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Time to Play Brunswick County’s Hidden Gems

January 18, 2016 by Chris King

Myrtle Beach golf courses have been featured in media outlets large and small throughout America. So can you reasonably call part of the area underexposed? 

Farmstead is one of Myrtle Beach's most underrated golf coursesSo can you reasonably call part of the area underexposed? 

Yes, if you are talking about the North Strand and Brunswick County in particular. 

The segment of the Grand Strand that plays into Southeastern N.C., which is home to more than 20 layouts, is chocked full of good, fun courses. Sure Rivers Edge and Tiger’s Eye, both of which have been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, have gained acclaim, but we are here to call your attention to four of the area’s hidden gems. 

Here is a quartet of outstanding courses just north of Myrtle Beach that your group would be happy to become acquainted with.

- The only Myrtle Beach golf course designed by Fred Couples, Carolina National is a 27-hole facility that memorably plays along the Lockwood Folly River. The Egret, Heron and Ibis nines make up Carolina National, which is a perfect way to begin or end your Myrtle Beach golf trip. The Egret nine offers a more traditional experience, playing through a Carolina pine forest, while the Heron and Ibis play along the marshy waters of the river. 

- The only thing Crow Creek does is provide an enjoyable round of golf, good conditions and an outstanding layout. The course opened in 1999 and has been one of the Myrtle Beach area’s unheralded stars from Day 1. Want evidence of how sneaky-good this layout is? Basketball icon and noted golfer Michael Jordan has been known to swing by when he is in the area. You should too.  

- So Farmstead Golf Links isn’t exclusively a Brunswick County course – you actually play across the NC-SC state line three times – but the mailing address says it’s a Tar Heel course and so do we. Farmstead is most known for the par 6 18th hole, a 767-yard monster that was named one of the game’s 18 most fun holes by Golf Digest. But the first 17 holes are part of what makes 18 so enjoyable. Wide fairways framed by wispy grass, give it a great look and help make Farmstead a course you leave wanting to play again. 

- Architect Tim Cate has built his reputation in Southeastern North Carolina, and Thistle, one of his early works, remains among his best. The 27-hole course is a links-inspired design that features ample mounding, generous fairways and new greens. Throw in a bagpiper on an idyllic spring weekend and it’s not hard to see the virtues of this hidden gem. Did I forget to mention Thistle is home to the nicest clubhouse among Myrtle Beach golf courses?!

When planning your Myrtle Beach golf pacakges, you may want to set your GPS slightly north and check out thses North Strand and Brunswick County golf courses.