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Monday, May 28, 2007

Myrtle Beach's South Strand continued...

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    This is the second part of an updated review that was mistakenly 'buried' on the site earlier this week.  We repeat it here and apologize to those for whom this might be a repetition. 


    The Reserve's Greg Norman golf course winds its way through the live oaks and scrub pines that are indigenous to this part of the world.  Green complexes are roller-coaster contoured but not heavily trapped, and we were delighted that we could putt on some holes from 15 yards off the green.  The course is always in nice shape too.  The community brackets Route 17, the main north/south thoroughfare through all of the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach.  To the west of the road is the largest part of the community with single-family homes that range generally from the $400s to $1.5 million.  Across Route 17 and within walking distance of the beach, a small group of single-family homes are set up in a Charleston-type row house configuration, but separate from each other.  These sell for more than $1 million and are within a three-minute walk of the beach.  At the beachfront are a number of high-rise condominiums that are rented out by their owners.  At prices in the low-mid-six figures and up, they are one alternative for second-home owners who want oceanfront living and aren't unwilling to live in close proximity to others.     

    Wachesaw Plantation is also west of Route 17, and a river runs through it (the Waccamaw).  The community had some marketing and image issues when it first opened in the 1980s, but those seem behind it.  The excellent Tom Fazio golf course can get a little moist after heavy rainfalls, but the layout is unmistakably Fazio, with large cloverleaf bunkers and roller coaster fairways.  Some grasses (see photo below) grow long, adding a Scottish links cachet to the routing.  Wachesaw is probably the most reasonably priced of the communities; the quality of golf4wach housing and cost per square foot are relatively low for the area, which probably has something to do with its west of Route 17 location and some marketing problems in the community's early years in the mid 1980s.  But Wachesaw is closest to the best variety of shopping and other conveniences, including Myrtle Beach International Airport, which is about 25 minutes away.  The beach is about 10 minutes farther away than it is from the other communities, but the scenic and lazy Waccamaw River provides plenty of watery compensation.         

    The South Strand offers a wide range of high-quality daily fee courses to supplement the private ones.  The renowned Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is in Pawleys Island, along with its companion course, True Blue, both designs by the late Mike Strantz.  They could not be more different.  Caledonia effects a bit of Augusta National with azaleas and other flora in profusion; True Blue has an abundance of sand off the fairways and around the greens, a desert-like course in the Low Country that is vintage Strantz, which is to say "muscular."  Nearby is Heritage Golf Club, more of a parkland style course that is always in peak shape.  And coming later this summer is the redone Sea Gull Golf Club, renamed The Founders Club, whose distinctive notes will likely revolve around the significant mounding we saw in the early stages of reconstruction.  And if all that is not enough variety for you, Litchfield and Murrells Inlet add another seven courses, including Willbrook, The Tradition, The River Club, Litchfield Golf Club, Wachesaw East, Blackmoor and TPC of Myrtle Beach.  And for a wondrous if expensive day trip of golf, Kiawah Island and the Ocean Course are about 90 minutes away.   

    Although there are many art galleries in the Pawleys Island and Georgetown areas, and Charleston is within 70 minutes or so, the area is a little short on culture and entertainment, except for the excellent restaurants.  Shopping, though, is ample enough for any but those who crave Nordstrom nearby.  A large number of outlet stores are available within a half hour.  Myrtle Beach airport, with non-stop service to Washington, Charlotte, the New York airports and a few other northern cities, is within 40 minutes.  Much of a couple's social life in the area will revolve around the clubhouse and friends' homes in the communities.

    We have excellent real estate contacts in the Myrtle Beach area who are familiar with all the golf communities.  One of our pre-qualified agents can help you cut through all the marketing hype and see any houses you want...at no cost or obligation to you.  Contact us if we can help.

Read 6637 times Last modified on Friday, 27 September 2013 11:29
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.


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