the Myrtle Beach area. It will not wow you but rather will provide a solid and interesting test of 18 consecutive, well-conditioned holes that are enough to make you want to return.
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