Location: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Course architect: Robert White
From the tips: 6,675 yards
Saturday morning green fee: $$ ($60 off season)
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: Yes
Fairways: Seadwarf Paspalum
Greens: Seadwarf Paspalum
Starter: This is where it all started for Myrtle Beach. Pine Lakes Country Club is favorably labeled “The Granddaddy” because it was the first of more than 90 golf courses along the 60-mile stretch called the Grand Strand. Opened in 1927, it is centrally located and just 2 miles from the beach, and it is a cornerstone of the 22 courses locally managed by the Founders Group. Historically, the club is also home to the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, and it is where a meeting of Time Magazine executives came up with the business idea for Sports Illustrated, a weekly first published in August 1954.
Play because … : Everything about the place is comfortable, nostalgic, and fairly priced. A course renovation in 2009 brought the golf course and stately clubhouse back to their rightful prominent places in Myrtle Beach’s self-proclaimed "Golf Capital of the World." Pine Lakes is one of the few inland courses to install Seadwarf Paspalum grass, a grass type that is saltwater tolerant.
Takeaway: This golf course flows nicely and it will be remembered more fondly each time it is played. Water comes into play on 14 of the 18 holes, but there is never a foreboding impression that disaster lies ahead. Take time for a beverage and a stroll through the historic clubhouse after the round.
THE RATINGS [1 to 10 scale; 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 7.5
Pro shop: 7.0
Pace of play: 6.5
THE COURSE | Scorecard
Best par 3: No 11 (155 yards). The hole is guarded in front and on the left by water, but there is plenty of room. Just get the yardage correct and know that the green slopes gently toward the water on the left. In a bygone era, golfers used to look forward to the offer of free chowder while waiting on the tee box.
Best par 4: No. 14 (438 yards). There is no margin for error on this hole, where getting a par feels like a birdie. It’s the third in a brutal stretch of consecutive long par 4s that will undoubtedly make or break a round. The hole layout is straightforward, but the drive zone is one of the narrowest on the course and the green is well guarded by bunkers left and right.
Best par 5: No. 5 (528 yards). An accurate drive is needed to take advantage of this dogleg left par 5. Water runs along the left side of the hole and the approach shot is to an elevated green, leaving a guessing game for getting close to the flagstick. The banana-shaped hole carries plenty of risk-reward, but par is certainly within reach for those not willing to gamble.
Rated by: Craig Smith