Top 5 Golf Courses you Haven’t Heard of on the North Strand

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With more than 100 golf courses within a 60-mile radius of the Grand Strand, even longtime local golfers can’t play them all. In fact, there are many Myrtle Beach area golf courses you may not even know exist unless you know where to look.

On the North Strand, for example, there are many layouts that are tucked away off the main roads and built upon former farms that now grow birdies and eagles instead of tobacco and cotton. If you are looking for a real golf adventure around the Carolina border, keep your eyes open for these hidden gems. You are sure to have a good time even if you’re not on top of your golf game:

* Crow Creek: This charming course and community is located in the border town of Calabash, NC, in the open countryside. Built on a 500-acre farmland, Crow Creek offers great scenery and some challenging golf in a laid-back setting. The course includes an old hunting cabin, lots of wildlife and the only waterfall on the Grand Strand. Unlike many farm conversions, this layout features only the best, like L-93 Bent grass greens and Tifsport Bermuda-grass fairways. The atmosphere is laid-back and the hospitality is genuine.

* Farmstead: Built on a former farm in the border town of Calabash, this links-style layout is a massive 7,242 yards and designed with open fairways so golfers can grip it and rip it on virtually every hole. The signature closing hole is a 767-yard beast, the longest on the Grand Strand, that tees off in South Carolina and end in North Carolina. Golfers might drive right past this course without a second thought, but it actually provides a nice change of pace from some of the cookie-cutter courses on the North Strand.

* Leopard's Chase: Ocean Ridge Plantation has long been a haven for golf, but the newest of the four Big Cats courses if often overlooked. Located in Ocean Isle Beach just over the Carolina border, Leopard's Chase is the little sister course for Lion's Paw, Panther's Run, Jaguar's Lair and Tiger's Eye. Opened in 2007, this challenging layout winds through the scenic beauty of the coastal wetlands and woodlands that form imposing hazards along the way. The Tim Cates design features many of the modern advances and conveniences of newer courses, including L-93 Bent grass greens and GPS monitors. Players can save money by playing multiple rounds of Big Cats courses so make sure Leopard's Chase is one of them.

* Possum Trot: Maybe you've driven past the sign and assumed it was a racetrack for wild animals, but Possum Trot Golf Club is a bit of an institution on the Strand. Tucked away of Kings Highway in North Myrtle Beach, Possum Trot is an unassuming little layout with a cast of regular characters. The clubhouse is filled with local golf legends who swap stories and good-natured insults about each other's games. The course isn't the best but it's a solid layout for sneaking in 18 holes on short notice.

* Rivers Edge: The northernmost course on the Grand Strand also happens to be one of the best. Located in Shallotte, NC, about 35 miles north of Myrtle Beach, this Arnold Palmer design is one of the top-ranked courses in the Carolinas. Built on the bluffs that line the Shallotte River, Rivers Edge offers the combination of scenery and craftsmanship to create an incredible golf experience that's well worth the drive. It's location midway between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, NC, make it a bit of a recluse to the local golf markets but golfers who have discovered it want to claim it for their own.


(Posted: 3/17/15)