By Mike May
If and when you get a chance to visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, do yourself a favor and book a tee time at the True Blue Golf Club. A memorable experience is guaranteed.
If anything, you will probably be disappointed, you only budgeted time for one round and not two or more around this reclaimed marshland in the South Carolina Low Country.
When publications like Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Myrtle Beach Golf Digest and South Carolina Magazine give True Blue two thumbs and high accolades, there must be something magical and alluring about the place.
As soon as you walk off the 18th green, your golfing gut will tell you that a replay experience is necessary. If not on your current trip, then on your next trip to the Palmetto State’s number-one golf destination.
It’s worth noting that the roots of the name True Blue can be traced to the property’s early origins as the home of indigo plants from which a vivid blue dye was extracted and used by British textile mills in the mid-1700s. When this piece of land was first cultivated in 1711, it was originally known as Pawley’s Plantation. In addition to providing a regular supply of true-blue indigo, the land has also been used to grow rice and a hunting playground.
Now, golfers are the main tenants of True Blue and hunt for lost golf balls, from dawn to dusk. If there’s daylight at True Blue, somebody is peppering the pins with approach shots and attempting to conquer “Old Man Par” on this treacherous layout, where water is a major feature on the first four holes, as well as, the last three. The 11 holes in between feature acres of well-placed waste bunkers, dogleg par fours, brilliant par threes, and a series of creatively designed putting surfaces, where no two greens are ever alike.
“We strive to make our guest experience here at True Blue one of a kind,” says Bart Romano, head professional, True Blue Golf Club. “In an area known for its hospitality, we try to differentiate ourselves from the crowd. From our bag drop to the golf course and to the clubhouse, going above and beyond is the norm for our cast. The golf course itself is visually unique when compared to any other golf course in the Myrtle Beach area. Mike Strantz was an artist as he conveyed in the layout of True Blue. High-faced splashed bunkering, coupled with large fairways and greens, give True Blue a distinct look – all of which are Mike Strantz signatures.”
At True Blue, you begin and end the front nine with a pair of doglegs, as well as, start the back nine with yet another big left-to-right dogleg par-five.
You will conclude your trek around the inward half with a right-to-left par four which measures well over 400 yards, where water hugs the left side of the fairway from tee to green. To play 1, 9, 10, and 18 at even, or one over par, is quite an achievement.
At the 18th, the clubhouse sits adjacent to the green and the second-story veranda is usually filled with golfers enjoying a post-round libation in the comfort of the shade, which means you will be scrutinized by the assembled gallery as you conclude your True Blue experience.
To excel at True Blue, the designer, Mike Strantz, requires being able to maneuver your golf ball from right-to-left or vice versa with many of your tee shots. With the exception of the five, par three holes, only one plays straight away.
The waste bunkers along the fairways actually help keep your ball in play and ensure that the pace of play is steady. It’s always easier escaping from a waste bunker than from the base of a palmetto bush or a grouping of pine trees, that line most fairways.