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Affordable and player friendly: Possum Trot Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Ian GuerinBy Ian Guerin,
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Possum Trot Golf Club - 13th hole
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Possum Trot is one of the most player-friendly golf courses in Myrtle Beach area. (Courtesy of Possum Trot G.C.)

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Possum Trot Golf Club is often looked as the little brother course for the Glens Golf Group.

It doesn't have the overall reputation of Heathers Glen Golf Links, Glen Dornoch Golf Links or even the tucked away Shaftesbury Glen.

Just the same, there's a reason its tee sheets look like they do. Possum Trot has carved out a niche as one of the most player-friendly golf courses in all of the Myrtle Beach area. Relatively wide fairways and above-average conditions continue to lure players back.

Robin Campbell certainly understands why.

"It's got a few challenges, but it's fairly friendly," Campbell said. "I'm not a big, straight ball hitter. If it's lined with trees down both sides, I can get aggravated pretty easily."

The 15 handicap from Indianapolis recently played back-to-back rounds at Possum Trot Golf Club on consecutive days. Just a few miles away from his beach timeshare, he actually drove by a number of other golf courses in North Myrtle Beach to get back to this one.

Possum Trot Golf Club: The course

Gimmicks aren't a part of this Russell Breeden design.

Nearly every hole at Possum Trot is as straight-forward as it gets, and leaving the ultra-descriptive, hole-by-hole course guide behind probably won't cost average players more than a shot or two. Maybe the biggest quirk on this 6,343-yard track (that stretches to 6,966 from the back tees) is the names affiliated with each hole.

Players start on "Let 'Er Fly," a 500-yard par 5 that actually plays downhill for most of the hole. "Holy Cow" (a 485-yard par 5) follows up three holes later, with "Spicy" (the par-3 no. 6), "Big Possum" and "Little Possum" -- a pair of par 4s -- coming at no. 11 and no. 12.

The day wraps up with the uphill-downhill combination at no. 18, the 489-yard par 5 known as "Oh No." On the hole, players are tempted to flirt with an over-sized pond breaking up the approach from the green, all while overlooking the clubhouse and expansive teaching facility.
It's a microcosm of sorts of the entire course.

The biggest challenge at Possum Trot is club selection heading into the green. Unlike other courses where players can cheat their mid-to-short irons and catch a nice roll onto the green, Possum Trot's Bermuda is kept pretty thick.

Even before taking a mild number of sand traps into consideration, near misses add strokes to the score card in a hurry.

Possum Trot Golf Club: Facilities and instruction

Mike Passmore and Co. have long claimed one of the best instructional facilities on the Grand Strand, and it's not difficult to see how the course is able to make such an argument.

Surrounding Possum Trot's clubhouse is a variety of tools. There are private teaching lessons -- usually led directly by Passmore or his immediate staff. There is also a driving range, a 12,000-square-foot putting green, a short-game zone and even sand traps to refine all aspects of the sport. All of them are being used throughout most days by those warming up before a round or others who simply made the trip to work out some kinks.

The clubhouse itself is home to an over-sized pro shop that shares the same room as the modified bar and grill. A large flat-screen TV invites players to hang around longer after the 18 holes are done.

Possum Trot Golf Club: The verdict

Possum Trot isn't trying to be something it isn't.

The course has stayed true to generally lower rates, all the while not jamming the tee sheets to the point of slow play. Even on a relatively busy day lately, the 18-hole round took less than four hours.

Campbell pointed to that fact as another reason he returned a day after his last round at Possum Trot.

"It's a nice course for the money," he said. "There are nicer courses, but you're going to pay 100-120 bucks, and chances are it's going to be a lot slower. I think it's a good value for what it is. It's pretty average. ... Four and a half is pushing it. The quicker the better. If I can play in three and a half, I'm pretty happy.

"I probably will (return again) because I know what it is. I'm sure I can find nicer. But this is a nice course."

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Ian Guerin is a freelance writer and DJ living in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He's decent with the driver and putter; it's everything else in the bag that gives him trouble. Follow Ian on Twitter at @iguerin.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

 
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