Tidewater Golf Plantation.
If there is one course, you think everyone should play at least once (not Augusta National) it would be the Tidewater course in North Myrtle Beach South Carolina.
Anyone that has asked me for my favorite course opinion will know this is one of my favorite places in the world, and Tidewater would be one of the best courses, for layout, condition and ambiance that I think I have seen.
For the 10 years that I was a regular visitor to Myrtle Beach I played this course every time, and sometimes twice.
Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation is in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. The club is located on the bluffs of a forested peninsula overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, Atlantic Ocean and salt marshes of Cherry Grove Inlet.
Tidewater is one of the top-rated golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area and has appeared on Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Places You Can Play in the United States” list and among top-10 lists of America’s best resorts. Tidewater has also been ranked among the 50 best by Golf Digest’s “Places to Play.”
The TifEagle grass greens are lush, the fairways are perfectly manicured the well-maintained bunkers and an exceptional practice facility offer one of the finest playing experiences in Myrtle Beach.
But breathtaking scenery and top-notch conditions are only part of the storied reputation of Tidewater!
This world-class design challenges even the best players without ever punishing a well-hit shot, while also providing an experience that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels.
On its opening in 1990, the course was enthusiastically applauded as one of America’s truly great new layouts. To this day, it remains the only layout ever to be named “Best New Course” by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.
Ken Tomlinson (a tax attorney) is listed as the designer, but rumor has it Rees Jones did the layout, the routing and the clearing plan but his contract was apparently never signed so he is not listed. Most of the regulars who play the course credit Jones with the design. It’s generally acknowledged Tomlinson did design the greens and most of the bunkers.
Whoever designed it they did a spectacular job.
The Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach is home to more than 100 courses, dozens of them excellent, so good that only a few stand out. Tidewater is one of them. Laid out along the Intracoastal Waterway, a little north of North Myrtle Beach, the layout will dazzle you with scenery and shots.
It’s a gorgeous course, with overhanging oaks, marsh everywhere and high bluffs overlooking the sun-sparkled Intracoastal Waterway, complete with cruising sailboats and dotted with local fishermen. Everywhere you look, the conditioning is top-notch, even in the autumn when many other Strand courses are suffering.
It’s a little longer than 6400 meters, but you’ll feel like you traveled much further than that when you walk off the 18th.
The course is undulating and twisty, and nearly every hole has some feature that makes it stand out. Pick your tees wisely: the slope rating is 144 from the back tees and 139 from the gold. You must be able to carry ball at least 230 meters from the back tees.
There are too many great holes to highlight however: –
The 3rd was voted “Best par 3 on the Grand Strand,” by the Sun News, a short par 3 with four big bunkers, a sloping green dropping off to the marsh bordering the waterway.
The 12th has an intimidating peninsula green, with water everywhere, and a bunker all the way across the front and right. The big green slopes sharply toward water.
The 13th green you can see the Ocean.
The 18th may be the toughest on the Strand, a 407 meter dogleg left in which you must reach the dogleg off the tee or you have no shot, except a chip. Even then, your approach must still carry the marsh that cuts across the fairway, to a deep, sloping green. It’s long, tricky and unforgiving, with marsh to the right.
Tidewater is a must-play if you want to play the best of Myrtle Beach.
Anyone familiar with the Grand Strand Golf scene puts it in the top two or three. It’s scenic and very challenging, to the point it can overwhelm you if you try to play beyond your ability. Shorter Hitters may not find the course enjoyable, with all the long water caries from the tee, but they will definitely love the scenery, the hot dogs, the cold beer and the Southern hospitality.