Nothing wrong with a 'B' student: Crow Creek Golf Club near Myrtle Beach not spectacular but solid

CALABASH, N.C. - Crow Creek Golf Club is one of the first golf courses you come to when you cross state lines, coming from Myrtle Beach, S.C., into Brunswick County. What you'll encounter is a family-style, casual golf club. It's also independently owned rather than by a bigger golf or real estate conglomerate.

Because of this, Crow Creek receives a fraction of the amount of ink and advertising space of some of Myrtle Beach's more dominating resort companies. You're probably only going to hear about the place by hearing about it from a friend or driving past its entrance on Highway 17 or simply by accident.

So, you can't help but root for the facility a little in that sense, an underdog that relies on word-of-mouth, steady local play and repeat tourists.

It's set on property owner Jerry McLamb's 500-acre plantation, once home to tobacco fields. Today it features 18 holes, condos and a real estate development, along with several scenic spots rife with natural vegetation and native wildlife.

Designed by Rick Robbins, a former Jack Nicklaus design associate, Crow Creek is a tale of two nines, with the front nine playing through old tobacco fields and vegetable gardens.

It's decidedly more wide open than the more wooded back nine which features rolling contours and a thrilling, long par 5 finishing hole.

But water is abundant throughout the course and in play on what can seem like every shot. Some of these hazards are natural, while others are man-made. Perhaps the most daring shot is also the prettiest, compliments of the par-3 eighth hole. It's a 170-yard shot from the men's tees entirely over water, which features a handful of bare trees sticking out in the middle. It looks bizarre, because this pond was in fact installed by the design team. Today, these bare trees serve as popular pegs for native bird life to gather. An old hunting cabin to the right off the tee box boosts the hole's aesthetics even more.

Robbins' design features some traits common in Nicklaus Signature courses. It's plenty long, over 7,100 yards from the championship tees, and from the blue tees it is still a man-sized 6,600-plus. Each of the four par 5s are especially meaty and won't allow for an easy reach in two shots, even for longer hitters. The par-5 seventh is the longest of the set, playing straightaway from an elevated tee longer than 570 yards, and water runs all down the right side.

There are scores of bunkers guarding fairway doglegs and surrounding greens, so you'll surely find yourself in a handful during your round here, and greens can be challenging to reach in regulation. The grounds crew also doesn't seem to be shy about throwing in a few difficult pin positions, even on a peak season Sunday. The land's wide-open spaces, especially on the front nine, can yield plenty a stiff breeze off the nearby Atlantic coast. It all makes for a course that can be sneaky-difficult - more so than it might first appear.

Crow Creek Golf Club: The verdict

Crow Creek is a solid round and worth a look if you're staying in the North Strand and looking for a good value course. Few aspects of the course will blow you away, but just about everything is solid. Though there is a slew of water, you shouldn't lose too many balls so long as your tee shot is cooperating with you that day.

A collection of wooden bridges and the old hunting cabin off the eighth hole also adds charm to the course. The club is currently in the middle of building a brand new clubhouse, which is scheduled to open sometime later this summer, though a temporary facility has a small pro shop and dining room. Crow Creek also prides itself on its service. There are bag boys and starters seemingly at every turn here directing traffic and answering questions.

The L-93 bent grass greens at the time of my visit were especially firm and quick, making short game shots even more delicate.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
0 Comments
Related Links
More from the author
4 Min Read
November 23, 2021
We scoured the web of golf and found holiday savings up to 50% off
12 Min Read
November 18, 2021
Golfers can choose from a wide variety of portable launch monitor price points and user experiences. Here is what's new and the best ones to consider to improve your golf.
7 Min Read
November 9, 2021
Our community loves the value and experience at these popular and affordable military facilities and even book online.
5 Min Read
November 2, 2021
Some U.S. cities have frighteningly few public-access courses for its residents. If you like variety, you may not want to live in these metros.
6 Min Read
October 27, 2021
Kick up the jams and drop some putts with the best portable speakers for the golf course.
4 Min Read
October 21, 2021
What began with just a par-3 course and learning center, this 2,000-acre sporting ranch between Austin and Houston is finally going all-in with an ambitious championship course.
Popular
2 Min Read
November 15, 2021
Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and world-class instructors help you get up-and-down more often.
6 Min Read
November 20, 2021
Help the golfer in your life shoot lower scores, look and feel better than ever this holiday season with these eight golf gifts.
5 Min Read
November 3, 2021
Playing golf at night is a fun experience everyone should try.
4 Min Read
November 22, 2021
Anyone can play Tom Fazio's Wynn Golf Club, which sits in the heart of the Las Vegas strip.
Load More
Now Reading
Nothing wrong with a 'B' student: Crow Creek Golf Club near Myrtle Beach not spectacular but solid