Thistle Golf Club - MacKay Course

4.4933000000 4.5 stars from 5 (75)
  • Holes: 9
  • Par: 36
  • Length: 3547 yards
  • Layout

  • 1815 Olde Thistle Club Rd, Sunset Beach, North Carolina 28468, Brunswick County
  • (910) 444-2500
  • (910) 575-8701
  • www.thistlegolf.com
Write a review

Year built: 1999
Architect(s): Tim Cate
Type: Public
Greens: TifEagle Bermuda
Fairways: Bermuda
Golf Season: Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts: Yes - included in green fees
Clubs: Yes
GPS: No

Practice/Instruction

Driving range: Yes
Pitching/chipping area: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes

Policies

Walking allowed: Yes
Metal spikes allowed: No
Credit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, Amex Welcomed

Tees | Layout

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Thistle 36 3547 yards 0.0 0
Blue 36 3308 yards 0.0 0
White 36 3092 yards 0.0 0
Gold 36 2776 yards 0.0 0
Red 36 2355 yards 0.0 0

Accolades

Rating Snapshot

Average Rating 4.5 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 4.5 stars from 5
Value: 4.2 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 4.3 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 4.6 stars from 5
Course Layout: 4.8 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 4.2 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 75 Reviews
5 stars:
55
4 stars:
11
3 stars:
3
2 stars:
3
1 stars:
3

recommend this course

68 out of 75 reviews


What Golfers Are Saying

Location is worth the drive convenient to the city near local attractions   Great for advanced golfers locals a bucket list/top 100 pick   Challenges include water hazards bunkers forced carries   Great for drinks 19th hole scenic views patio dining  

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Reviewer Photos

Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

Omy77's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  20-24

3 3.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/27/2017
First time playing Used cart Windy weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Fair

Staff Friendliness: Average

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Average

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"GREENS are LOST - avoid for rest of 2017"


tutor56's avatar
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

1 1.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/21/2017
Previously played Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

We arrived at bag drop and the attendants there acted normally and were professional as always but when checking in to pay - things changed. Guy at register asked if we knew of the problems with the greens, which we were not aware of, and he painted a huge misrepresentation of the quality of the greens. With no place else to play on shirt notice on a beautiful day we had no choice but to stay. The greens were beyond horrible and the positive review below is an outright disgrace. The greens were not playable at all, bare in many spots and bumpy everywhere. And why would you not close 9 of the 27 holes on a rotation to limit play and help the greens heal quicker. We were told that because we reserved online there was no way to call us to let us know about the greens but I suggest they could have emailed me with the confirmation email or the website should have had a warning about the greens condition. no effort is being made to inform potential players ahead of time of the greens condition. I would expect these greens to be bad for at least 6 months. They allege they are just one of 20 courses who were impacted by this problem and they blame the chemical company. good luck if you try this place in the near future.


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Poor

Staff Friendliness: Fair

Value for the Money: Poor

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I don't recommend this course


"Fantastic course"


u00000184986's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/16/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

This is definitely a must-play course. A country club feel from the clubhouse to the staff. The course is tough in the wind, so it's important to play the correct tees. Have fun!


Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Poor greens"


bobthebob12's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week

1 1.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/16/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Greens were in very poor conditions. Golfnow should be swsre of this dituation and let us know.


Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Poor

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Poor


I don't recommend this course


"Ridiculous greens, ridiculous pace."


u072682089's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

2 2.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/09/2017
Previously played Used cart Perfect weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

When we showed up, the pro shop staff asked "Have you heard about our greens?" and then explained to us that the greens might be a "little bumpy". No...they were DEAD and SPRAYPAINTED GREEN. This information should have been shared on the website. Learning of it that morning when we'd already traveled a half hour leaves no option other than to play (and at the FULL RATE).

By the 4th hole, we were stuck behind two very slow foursomes of poor golfers who did not have the courtesy to let us through, despite a gaping hole opening up ahead of them. (Because they had come together, they weren't going to allow a faster group - even a twosome of better players). Not a single ranger on the course the entire time.

