“We work every day to make Thistle a premier golf experience,” said Jamie Roderick, the course’s general manager. “The greatest endorsement you can receive comes from the players who play your course, which is what makes this ranking so gratifying for our entire team. We are thrilled with the honor and will work tirelessly to exceed the expectations of golfers in 2017.”
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A 27-hole facility, Thistle is a 4.5-star layout, according to Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play guide. The Tim Cate design is home to three distinct nines – the Cameron, MacKay and Stewart – and greens that are among the smoothest and fastest in the region.
The 15,600-square-foot clubhouse is home to memorabilia from the original Thistle, a nod to the facility’s heritage, that is on display in the clubhouse and it sets the tone for a day that features the best of the game’s past and present. On spring weekends, Thistle even brings in a bagpiper to fill the air with the instrument’s melodic sounds as golfers prepare to play.
The three nines at Thistle each offer a different, yet equally rewarding experience.
The Cameron is the most open of the three nines, encouraging players to swing away with the driver but with just enough water to keep them from getting to comfortable. The MacKay nine is a more traditional, Carolina pine tree-lined layout, highlighted by the 526-yard (from the white tees) seventh hole. The Stewart has a true, links feel with rolling fairways framed by mounding and stacked sod bunkers surrounding the greens.
Located just across state line in Sunset Beach, N.C., Thistle is just minutes from downtown Myrtle Beach.