The roles and responsibilities of our extended golf review trips are not limited just to booking golf courses. Myra is completely in charge of all accommodation arrangements. If where we are staying happens to be near a golf course that’s a bonus, but sometimes it’s just a coincidence. Often, we play many consecutive rounds of golf then take a break and do some historical site seeing; museums, important landmarks, historical sites etc. Then, wanting a break from all the site seeing, we arrive at another destination and focus on golf and these reviews.
Choosing to play Arrowhead Country Club was first a matter of convenience. Myra booked us to stay at a beautiful, two-bedroom condo overlooking the fourth tee box of the Cypress nine at the course. With over 90 courses to choose from in Myrtle Beach quite often it’s like playing the lottery, sometimes you don’t win anything while the next time you win the grand prize. With Arrowhead Country Club you could say we won the Powerball. Normally, I don’t rate courses on a scale of 1 to 10 or a number of stars it deserves, but if I was to rate the entire experience, from day one contacting the course, to exiting out the parking lot after playing it would easily be a 9 ½. Perhaps if they would have served our cold O’Douls in a glass rather than a plastic cup after our round then maybe I would relinquish that elusive 10 out of 10.
Initially we were offered a very convenient tee time for 1 PM which would’ve been fine but I failed to take into account a two and a half hour drive southward to Charleston, South Carolina after completing our 18 holes. Wanting to avoid night driving in an unfamiliar area of the United States I called the pro shop on the morning of play to see if they could offer us an earlier time. Dan, who took my call could not have been more accommodating and as we were staying on the course we easily made the time he offered us fully three hours earlier than our original time.
The drive into the facility is very short and the beautiful clubhouse situated directly in front of you at the round-about also has the bag drop. Unlike many golf courses there was no searching or waiting for a bag drop attendant to assist with our golf clubs. Jeff and then shortly thereafter Tyler were exemplary in their welcoming and their proficiency. With the driving range a mere 40 yards from the bag drop and the practice putting green right next to it even with only 20 minutes to our tee off we were able to warm up effectively. We were also very pleased to be informed that we were going to be paired with two fellow Canadians, Danielle and Francois.
I popped into the pro shop to check in and although Dan was busy attending to other duties outside of the pro shop Jennifer came out of her accounting office and greeted me with a warm smile and took care of me and Myra kindly. In my experiences, when emails are answered promptly, phone calls are taken courteously and direct contact with staff members is this rewarding the expectation that the golfing experience will be on the same level is not an unreasonable one. Arrowhead CC is comprised of three separate nine-hole layouts and during our stay in Myrtle Beach I had walked down from our condo to watch numerous golfers play the par three third over the water on the Cypress Course. Not one golfer parred it. You do not know the two nines you are going to play at the course until you check in so I was very eager to see if we were going to get to play the holes that we have been admiring from our balcony the last couple of days.
Our green fee ticket indicated that we would be playing the Waterway nine and then the Cypress nine. It was very apparent immediately as we stepped onto the first tee box that the course was of the highest quality. It certainly possessed a greener look than the other courses we have seen in the area and the whole design by the Tom Jackson’s team was very well thought out, extremely playable and the ultimate reward in quality golfing. There was not one singular spot on the course where you were punished for playing a good shot and it was void of anything looking gimmicky or an afterthought.
It also had a few unique features one which I’ve never seen before and was highly effective. A number of the holes as the name Waterway would imply include water hazards. Oddly enough the second nine the Cypress had water coming into play on eight of the nine holes. To assist in your shot making and direction yellow and black checkerboard flags were positioned at the pond edge giving you a reference point to where your ball would enter the water. An absolutely brilliant and effective helpful tool for the golfer. The guide ropes that follow along the paths to prevent you from entering the fairways too early were supported by very visible 2-foot-high decorative white wooden posts.
Early into the round on the third hole of the Waterway nine, something that even the keenest of foursomes rarely can boast occurred. The island green was surrounded on three complete sides with quite a large lake, a very daunting tee shot for any skill level of golfer. I started the foursome off by flushing a towering 9-iron to 10 feet from the flag. I let out a huge sigh of relief accompanied by a wide smile all at the same time. Francois followed suit and hit probably his best shot of the day just past the flag. Now it was the ladies turn and I was hoping for everyone’s sake that they at least got over the water and best-case scenario join us in birdie attempts. Myra’s pitching wedge soared over the water and green side bunker leaving her a 15-foot tricky downhill putt and Danielle followed with the best of the four hitting her nine iron to about 6 feet.
Although I was the only one to convert the birdie putt, walking off that green with three pars and one birdie was a highlight reel of expertise and we were high-fiving like giddy high school athletes.
The skies were mixture of gray threatening clouds or brilliant sun, none of which had any negative effects on the look of this outstanding golf course. Just when you thought it couldn’t improve upon itself you’re introduced to the Cypress nine and oh my what a nine this is. As I said earlier water comes into play on eight of the nine holes and it has some of the best golf holes I’ve ever played. The par five second hole is world class with a large water hazard running parallel down the left side of entire fairway. The green is positioned on the far side of this hazard so whether you like it or not a shot over water must be played. Scintillating is how I describe this hole. As we headed down the cart path we then came to the Par 3 third hole, the one that we have looked out over during our stay. Two great shots from both Myra and me had us putting for birdie on a very large left to right sloping green. No birdies this time but off to number four we went. What a stunning par four. Again a shot over water after a very well-placed tee shot is the only way you can finish this hole. It just went on and on and on and all four of us were absolutely delighted. Jim, one of the players assistants, out on the course asked us how our game was going. I didn’t give Myra much of a chance to speak as I couldn’t hold back my glee in telling him what my thoughts where. In the short few moments we had to speak with him he informed us that the golf course is privately owned and it is run by a very successful business family.
At another point, one of the greens keepers informed me they had 18 staff members and every one of them deserves a huge level of praise with the very hands-on Superintendent Heath Roberts at the helm. Myra pointed out to me that even the rough appeared to be groomed to a consistent height everywhere. The bunker sand was very receptive to splashing out of . At no time did I lose interest in any holes or any shot and that may be why I played a pretty solid round with consecutive 41’s for a commendable 82. It also trickled over to Myra, but for one awkward couple of minutes in a very deep bunker, she would’ve broke 100 with her 50/52 = 102 total with three great pars, had her beaming long after the round was complete.
We would get away in plenty of time to make Charleston before dark so with the excellent assistance of young John in the pro shop we bought a few items and then went in for a cold one with our new Francophone friends.
When you realize we are over 3000 miles from home planning a return to Myrtle Beach as we are to play Arrowhead Country Club is a pretty huge endorsement. Whether you are coming here for one round, a couple weeks or spending the winter do not rob yourself of the chance to play this marvel. Hats off to the Benton family and all the staff at one of our new favorites.
www.arrowheadcc.com 1 800 236 3243