We played Surf Club in North Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday, June 14, 2014. This George Cobb design was built in 1960 and is nestled neatly into a neighborhood one block from the ocean. Surf is a very old style private club with good conditioning and traditional parkland style routing and if you like doglegs, you are going to love this golf course. Only about four of the longer holes do not have some kind of bend and an absolute premium is placed on solid ball striking off the tee. Surf’s Bentgrass greens have a reputation for being among the fastest on the beach but we played them about three weeks after their aeration. They were almost full recovered and were rolling at medium speed. On a previous visit, I recall the course playing firm and fast with the the greens running lightening quick.
I’m not an arborist, but the type of trees that frame most of the holes are unlike most you’ll see on Myrtle Beach courses and certainly not the tall Carolina pines you are accustomed to. Normally, you can play out of the trees but not at Surf. Trying to hit low recoveries almost always caught bark and was usually the natural predecessor to a double-bogey on the scorecard. You’re best advice is to drive it straight or punch out sideways.
We played from the back tees and there are three holes that play like a beast. The par-4, 7th at 442 yards bends to the right and if it’s playing into the wind, is virtually like a short par-5. You turn right around on the par-4, 8th which plays 430 yards and you hope the wind is favoring your direction.
Finally, the par-3, 18th is one of the finest finishing holes in Myrtle Beach. At 217 yards, you are faced with a forced carry over water, and we played it straight into a two club wind coming in off the ocean. Thank goodness for the front flag position, as my fully struck 3WD barely covered the 200 yards needed from tee to pin.
Value (3.75 out of 5.0)
Surf was an upscale addition to our golf package but to our very pleasant surprise, the afternoon replay rate was only $27. This is a very affordable, high quality golf experience. Driving range privileges are included and the free tees in the pro shop were one of those nice little touches.
Facilities (3.0 out of 5.0)
The clubhouse and grill were on the smallish side and the pro shop displays were nicely detailed, but a little limited in scope. The grill served very basic golf course food and had walk up service only. We dined on hot dogs, wings, and chips after our morning round.
The 15-station driving range had good turf to hit off and high quality balls, and the practice green was medium sized and adequate for a warm-up. I did not observe a separate chipping/pitching green and was unsure if short game work was permitted.
Customer Experience (4.0 out of 5.0)
I’m not sure who the amiable professional on duty was but he made you feel very welcome and at home. He was very accommodating when we inquired about working us into the afternoon tee sheet for a replay and went out of his way to ensure that we had everything we needed to enjoy ourselves. The rating goes even higher except for the staff at the bag drop were nowhere to be found when we arrived at the course around 7:30 a.m. It was clear that we were one of the first groups at the course, but we didn’t expect to haul our bags in from the parking lot. Anyway, they found our equipment and had us loaded in time for play.
Surf Club was a good value and a fun day. We played the blue tees at 6,842 yards (par-72) I shot rounds of 87 and 81. It was difficult but I loved it and will be back for more on future golf trips. Don’t miss this one.
Overall Rating (3.5 out of 5.0)