AN AWARD-WINNING LINEUP OF COURSES
As the Northeast golf season begins to wind down, it’s time to think about ways to extend the season in a slightly warmer climate. The Carolina Coast offers everything you could want for a late fall or early spring golf getaway. Easy and convenient access, mild weather, accommodations to suit every budget and whim, and some of America’s top-ranked resort courses. If you are looking for a really special golf experience, I recommend you take a look at the Waccamaw Trail.
The Waccamaw Golf Trail is located at the south end of The Myrtle Beach Grand Strand and includes eleven of the Strand’s very best courses, all located within a 10-mile radius. In fact, this collection of courses has garnered more awards than any other comparable golf trail in America. Most of the courses are built on 18th Century rice and indigo plantations, and their routing is often dictated by centuries-old moss-draped oak trees and gently flowing tidal rivers.
On the Waccamaw Trail you’ll find courses designed by some of the top names in the game, including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Dan Maples, Ron Garl, and the late Mike Strantz. The Waccamaw Golf Trail also boasts Gary Player’s lone Myrtle Beach design in Blackmoor Golf Club.
TPC Myrtle Beach, a Tom Fazio-Lanny Wadkins design, is the only course on the Grand Strand awarded 5 Stars from Golf Digest’s Places to Play. TPC Myrtle Beach presents players the opportunity to experience what PGA Tour professionals face on a weekly basis. Good example, the par-3 17th and par-5 18th provide golfers with a combo-challenge that has seen its share of big numbers. Many golfers, both local and visitors consider TPC Myrtle Beach to be among the most challenging in the area. Just ask the pros who challenged it in the 2000 Senior Tour Championship.
Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is one of two Waccamaw Trail designs by the late Mike Strantz. The experience begins with your drive down South Carolina’s version of Magnolia Lane. An avenue of ancient oak trees leads you to an old-South style clubhouse and one of the most incredibly maintained courses anywhere. No two holes are the same and each will test your mettle as you play. The 19th hole offers a porch that overlooks the 18th green, and and the opportunity to cheer – or jeer – golfers as they navigate their way across the pond to the final green.
True Blue is the other Mike Strantz course on the Trail. It plays a little longer – and tougher – than its sister course. True Blue is a true Lowcountry course, complete with salt marshes, wetlands, live oaks and towering pine trees. The signature 18th green requires a carry over water off the tee, and then another carry on your approach to the green, usually with a gallery of golfers gathered on the porch acknowledging your success, or not.
Tradition Golf Club was designed by well-known Florida course architect Ron Garl, and is his only design in the Myrtle Beach area. In addition to a challenging par 72 golf course, The Tradition Club is very female-friendly, and also boasts a Mega Practice Complex, another element of the Garl signature.
Litchfield Country Club was voted “2016 Golf Course of the Year” by the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association and continues to get better with age. A classic design, Litchfield was created by Willard Byrd in the mid-1970s, and features narrow fairways, sharp doglegs, and strategically constructed green complexes that put a premium on accuracy over distance.
Blackmoor Golf Club is the only Gary Player design in the area and takes advantage of the natural terrain in the area, creating some interesting shot selections. Much more than “grip it and rip it golf”, Blackmoor will have you thinking your way around the course, including a big decision to make on #8, a par-4 that offers a shortcut, if you dare.
Willbrook Plantation is considered by prolific course designer Dan Maples as one of his best, and locals and most visitors agree. The course is built on land that was once two Carolina Plantations, dating back to 1798. As you play the course, you’ll see several historical markers denoting numerous points of historic significance. Willbrook Plantation is a favorite among the ladies, ranked among the “Top 50 in America” for female golfers, and will challenge all comers.
The River Club at Litchfield is an award-winning Tom Jackson design that requires both distance and precision if you want to score well. Be warned – there is water on just about every hole and over 100 sand traps to test your aim and direction. You’ll need to have it down pat when it comes time to take on number 18, one of the most challenging finishing holes in the area.
Pawleys Plantation is a Jack Nicklaus signature course with two very different nines. The front nine offers tree-lined fairways and beautiful lakes. The back nine delivers spectacular views of the salt marsh from six different holes, including the signature 13th hole which is aptly dubbed the “World’s Shortest Par 5”. In reality, it’s a 67 to 90-yard par 3, but 5s are every bit as common on the scorecard.
Founders Club at Pawleys Island has the distinction of being both the oldest and newest course on the Waccamaw Trail. The original 1966 Gene Hamm design course was rebuilt by former Gary Player lead designer Thomas Walker in 2008. Waste areas are filled with natural beach sand, and native grasses populate the mounds and waste areas. Minimal cart paths on this “ocean-style” course give golfers a unique coastal golfing experience – and makes it very senior friendly.
Heritage Club has been rated one of “50 Best Public Courses in America” by Golf Digest and the par 71 Dan Maples design doesn’t disappoint. Heritage Club features spacious, rolling fairways and large, undulating greens, surrounded by magnificent oaks and lush stands of crepe myrtle, camellias and azaleas. After your round, relax on the porch of the Southern-style Colonial Clubhouse overlooking the Waccamaw River and relive your round. In addition to fantastic golf, a round at Heritage includes breakfast, lunch and two beers!
The Waccamaw Golf Trail is situated about 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach International Airport and just over an hour north of Charleston International, with affordable flights into both.
For more information on the Waccamaw Trail or to book your next round at one of these fine golf courses, give them a call at 888-293-7385 or book online at
STAY & PLAY ON THE WACCAMAW GOLF TRAIL
This Waccamaw Golf Trail is located in a region that has come to be known as South Carolina’s historic Hammock Coast, comprised of the coastal townships of Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island and Georgetown. In addition to great golf, you’ll find beautiful beaches, an outstanding selection of accommodations, superb restaurants and various points of historic interest.
Lodging options along the Waccamaw Golf Trail range from Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort, Pawleys Plantation Country Club, local hotels, beach houses and fairway villas to coastal Carolina’s newest upscale boutique hotel.
Inlet Sports Lodge was created by outdoor enthusiasts for those who love the outdoors, as attested by each room’s décor. Each unit at Inlet Sports Lodge is an efficiency suite complete with refrigerator, stove and microwave. There’s ample room in each unit and the lodge is conveniently located in close proximity to all of the outdoor attractions, including golf, fishing charters, shopping and great restaurants. With the bevy of sporting activities located at the south end of Myrtle Beach, the Inlet Sports Lodge puts you front and center for all of your sporting activities. They can also help you reserve your tee times on all of the Waccamaw Golf Trail courses.
Arguably the second most important consideration for a successful golf getaway is where to eat after a full day of golf. The Waccamaw Trail offers a plethora of great restaurants, Among the most popular feeding and watering holes for golfers are Frank’s and Frank’s Outback, Bistro 217, Rustic Table, Drunken Jack’s, Quigley’s, Pawleys Island Tavern (The PIT), Hot Fish Club, and Costa Coastal Kitchen.
Speaking of Costa Coastal Kitchen & Bar, it’s of the area’s newest restaurants and is located right next door to Inlet Sports Lodge. Although it has only been open a few months, Costa has quickly become a favorite among travelers and locals alike. Their dishes are unique, such as Stuffed Banana Peppers, three large banana peppers stuffed with a homemade Italian sausage. Their Italian fare and seafood fare are equally as delectable, and their steaks melt in your mouth. Portions are almost big enough to share, but with food this good, who wants to do that? They also have an extensive wine list and are best known for their incredible daily specials.
For a comprehensive list of restaurants and accommodations, visit online at