Course Spotlight: River Club

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he Waccamaw Golf Trail includes some of South Carolina’s premier courses (hello Caledonia, True Blue and TPC Myrtle Beach), but the Trail is also home to several of the Myrtle Beach area’s most underrated layouts.

Near the top of any list of the area’s quiet stars is River Club, a Tom Jackson design that has long provided a quality round golf in the shadow of its high profile neighbors.

The course is tucked away off Highway 17, but it’s worth your time to find. River Club plays on property that was once home to a thriving rice plantation and it oozes Southern charm.

As you plan your next golf vacation, here is what you need to know about one of the Waccamaw Golf Trail’s hidden gems.

— Contrary to what its name suggests, River Club doesn’t play along the nearby Waccamaw River, but there is water on 14 of 18 holes. The water (some naturally occurring, some man-made) provides aesthetic beauty and challenge on a layout that plays 6,240 yards from the white tees (6,677 from the tips).

— The fairways are wide, allowing you to hit the driver without anxiety, but the palms start to sweat on your second shot at River Club. Most of the danger lies in front of the greens, whether it comes in the form of sand or water, so make sure your irons are dialed in once you’ve teed off.

— River Club is an enjoyable experience from the start, but the layout has a great finishing kick, starting on the 15th, a meaty par 4 that requires a carry over water off the tee and on the approach. Survive No. 15 with a par and the unforgettable 18th soon awaits. The risk-reward par 5 is reachable in two for players with the skill and courage to carry a lake that fronts the course’s final green. It’s a spectacular finish to a round.

— If you want to play River Club, there are a variety of Waccamaw Golf Trail packages to choose from, but we like the multi-round stay-and-play. The deal allows you to stay at Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort, includes breakfast each morning, and it allows you to choose among all 12 Trail courses. A four-night, four-round trip starts at just $326. That’s tough to beat for an outstanding package.

— In addition to superior golf and oceanfront accommodations, a Waccamaw Golf Trail package, located in the heart of South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, offers easy access to some of the area’s best restaurants. While Quigley’s isn’t a white tablecloth establishment, it’s located just across from Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort and comes highly recommended. Quigley’s offers a nice selection of local, craft brews and the meatloaf sandwich is outstanding.

River Club is sometimes overshadowed by its high profile neighbors, but it’s an excellent course, certainly one that will enhance your next golf trip.

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