True Blue Plantation – The Best of Myrtle Beach
True Blue Plantation – The Best of Myrtle Beach
By John Avram
True Blue Plantation in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina is a modern take on the classical links style golf course. Originally opened in 1998, True Blue is a golfers paradise, with a list of accolades a mile long. Recently, True Blue was named to the Golf Digest list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses”, and is consistently rated near the top of every “top course” survey pertaining to the Myrtle Beach Area. True Blue, along with its sister course Caledonia Fish & Golf Club are two tremendous courses that offer unbeatable golf value. The formation and imagination of the course’s design, the sheer cunning and shot value on several holes, and the supplementary services that are offered in addition to the golf help make True Blue Plantation the perfect golf destination.
Located on the site of a historic 19th century rice and indigo plantation, the course was originally designed by Mike Strantz, the highly acclaimed course designer and architect who tragically passed away in 2004. The course features a straightforward routing and several original design concepts. True Blue Plantation is a course where few trees affect course strategy, vast, almost cavernous fairways keep even wayward tee shots in play, and huge rolling Tif-Eagle Bermuda green complexes require a deft touch with the flat-stick. Several tee balls require a forced carry over waste areas or through native grasses, and the brutality of some of the tee shots over water (especially on a couple of the par 3s) is almost maddening. Where True Blue really is unique is in the design and sheer quantity of sandy waste areas that cover a large portion of the property. Many of these areas are large enough, that the only way to reach the green with your cart is to drive right through them. Don’t worry about raking if your ball finds its way in, as there typically are not any rakes available, and since they are considered to be waste areas, and not true hazards, grounding your club is allowed. The grounds crew does a fantastic job of making sure that playing conditions at the course are always in fine shape.
In total, the course is composed of five Par 3s, eight Par 4s and five Par 5s, and plays to a course rating of 74.3 with a slope of 145. With a total of 5 tee options, and playing from a distance of 4995 to 7062 Yards, the course provides a moderate challenge for players of any talent level. Make sure you warm up thoroughly before teeing off though, as the course start off with a bang. The first hole, a par 5 that plays to a maximum length of 624 yards is rated as the most difficult hole on the course, requiring three solid shots to have any chance of reaching the green in regulation. There are several gorgeous holes at True Blue, but the signature hole is #18, a 440 yard par 4 with a lake in play up the entire left side of the hole, and a two-tiered green that features a severe downhill slope running toward the shaved bank and the nearby water. In general, the combination of broad fairways and exacting green complexes create a true test for even the most adept player. The course can be unrelenting, and novice or inexperienced players should proceed with caution on this course, especially around the greens.
An assortment of additional amenities can help to make a day at the course more rewarding, such as rental services, learning facilities and a variety of food and drink options. Electric golf carts are included with green fees, and golf clubs are available for rent from the pro-shop. The 16 acre training area and learning center consists of a large crescent shaped driving range, practice bunkers and alternate chipping and putting greens. Food and beverage selections at the course include a restaurant with full service bar, and an on course snack bar and beverage cart. Banquet space is also available for those interested in hosting memorable occasions or parties.
The True Blue Plantation is one of the top courses in the Myrtle Beach area, and a favorite place of many to play a round of golf. The amazing course design, testing hole layout and extra amenities all combine to create a great golfing experience. If you are interested in playing the course, then you will want to be certain to make a reservation in advance. The simplest way to book a tee-time is to call the toll-free reservations line at (888) 483-6800. Green fees can vary significantly based on the time of year that you plan on visiting, ranging from a low price of $70 during the height of summer to $155 during peak season. Fortunately, cart fees are included in the cost, and walking is not recommended. The staff and the golf course are both first rate. If you are planning a visit Myrtle Beach, then you should put True Blue Plantation at the top of your must play list.
To reach True Blue Plantation from the Myrtle Beach Airport, follow Harrelson Boulevard to US-17. Take US-17 south for approximately 23 miles until you reach Blue Stem Drive, and turn right. After half a mile the clubhouse will be on the right.
John Avram is a golf obsessed correspondent for Golf Frontier, a score tracking, game analysis and social networking website for golfers of all abilities. When he isn’t out playing golf, John enjoys talking about golf, golf courses and golf equipment, and he even likes watching golf on TV.