North Strand Golf Options

North Strand: A Little Bit of Everything

The road into Calabash, N.C., is a narrow, two-lane strip of pavement, surrounded by trees and a small town coastal charm that many miss without ever realizing it was there.  A two-story building qualifies as a sky-scraper, and the word corporate is as foreign as John Daly in an etiquette class.

Less than 10 miles away in North Myrtle Beach are 5-star accommodations, high-rise condos, and entertainment galore.

As disparate as the two locales are, they are drawn together by great golf and help give the North end of the Grand Strand a unique charm. The South Strand is renowned for its casual pace of life and high-end golf. Myrtle Beach proper is the area’s hub, where golf, entertainment and the beach collide for the ultimate buddy trip.

The North Strand lacks that definition, but it offers the best of both worlds, which has helped its popularity soar. North Myrtle Beach, home of restaurant row, provides the vibrancy many want in a trip. Abundant night-life and high-end restaurants like Thoroughbreds help give the area it’s off-course character.

But the further one travels north, the slower the pace of life of becomes. Little River, the last outpost in South Carolina, is home to charter fishing, stunning views of the Intracoastal Waterway and a casual dining environment that is worth the drive, particularly the Little River Marina.

Just across the border in Brunswick County, N.C., home of Calabash and Ocean Isle, N.C., things get even quieter. The whole of Brunswick County doesn’t have many more stop lights than Restaurant Row, but the area’s unique brand of fried seafood – Calabash style – has gained national acclaim. Any trip to the area should include a stop at the Waterfront for Calabash seafood made by the descendents of the people who created it.

The tie that binds North Myrtle Beach and its casual cousins is golf. The epicenter of the Grand Strand golf boom was on the north end. Twenty-five years ago, golf was practically non-existent in Brunswick County and there were a limited number of tee times in North Myrtle Beach.

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Named Best New Resort Course in the county in 1983, Oyster Bay opened the floodgates and a torrent of high-end layouts followed. The two lanes roads that criss-cross Brunswick County now lead to golf gold with courses like Tiger’s EyeLeopard’s ChaseCrow Creek and the layouts at Sea Trail.

The area’s abundant marshland provides many courses the type of property no amount of money can recreate.

The golf is no less stunning on the South Carolina side of the state line. Tidewater Golf Club is one of the region’s anchor courses and was recently named to Golf Magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play:” Four holes at Tidewater offer a view of the Atlantic Ocean and the ones that play along the Intracoastal are just as visually appealing.

Barefoot Resort opened four courses simultaneously – designed by Tom FazioDavis Love, who created a top 100 courseGreg Norman and Pete Dye – and has managed to meet the hype associated with the property’s 2000 opening. Home of 5-star accommodations, several on-site restaurants, including Greg Norman’s Australian Grille, golfers could conceivably never leave the property.

Four-star courses such Glen DornochLong Bay and Heather Glen help make the North Strand home to the highest concentration of elite courses in the Myrtle Beach area. As a matter of fact, three of the top eight courses in the state of South Carolina – the Love and Fazio courses and Tidewater – are located just miles from each other.

Four of Golf Magazine’s top 11 courses in North Carolina – Tiger’s Eye, Leopard’s Chase, River’s Edge and Oyster Bay – are clustered just as tightly.

The North Strand has quality and quantity of golf and its off-course offerings are just as diverse. From the bright lights of North Myrtle Beach to the back roads of Brunswick County, the North Strand offers a little bit of nearly everything and a lot of great golf.

How to save on a Myrtle Beach Golf Package

The value of a Myrtle Beach golf trip is the best around, but with the economy sputtering, everyone is looking to save. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to cut costs without sacrificing the quality of a trip. After consultation with some of Myrtle Beach’s premier travel authorities, below are eight tips that could help produce savings on your next Grand Strand golf trip.

1.    Be Flexible With Travel Dates – If you are willing to take a midweek trip, there are significant savings to be had. Golf and accommodations are less expensive Monday through Thursday. If your schedule allows it, take advantage.
2.    Play in the Afternoon: Morning tee times are preferable, but playing in the afternoon provides a break. If your group likes to have one big night on the town, schedule a p.m. tee time the following day. You can save money and you will have needed time to sleep in.

3.    Get a Quick Quote: The Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday Quick Quote system allows people to get price quotes from up to 10 golf package providers. The more people you talk to, the better deal you are likely to get. Every one making or even considering a Myrtle Beach golf trip should get a Quick Quote.

4.    If You Are Playing 36 … Play the second 18 as a replay. Some groups like to play two different courses on the same day, but if you find a course you like, play it twice. The replay rate will come at a fraction of the cost.

5.    Play Courses Near Your Accommodations: When booking golf courses, pay attention to where they are in proximity to your accommodations. You can save on gas and the fewer temptations you pass (food, spirits, adult entertainment!), the more likely you are to make it back to your room to eat lunch. Which leads us to …

6.    Eat-In: If breakfast isn’t included in your package, go to the store, get a gallon of milk, cereal and some lunch meat, and eat at your condo or hotel. Fast food breakfast isn’t worth paying for and if you manage to eat lunch in every other day as well, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to save $40 or more on a four-day trip.

7.    Consider Shipping Golf Clubs: The baggage fees some airlines charge are inflated, particularly when shipping a golf bag. In some instances, it’s cheaper to ship clubs via FedEx or UPS and it provides greater peace of mind – airlines don’t have tracking numbers when your clubs land in Lincoln, Neb.

8.    Play Better Golf: The better you play, the more likely you are to win side bets and you won’t lose as many balls. If it only it were that easy!