Tidewater Golf Club Has It All
By Dave Daubert
Unforgettable scenery and a Ken Tomlinson superior design make Tidewater Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach one of the finest tracks on the Grand Strand. PGA TOUR Professional and recent Payne Stewart Award recipient Hale Irwin states, "Tidewater Golf Club is one of the finest and most spectacular courses on the East Coast."
Opened in 1990, Tidewater is the only course ever to be chosen by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as "Best New Public Golf Course in America." The property sits high atop a peninsula overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. A magnificent saltwater marsh and ocean inlet adjoin the course on the east while the intracoastal waterway flanks several holes on the north and west. There is a large driving range, short game area and practice putting surface separating the 1st and 10th tees. Hugh Royer III, an exclusive Titlist Club Fitter, runs the Tidewater Golf School and is renowned in the area for being one of the best instructors in Myrtle Beach.
I recently played Tidewater with a few of the members who live in the beautiful gated residential community that the layout meanders through. They helped me maneuver around the par 72,18 hole, 7,044 yards track, letting me know when to play safe and what areas to avoid. There are five sets of tees to match your handicap to ensure fun round for everyone. All the holes have nicknames.
The first hole is a 526-yard wide open straight-away par 5, named 'The Big Easy,' to a well-bunkered green with the opportunity for birdie. The second hole has bunkers all the way down the right on this par 4 dogleg right. Keep it in the short grass and another bird is possible. The par 3, third is only 160 from the tips, but a headwind will wreak havoc with the tee shot to a tiny 3-tiered green protected by a string of bunkers and formed by the Cherry Grove Inlet. No wind= birdie! The #1 handicap hole is a left dogleg 430-yard par 4 along the marsh to a well-bunkered green with no room on left. Precision is key on the second shot or you could be counting strokes on your other hand. The 5th, 'Never Ending,' is aptly named due to its 468 yards on a par 4 to, thank God, an open green-Another tester. Watch out for the pond left that turns into a creek in front of the green on the 412-yard, 6th. I played my second to the water's edge for a wedge to the green. Stands of tall pines surround the fairway on the short par 4, 7th. Avoid the bunkers guarding the green and a good score is possible. The 'Harbor Watch,' a 485-yard, par 5 is a beautiful hole with the lighthouse in the distance and the marsh covering the left. If you are in the short grass, you can go for the well-bunkered green. There is not a lot of room for mishits- the marsh is just beyond the narrow bunkers. The end of the outward nine is a 182-yard par 3 with some marsh to contend with if you are short, otherwise, putt for birdie.
The course is in immaculate condition with speedy greens, great bunkering and very different from the normal Myrtle Beach golf offerings. Good friendly service from check in, player assistants, cart lady and restaurant folks.
My playing partners failed to warn me about the lake in the fairway at #10, a 409-yard, par 4. Naturally, the one hole I actually connect on a drive and I am swimming. A good shot to the green and I walked away with par. How lucky is that! A good tee shot down the left on the long par 4 11th might give you a chance to reach the green, but if not play up close for an easy chip to keep the score from getting out of hand. The twelfth, a par 3 which bookends three, over marshland to a bulk-head green on a peninsula poking out 189 yards away, is one of the formidable and prettiest holes. Play long and take the marsh out of play to keep the score in check. There was a golfer's bounty of balls during low tide at the 'Wishing Well.' The 13th, 'Ocean Isle,' is a par 5 that plays along the marsh, but unless you are spraying the drive, you won't have any problem getting to the green in 3 and putting for a good score. The par 4, 457-yard, 14th is wide open to grip-it-&-rip-it until you reach the pond you have to cross to reach the pond.
One of my favorite holes was the 560-yard par 5 16th which plays downhill to the intracoastal waterway looking out at the village of Cherry Grove.
Just the way it flows down to this lovely green wrapped with the waterway behind, and the fact that I birdied it makes it special. The 'Wicked Wind' Seventeenth is a par 3 at 208-yards with a marsh area between the tee and an uphill green. Use enough club and check the wind. The closing hole, a 450-yard dogleg par 4 that comes back to the clubhouse has water sneaking in from the right before the green, and water next to the green. be careful on your approach.
The variety of great holes and scenic beauty make this a special golf experience. Tidewater Golf Club has it all.
Revised: 10/08/2019 - Article Viewed 59 Times - View Golf Course Profile
About: Dave Daubert
David has been writing about golf since the turn of the century. He was Managing Editor at a regional golf magazine for 11 years, published in Canada, the IAGTO and a Staff Writer for The Georgia Golf Trail. His insightful perspective brings golf to life.