By Joe Derus –NorthMyrtleBeachOnLine.com
Little River SC March 6 2008-- Our original tee time was scheduled by Myrtle Beach Golf Directors and the understanding people at Heather Glen allowed us to re-schedule a couple of times due to bad weather.
When our foursome finally got to play this 27 hole award winning golf course, the weather was still iffy. But, despite that, we headed north on Hwy 17, crossed over the Intracoastal Waterway bridge, continued through the historic Little River fishing village and found Heather Glen is on the left - just a bit north of the Little River community and just on the south side of the North Carolina/South Carolina state line.
Heather Glen’s sister course Glen Dornoch is opposite it on the right side of hwy 17.
The magnificent Oak tree that welcomes you and 100 year old pines also add to the flavor of the course.
I couldn’t help but say “Wow” when we drove up to the course and saw the magnificent Oak. That view alone makes me want to play the course.
Because the weather was typical of the British Isles – not cold but quite cloudy with strong storms predicted – the rolling landscape and heather clad mounds, we felt we might actually have been transported to Scotland.
We were greeted kindly with good news and bad news.
The bad news was cart were to remain on the paths due to the previously mentioned poor weather. The good news was that the course itself is fairly tight and long walks across a couple of fairways were not going to be required. Unless, of course, you hit a ball into the woods, but, even then, the trees shorten the walk. My point is if you must play cart paths only Heather Glen is not a bad place to play.
We played the 1st nine on the Red Course. The first hole is a fairly easy par 4, 345 yards from the white tees. It is straight away and with a center of the fairway tee your 2nd is to a very approachable green. Take time to read the yardage book, if only to note the clever names given to each hole.
The “Roon-the-Bin” second is aptly named because it’s a dog leg to the left. The big hazard is a large live oak tree near the crescent shaped loch is a ball magnet. This second hole is 346 yards but appears longer because of the dog leg. Keep the tee shot center to center right to avoid the lake, I mean loch, and the tree magnet.
Number 3 is a par five 482 yards and requires a straight tee and straight 2nd shot also. There is not much room for error either to the left or to the right. Why do you think they named this hole “Fin Me Oot” - the nickname arises from the fact that it's not the easiest of holes to find. A word about the greens: pretty fast down hill and pretty slow up hill. Figuring out the speed was more problematic than the breaks. A few practice putts will help your score.
For some reason our group managed to avoid the waste areas of love grass and Scotch Broom that are prevalent throughout the course. Let’s say we were kind to the environment today.
The weather was really getting Scottish by the 5th hole. The deep gray clouds were all around us and moving quite quickly.
I know the secret to improving the speed of play on the strand courses: ready golf and run from rain. We blasted through the first nine holes in 1 hour and forty five minutes. Not a record but a nice pace.
Number 5”The Narrows” is the number one handicap. It is a par four 383 yards. A sharp dog leg left is framed by waste bunkers on the left and mounds on the right. Typical of our group we played this fairly well, three 5’s and a six. Two of the 5’s had make-able putts for par. We should have practiced our putting.
I loved the 8th hole - a par three over water 191 yards from the white. OK I am the old guy- I hit from the gold tees 142 yards. It still is a good poke to get it there. Remember age and treachery will over come youth and skill. Yep I parred it. For me it was a five wood that just got on the green.
We finished up “The Long Hole”, number 9 a 403 yard par four. This is a beautiful hole but can become disastrous if you are not careful. Water, bunkers and a huge fairway bunker may eat you up. It began to drizzle as we blew past the British Style Clubhouse on our way to the back nine.
At the rate we were playing and the clouds moving all around we were convince this storm would “blow over” We all had made it to the green when the golf Gods let us know “that is it for today fellows.”
Heather Glen is great golf if you like a traditional golf course with Scottish flavor, be it wet or dry. I returned today to Heather Glen to take some more photos. It is nice and green, and when you make tee times thru North Myrtle Beach Golf Directors ask about the free golf offered by the course for the real estate owners at Heather Glen.
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