Real-Time Report: True Blue Hits Its Stride

Memorial Day Weekend offered the chance to play one of Myrtle Beach’s best courses – True Blue Golf Club.

I hadn’t played the Mike Strantz classic in a while, so I was looking forward to the opportunity on a beautiful Saturday morning. With the spring season nearing its end and planning for fall trips underway, here is a real-time look at True Blue and some thoughts on the experience.

Expect Outstanding Conditions
My trip around True Blue made one thing clear: this is a golf course that invests in conditioning. Sure, the winter of 2018 was a rough one, but as spring nears its end, True Blue is in outstanding condition. It’s not perfect – no course is – but it lived up to the standard one would expect from a course ranked among Golf Magazine’s Top 100 You Can Play. The fairways were immaculate. The greens were, on balance, very good, rolling quick and smooth. All the bunkers are played as waste areas but the sand is well maintained. If True Blue is on your itinerary this fall, expect a well-groomed facility.

This Is a Fun Golf Course
The first hole is a 499-yard par 5 (all distances from white tees) and the second is a 316-yard par 4, setting the stage for a round that is endlessly interesting and never, ever boring. If it’s risk-reward you like, the par-5 fourth hole will allow you to challenge as much of a lake as you want, even offering a potential chance at eagle for long hitters with more than a little nerve. With five par 5s and five par 3s, Strantz was at his creative, envelope-pushing best at True Blue.

Let the Big Dog Eat
The layout is long, playing 6,375 yards from the white tees, but the length is offset by some of widest fairways in South Carolina. True Blue rewards players for blasting away with the driver, particularly on its quintet of par 5s, which range in length from 492 to 577 yards. With nearly 100 yards of fairway to hit the ball into, you can safely swing away on all the par 5s. There are holes that reward finesse – the second hole being the most prominent example – but generally speaking, this is a course that encourages you to unleash your inner Dustin Johnson.

Finish to Remember
The closing stretch at True Blue is among the Grand Strand’s best. The 16th is the course’s longest par 3 at 181 yards, with water running along the right side. There is plenty of green to work with, but the water is an intimidating presence. The 17th is a daunting 395-yard par 4. The fairway is enormous, but placement is vital because shots played to the left-center allow much greater margin for error on the approach. There is a large lake that encroaches on the right side of the green and tee shots that find the starboard side of the fairway will require a carry over water, making a long shot even more challenging. With the clubhouse serving as a backdrop, the 18th is a picturesque finish. The final three holes at True Blue are as good a finishing stretch as any along the Grand Strand.

If I were leading a Myrtle Beach trip this fall and wanted to enjoy a top 100 experience, I’d take a long look at the Golftoberfest package from Caledonia Golf Vacations, a three-night, four-round deal that offers golf at True Blue and Caledonia. Throw in accommodations at True Blue condos and you have two of America’s best layouts and virtually no driving to and from the course for only $639 per person. It’s a tough deal to beat.