River Club11 Pine Circle, Pawleys Island, SC, 29585
River Club is one of the gems of the southern portion of the Myrtle Beach area. Resigned by Tom Jackson and opened in 1985, the golf course is a charming, Lowcountry parkland layout that is one of 11 distinguished golf courses that comprise the legendary Waccamaw Golf Trail.
River Club is a mostly traditional layout with a few well placed more modern touches. Its fairways are of medium width and are well protected by doglegs, trees and bunkers (there are more than 60 scattered about the course). Water comes into play on all but four holes, but its presence is far from overbearing. Forced water carries are relatively minimal; it serves more often as a strategic hazard. Take for instance the famous par five 18th hole. The green is visible from the tee, with a lake stretching most of the way between the two. It is possible—even encouraged—to hit a tee shot over a large piece of the lake to a peninsula fairway, follow it up with an iron to the green and hopefully make an eagle putt. But it is not necessary, as there is fairway all the way around the lake, allowing the shorter hitter to plod his or her way around and still make a par or even a birdie.
One of the few forced carries comes back at the par three 14th hole, which is an island green complex with four bunkers also guarding the putting surface. It is less an intimidating and exacting feature than a nod to more modern golf course design elements.