Tidewater Golf Club: The Marshland Masterpiece
Story by: Mike May
Photos by: Ed Stone
|Tidewater is part coastal and part country. Nine of the holes are played alongside either the Intracoastal Waterway or the confluence of the saltwater marsh and ocean inlet. (Photo by Tidewater)
Any golf course with holes named Swamp Fox, Willard’s Fire, Hesbon’s Launch, and Hidden Moccasin is probably worth investigating as a possible place to play. And, if that same golf course has been ranked by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses,” as well one of the “Best in State,” well, it confirms that this course is definitely worth playing. That particular course is the Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation (tidewatergolf.com; 843-913-2424), located in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
While Tidewater is one of the many golf courses in the greater Myrtle Beach area, it’s one of the must-play courses along what is commonly referred in Myrtle Beach as The Grand Strand. The Tidewater Golf Club, a par 72-layout, opened for play in 1990 and, like a fine wine, it’s gotten better over time. In other words, Father Time has been very good to the Tidewater Golf Club.
At Tidewater, you should expect the best when you step foot on the course, beginning with its exceptionally maintained driving range and practice facilities. The course’s website states that all golfers who visit Tidewater will get “breathtaking scenery and top-notch conditions,” which is true. The exception at many courses is the norm at Tidewater.
|Tidewater is one of the must-play golf courses in the greater Myrtle Beach area. This is part of what is commonly referred in Myrtle Beach as The Grand Strand.
Longtime Charlotte Observer sportswriter Ron Green agrees, as he calls Tidewater “The Pebble Beach of the East!” And, three-time U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin says that the “Tidewater Golf Club is one of the finest and most spectacular courses on the East Coast.” Those are two very strong endorsements.
“Tidewater is beautiful and very challenging,” says Chris Cooper, Tidewater’s General Manager and Head Golf Professional. “I believe that what really separates Tidewater from the rest of the golf courses in Myrtle Beach is how we take care of our guests. Our team members believe that when you play Tidewater, you are a member for a day.”
The best way to summarize the Tidewater experience is that it’s part coastal and part country, as nine of the holes are played alongside either the Intracoastal Waterway or the confluence of the saltwater marsh and ocean inlet. The other nine holes are played inland in a parkland-type setting. When you play those nine holes that border the Intracoastal Waterway or the marshland, it becomes a links golf experience. There is no forgiveness at Tidewater if your ball wanders off the beaten path and drops into the Intracoastal Waterway or the murky, muddy, tidal marshland. An interesting aspect of the Tidewater experience is that at low tide, you can see many of the golf balls which have drifted into the marsh and are now half-plugged into the tidal basin, like darts in a dartboard. At high tide, you will only see the splash of a wayward shot disappearing into the water-based plant life. As a result, it never looks the same from round to round at Tidewater. But golf course architect Ken Tomlinson has given golfers plenty of room to avoid the marshland, thereby avoiding the inconvenience of having to drop another ball.
Whether the tide is in or out, Tidewater is always open and it’s a great way to combine sightseeing with golf while in Myrtle Beach. By the way, if you stay out of the wetlands, you will avoid any encounters with the Swamp Fox or the Hidden Moccasin.
(Read more about golf courses in Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand...CLICK HERE.)
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