By Joe Derus – NorthMyrtleBeachONLINE.com
West Myrtle Beach SC August 20th 2007--When we spoke to North Myrtle Beach Golf Directors about which course we wanted to review, my request was “Find us one with some shade!”
The last few weeks, the Average Joes have been playing some great courses but they have been links style, no trees, plenty of sand and SUN. The hot weather and sun had just about burned us out so we looked forward to trees and some shade. The Myrtle Beach Golf Directors did a great job of finding Shaftsbury Glen for us.
From the North Myrtle Beach area, Shaftsbury Glen is just a 30 minute drive or so to SC route 905, two miles west (towards Conway) from the Conway bypass.
Our group today consisted of three locals, who shot consistently in the low to high 90s and a low 80s import from the Philadelphia area. Later on in this article, the out-of-towner will compare his home area to ours.
The Average Joes began play on the 10th hole, which is a straight away par four. The first thing we noticed about Shaftsbury is that even with plenty of trees, the fairways are wide and generally free of obstructions.
Big hitters can take a good whack off the tee and not be penalized too much for less than dead center shots. If your tee shot is off line, don’t worry, more often than not you will have a decent look for your second shot.
Even if your ball winds up in the woods, it will be easy to find and get out to the fairway, because the ground cover in the woods is cut extremely short.
Another interesting particularity about this course is all the greens are elevated, so an extra club should always be considered when hitting to the green. I really suggest you take that to heart, because if you don’t you will be playing lots of sand shots, because the elevated greens are well protected by sand traps.
The white tees and gold tees are for the most part close together so little advantage is offered to the seniors.
When playing this course, read the excellent the Shaftesbury Glen yardage book. It is accurate, with short concise, realistic description on how to play each hole. I could give you my own advice, but I could not do it better than the yardage book.
Let’s take an example of how the yardage book recommends playing the 18th: “This is a good finishing hole. Aim the tee shot down the right center of the fairway. Pay close attention to the location of the pin, because this almost 60-yard deep green is surrounded by bunkers.”
This Average Joe played it that way. I set up my shots base on the yardage book’s recommendation but reached the green in three then need two-putted for a bogey.
An unnoticed and unmentioned pleasure when playing this course for the average Joe golfer is there is not a forced carry over water on any of the par threes. In fact the entire course does not have a forced carry on any hole, unless you consider sand traps a forced carry.
The closest hole to a forced carry is number 8. On this par 3 keep the tee shot to the right to avoid water that parallels the fairway to the green. If you can make the 185 yards to the center of the green or drop one about 160 in front of the green a perfect chip shot and one putt par is possible.
The greens are large and in good shape. We felt they were difficult to hold so plan your chip shots accordingly.
The greens had been punched but that did little to affect the roll of the ball. In fact my lone birdie of the day was because I followed the dotted line directly to the cup. Gotta love those punched greens every now and then.
You will need to use the yardage book because this course is void of the signs at the tee boxes that describe the hole. It is also void of hole-number signs. This is not a problem, however, because the cart paths lead directly to the next hole.
Ah! Those trees do let one cool off as you approach the next hole. You have got to be real stupid to miss a hole or get lost. We did not get lost, once.
We asked Steve, our Philadelphia player how Shaftsbury compared to the courses in and around the Bucks County PA area.
He smiled and said Shaftsbury and the other courses in the Myrtle Beach area are in much better condition and much better value. He especially likes the ease in getting a tee time on almost any course. He especially praised the courtesy of the staff.
I find that interesting because we locals expect that to be the norm. We have been spoiled; you might say our grass is always greener.
Remember, I said we started on number ten. It is interesting to note that the Average Joes crossed a group that started on number one at the same time we did on ten. We crossed each other at the turn and finished up together also. This tells me the starters know how to manage the golfers.
That makes it fun for everyone.
Thanks again to Myrtle Beach Golf Directors for making the arrangements to play Shaftsbury Glen
|(continuing) - 20th May||Zumba – Join the Craze!||AM 8:30 - AM 9:45||Qigong/Tai Chi||AM 11:00 - PM 5:00||Bloodmobile Drive||21st May||Zumba – Join the Craze!||22nd May||Ballroom Dancing||22nd May||Zumba – Join the Craze!||23rd May||Abs and More||23rd May||Conway Republican Women's Club||23rd May||Music On Main Concert Series - Horseshoe||23rd May||The Child Forgotten|
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