Top Five Ways To Identify Affordable Myrtle Beach Golf Courses That Deliver A Great Golf Experience

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In today's world, nearly everyone is on a budget, including many golfers planning to play golf in Myrtle Beach, S.C. So it's more important than ever to make sure that a golf course with reasonable greens fees also delivers a great golf experience.

River Hills Golf & Country Club - #17

With more than 100 courses in the Myrtle Beach area — many very affordable — how can a golfer identify which golf courses provide the most bang for the buck?

Here's a look at the top five ways to spot an affordable Myrtle Beach golf course that delivers on the promise of a great golf experience — without breaking the bank. For illustration, one outstanding value is used as an example. That's River Hills Golf & Country Club on the northern end of the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach.

1. Ask The Locals — Locals who play golf in Myrtle Beach know where the values are. They not only live in one of the world's busiest tourist areas, they relax there. And they are not looking to pay top dollar for golf on any of their days off.

River Hills is a locals' favorite. Nestled into densely wooded terrain near the historic seaside village of Little River, S.C., it's outside the nonstop activity of downtown Myrtle Beach. Its management company (Burroughs & Chapin Golf Management) has a reputation for delivering a superb golf experience at all its courses – some of which are ranked among the Top 100 in America).

2. Be Smart About Golf Course Architects — Myrtle Beach has courses by some of the biggest names in golf, and a lot by lesser known, but no-less-gifted, golf architects. Choose a big name, pay a big price.

River Hills is a Tom Jackson golf course. Jackson is well-known in golf architecture circles where his name means great quality. He learned his craft under two legendary architects, Robert Trent Jones and George Cobb.

River Hills is considered by many to be the best of Jackson's Myrtle Beach courses. Golfweek says it's one of the Top 50 Golf Courses in the entire Southeastern United States. But it can be played at a much lower price than courses by architects whose names are better known.

3. Playability: Will The Course Be Fun? — Some courses in Myrtle Beach are tight and unmanageable. Some seem to have more sand bunkers than fairways. Savvy golfers know their skill levels and realize that such things can make the difference between a good day on the course and a day of just trying to survive until the 19th hole. Golf, after all, is supposed to be fun.

River Hills, for example, has gently rolling fairways. None are parallel, so slicers don't end up playing from the hole next door. Water does comes into play on 13 holes, but River Hills' yardage is manageable. It's just 6,396 yards from the white tees; 5,030 yards from the red tees. But River Hills is no pushover. It is rated and sloped from the white tees at 70.6/128; red tees at 67.7/120.

4. How's The Conditioning? — Affordable does not mean compromising on conditioning. No golfer wants to head out to the first fairway and see a brown patch leading up to a neglected green. Luckily, in Myrtle Beach, most courses are kept in good condition. But, as in most golf destinations, some are in better condition than others. Ask around.

River Hills has built a reputation for great conditioning and is grassed from tees through greens with Champion Ultra Dwarfs. This durable hybrid Bermuda stands up to the harshest weather conditions and consistently delivers lush fairways and smooth greens.

5. Do The Views Add To The Golf Experience? — Golf is about more than the game. It's about the surrounding area and that means views. An affordable course doesn't have to mean flat, unchallenging and uninteresting.

For example, River Hills' location on the northern end of Myrtle Beach puts it in an area of the coast that has 40-foot elevation changes. Add in more than 10 acres of freshwater lakes spaced throughout fairways etched into impressive maritime forest and it delivers the kind of eye candy that ensures a memorable day on the links.

More information about River Hills is available at Some of the most affordable Golf Only and Stay and Play packages including River Hills can be found at


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Jamie Wilburn
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