It’s the second week of March and we are in one of the spring-time golf hot spots, Myrtle Beach, SC.
I did not come here on a golf package, but rather simply as golfer looking for a location to play some golf at a very good value, provide a review of the courses I play, and to market some of the golf products I offer as well as work at getting ready for the upcoming season.
After looking over the list of golf courses provided to me by the resort where I was staying, and comparing the contracted pricing that is offered at the resorts vs. other options, such as “Golf Now”, and local coupons, the result was slightly mixed, with price to play offered through the resort often the least cost option.
As I also found, if you are a local resident, or a winter-time resident, there is even better discount pricing offered during winter and early spring-time.
I had two golf days available so I asked some local golfers which of the reasonably priced courses I should play that I chose from the resort’s list of more than 60 golf courses. A unanimous selection was Shaftsbury Glen, located near Conway, about 16 miles west of Myrtle Beach. They said it is always in great condition and an example of what premium courses in the area offer.
A second course cited that is here in Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach, is Arcadian Shores, located across from the Tangier Shopping Mall near the intersection of US 17, Hwy 22, and Kings Highway. There were numerous other courses but either their current condition or their pricing did not move them to the most favorable category.
Shaftsbury Glen is located on route 905, about 16 miles from Myrtle Beach.
When I first approached the course area I was concerned about housing development around the course, but, as you can see in the pictures, below, the course layout is independent of the housing area.
There are three key features about this course; (1) every green is elevated and very well protected with significant bunkering, (2) the greens run very true, what you see is what you get, (3) from the tees the fairways are fairly wide, and provide the illusion of no danger, but don't miss the fairway!
For the near-scratch player, the course plays to nearly 7000 yards with a slope of 140. For us more challenged players, there are white, gold, and red tees that play at appropriate yardages (6,445, 5,989, and 4,976 yd.).
6,935 from the blue tees
The clubhouse is quite stately and houses the pro-shop and pub/restaurant. The overall staff was very helpful.
I had an early PM tee time and the area around the bag drop was somewhat congested as golfers were waiting for their assignments and for carts coming in from golfers who were ending their rounds. Once on the course, however, the play moved quickly with no wait time.
I was teamed up with Chuck and Cindy, a couple from northeastern New York State. They stay in Myrtle Beach for 3 months each winter and play golf often. They have a good game.
Shaftsbury Glen more than lived up to my expectations. It was a pleasure to play. A decent drive followed by an accurate approach shot is important for a good score. I did find a number of the bunkers but they did not cause a problem. The sand is light and getting your ball out and onto the green should not be an issue. Be sure to look for the best pricing available for the time of year that you are in Myrtle Beach.
Arcadian Shores is a distinctly different course than Shaftsbury Glen. I was told that Arcadian Shores at one time was a private club. Every hole is lined with trees.
There is a large driving range and nice practice putting green just to the left of the clubhouse / pro-shop. It is located just south of Rte 17, near the Tangier Outlets at the South end of North Myrtle Beach. My Greens Fee was slightly more than the Shaftsbury Glen fee, but the course was close to where I was staying so there was little fuel costs.
I had a mid-AM tee time and found the bag drop area and cart assignment area to be a bit congested. Although there appeared to be a lot of gofers, there was no wait time at the start, as groups were starting on both the front and back nine.
I was placed with 3 lady golfers from Pennsylvania, Helen, Becky, and Charlotte. They really enjoy playing golf. We started on the back nine.
The overall course is very attractive with trees, significant bunkering, and water, and acceptable condition, but not as good of condition as I thought it would be.
The course requires accurate tee shots, as most fairways are tree lined and bunkers protect dogleg corners. Greens are well contoured and green speed was moderate.
I was either putting poorly, or was not reading the breaks, because the ball was rolling differently than what I saw, even with short putts. Exact speed is important, as the hole placements were at tournament locations. Soft lagged putts would roll away from the cup where-as putts with speed would roll far past the hole.
Course knowledge definitely has an advantage, as shot placement and green knowledge are important for good scores on this course.
If you are in the Myrtle Beach area, the Arcadian Shores Golf course is a challenge worth playing. Check current discounts for the best pricing available.
I once again participated in a golfing event at the Sombrero Country Club in Marathon, FL. I would like to thank PGA Head Golf Professional Erik Zinn, and the Sombrero membership, for their hospitality (see my review of the Sombrero Golf Course from Spring, 2011 golf blog, further below).
I am now back in Michigan. With the mild late winter and early spring weather, many Michigan golf courses are in full operation. The grass is already plush green and the greens fees are very reasonable. I will be conducting this season's first set of golf instruction classes at the Tanglewood Golf Course Driving Range (South Lyon, MI), followed by on the course playing lessons. We will be adding a new "shot-making" skills contest to our lessons this year.
Contact me if you have any questions.
Meanwhile, hit ‘em straight.