Golf course architect Ron Garl quietly has the reputation for building some really solid golf courses, flexible enough to be playable yet testing enough to get the attention of the better players. Add the word “attractive” and you might just be describing the Tradition Club on the south side of the Grand Strand. Yes, this would be the start of a week long trek around Myrtle Beach for The A Position’s Road Warriors.
Wide fairways channeled through thick forests proved a bit more challenging than several of the courses that I scouted in advance the last few days. Large fairly flat greens with only modest breaks along with Garl’s long waste bunkers and sand bunkers punctuate the look and challenge that can measure nearly 6,900 yards. Water is featured prominently on five holes and as adornment on a few others. The par-fives provide the best opportunity for scoring while the two-shotters are solid encouraging players to work or shape their shots both left and right. At the Tradition, however, I particularly was impressed with the par-threes. They feature four very different and gorgeous looks.
One thing for sure is that the Bermuda rough is currently the most penal the Myrtle Beach area has seen in many years. Summer rains have allowed the grass to grow thick and lush. With this type of grass, the ball settles down between the roots, and it is much more difficult to extract your ball than the height of the grass would suggest. Fortunately for our golf scores, as the weather cools the Bermuda will grow dormant and the clubhead will be able to brush through the grass much easier. In the meantime, any ball in the rough proved to be at least a one-shot penalty for me and the challenge extended to around the greens. As long as the golfers keep the ball in the short grass, the layout is very doable. There are only a few forced carries and they should be to managed relatively easily with sage layups.
Now we all know that golfers and Road Warriors appreciate good food and comfortable accommodations. Just beyond walking distance from the Tradition Golf Club is the Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort. At least four restaurants are within walking distance to the west while the ocean and the beach is immediately on the east side of the property. This is one happy Road Warrior.
The Tradition is like that attractive girl with a nice figure and becoming smile, but could add hint of make-up (colorful landscaping) to transform her into a real stunner. Until that that time, it is nonetheless a layout well worth playing – a sleeper in the vast menu of choices that await you in Myrtle Beach!
Below the 185-yard 12th hole features a different look.