Tidewater Golf Club: One of Myrtle Beach's most recognizable courses is also one of the toughest

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - In a lot of ways, Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation in North Myrtle Beach serves as a poster child for Grand Strand golf.

With some of the area's most photogenic holes along the Intracoastal Waterway, it's a favorite pick for most glossy Myrtle Beach advertisements. You're in for one of Myrtle Beach's prettiest rounds at Tidewater but also one of its most challenging, with a slope/rating of 74.8/144 from the championship tees.

There is a bit of controversy surrounding who is credited with crafting Tidewater's challenge. Architect Rees Jones told MyrtleBeachGolf.com that he originally planned the layout, routing and clearing plan, but his contract was never signed by course officials.

Ken Tomlinson, a native South Carolinian who's day job is as a tax attorney, is credited for the rest, including the design of the greens and bunker complexes, which is the main aspect of why Tidewater is so challenging. He installed large, sloping greens heavily guarded with mounds, dips and large bunkering that is a bit reminiscent of the Dunes Golf and Beach Club down the road. Hitting the green isn't enough here, it's also imperative you keep the ball below the hole.

You're never more than a couple of inland holes away from the good stuff at Tidewater. The first encounter is on the 157-yard third hole, which features a massive, two-tiered greens that hugs the Waterway so close, balls that land on the green can easily roll off the edge. The par-4 fourth might be the most exciting hole of the bunch here: a dogleg left around the waterway that tumbles downhill then back up to an elevated green, which can allow for many players' longest drives of the day. The back nine has five more holes that are bordered by marsh, including the very challenging par-4 18th.

Tidewater is that golf course many land-locked Northerners have in mind when making their first golf trip to the southeast coast.

"I'd never been to a course like that before where the marsh is right alongside a few of the holes," said 13-handicap Steve Black, visiting from Michigan. "But I even thought some of my favorite holes, like the 15th, weren't even near the water and were just as nice."

There are inland holes here, of course, winding through the Tidewater Plantation real estate development. One interesting thing to note is that the course has no out-of-bounds. Starters say as long as you can (politely) fetch your ball out of a back yard, you may drop back in play without penalty. It might cause a few purist lower-handicappers to scratch their chins, but for most players, it's a welcomed reform and keeps pace of play trudging along a little quicker.

"The rule about being able to drop my ball from private property with no penalty definitely helped an 'up-and-coming' golfer like myself," admitted Black.

Tidewater Golf Club: The Verdict

Tidewater Golf Club is one of Myrtle Beach's most recognizable and sought after rounds, thanks to having more waterway and marsh holes than most other courses in the area. It's one of the 10 Myrtle Beach-area golf courses in "Golf Digest's" "Top 100 Places You Can Play" rankings as well.

So, be sure to bring your camera for both the front and back side, but also be sure to pack your swing. Tidewater isn't easy.

Adding to the difficulty, the greens played especially fast and firm during our late-March time of visit, so much so few ball marks were made. There were a handful of extremely difficult pin positions too, perched right on top of slopes that led to a handful of four-putts from our foursome.

Peak season rates are $183, though that varies greatly depending on the season, and carts are equipped with GPS.

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.

Related Links

Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation in North Myrtle Beach is one of the Grand Strand's prettiest golf courses. It features a collection of holes along the Intracoastal Waterway - as well as several other marsh holes.
14 Images
More from the author
5 Min Read
December 7, 2021
It may be the private club capital of Florida, but golfers endorse these public-access courses.
4 Min Read
December 3, 2021
It's never been easier to design custom hats, golf balls, clubs, headcovers and more.
2 Min Read
November 30, 2021
It's possible this little ditty finds you scooping up the last bit of cranberry pie crumbs out of the tray. Thanksgiving may have passed but the effects of celebratory eating around the table, and also possibly social imbibing during all the various football games throughout the weekend, are sticking with us. To our bellies and elsewhere.
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.
9 Min Read
September 1, 2022
U.S. resort golf has come a long way since the first resort course opened in the 1890s.
5 Min Read
September 25, 2022
The USGA knocked it out of the park with a new event, unique championship venues in 2022.
3 Min Read
September 1, 2022
News of two big renovations, plus a new competitor to Topgolf, highlights our monthly 'secrets' column.
5 Min Read
September 11, 2022
Golf course news and notes: September, 2022
Load More
Now Reading
Tidewater Golf Club: One of Myrtle Beach's most recognizable courses is also one of the toughest