Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club - Hole 16DESTINATION GUIDE

Golf in Pawleys Island, S.C.: Lowcountry charm, south of Myrtle Beach

By Brandon Tucker,
Senior Writer

You could put the golf courses of Pawleys Island, S.C., just about anywhere up and down the eastern seaboard, and it could stand out as a golf vacation destination all of its own.

Its close proximity, just about 20 miles south of Myrtle Beach, means its just another feather in the cap of the golf-rich Grand Strand.

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For starters, Pawleys Island isn't really an "island" at all. It's all part of the same piece of land that is divided from the mainland by the man-made Intracoastal Waterway, though it feels entirely different as a result of the start of the Southeast's Lowcountry terrain.

Pawleys has a slower, historical vibe to it compared to Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, thanks to less shops and residential developments, and mossy oaks are around every turn. Families were settling here along the beach dating back to the 1700s to escape malaria on the inland rivers, and it is home to some of the area's most historic rice and indigo plantations.

The Waccamaw Golf Trail

But, as you'd expect with anywhere on the Grand Strand, Pawleys is rife with golf courses. The collection of courses in this neck of the woods make up the "Waccamaw Golf Trail," named after the American Indian tribe that used to reside here along the Waccamaw River.

True Blue Golf Plantation - No. 2The golf is for the most part more upscale in nature compared to the average Myrtle Beach golf courses, but they still offer a pretty significant value most times of year. The highest rated by most is Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, a Mike Strantz design from the 1990s that comes with an ambiance that feels centuries old. Next door, True Blue and Heritage Club round out three courses that are all on the same block and are rated in Golf Digest's "Top 100 Places You Can Play."

Out in the saltwater marshes, a chip shot from the Atlantic Ocean, Jack Nicklaus-designed Pawleys Plantation features a back nine that could be arguably a signature back nine for the area with a slew of holes on the saltwater marshes.

When you include next door Litchfield and Murrells Inlet, all just a short drive away, you've got more Lowcountry delights, such as Willbrook Plantation Golf Club and the TPC Myrtle Beach, renowned for its Tom Fazio design and wealth of bird life.

Getting to Pawleys Island

The Heritage Club Golf CourseEach of the golf courses in Pawleys Island are accessible via Highway 17, which runs parallel with the Atlantic Ocean.

The nearest airport is Myrtle Beach (MYR) about 20 miles north. Charleston International Airport (CHS) is another option at about an hour and a half drive south.

July 22, 2009

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.

More on Pawleys Island-area golf:

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