We came to Thistle to complete a golf trip with a memorable final venue. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT.


Pace of Play: Fair

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Poor

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Fair

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I don't recommend this course


"Greens Not"


eligiocanada's avatar
Age:  55-64
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

2 2.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/02/2017
Previously played Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

Nice track but something has happened to the greens that has killed the grass and they now appear to be painted. They roll ok, but look terrible. Our group of 14 were very disappointed that we were not told ahead of time about the conditions. For a course that prides itself on their website about the great greens, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. We will not be playing here again in our future annual trip to MB.


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Poor

Staff Friendliness: Average

Value for the Money: Poor

Off-Course Amenities: Average

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I don't recommend this course


"Great day!"


airnron's avatar
Age:  45-54
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/19/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

I found Thistle by accident and booked a time that day. They accommodated me as a single and the staff could not have been nicer or more helpful. The course was in great condition and extremely playable. I played the Stewart and then the McKay. A great morning round. I would definitely recommend the course and look forward to returning


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


"Ridiculous"


Paintball272003's avatar
Skill:  Beginner
Plays:  Once a month

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 12/02/2016
Previously played

Reviewed on

I usually don't post unless it's bad however I play here quite often and I can't believe someone would give this place 4 stars never a 1. I would compare this course to any of the #1 courses in the area. Everything is always pristine and I love the updated cats and how well manicured everything is. I tell anyone I can about how well taken care of this course is.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


Commented on 12/08/2016

Thank you for the awesome review. Our maintenance staff prides themselves in the condition of the course and we will pass along the compliment to them. We look forward to seeing you again in the near future.


"Totally Overrated"


TheOldBuckeyeGeezer's avatar
Age:  55-64
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  15-19

1 1.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/20/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes Good weather

Reviewed on

We came down from Columbus with a group of friends. Everyone talked about the Thistle. Walked in the Pro Shop. Some tall guy named Chad was speaking rudely with a customer at the other side of the counter. Not a good start. Nobody at the bag drop area seemed to express any warm feelings or do anything to make you feel welcome. The starter was a bit confused about which courses we should play. To top things off, our pace of play was incredibly slow. We complained to the ranger and he didn't seem to care. Lots of courses to play in Myrtle Beach. Don't waste your time at Thistle.


Pace of Play: Poor

Course Layout: Average

Course Conditions: Average

Staff Friendliness: Poor

Value for the Money: Poor

Off-Course Amenities: Fair

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I don't recommend this course


Commented on 12/08/2016

Thank you for your review. Come back and see us soon.


"Day 4 2016 Myrtle Beach World Am"


rkimbrell's avatar
Top 500 Contributor
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/01/2016
Previously played Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Drew the Mackay and Cameron courses at Thistle for day 4 of the Myrtle Beach World Am. Thistle is an extremely nice complex. Beautiful clubhouse and course. I believe I have written an review of Thistle . before and was critical of the grill in the clubhouse. No issues this trip.

The course was in excellent shape. Beautiful course. Greens were smooth and rolled true and very nice speed. Saw very few blemishes on the course itself. Bunkers were well groomed and nice.

Staff was very friendly and helpful. We had 96 players on the course that day. Everything went very smoothly


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


Commented on 12/08/2016

Thank you for your second review of Thistle Golf Club. We are happy your pub experience was exemplary. We look forward to your next visit and the conditions should be excellent just like they were during the World AM.


"Good"


Chris7922217's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/26/2016
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Course in very good condition and I'm pretty picky. Greens rolled true and were fast (probably around 11-12). They send people out on all three 9 hole courses so expect to hit "traffic" at the turn even if your group has the earliest tee time. So you're looking at around a 5hr + round.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


Commented on 12/08/2016

Thank you for your good review of Thistle Golf Club. We appreciate your compliment about the greens and we look forward to seeing you next time.


"Outstanding experience (full review)"


JGates81's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/15/2016
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Excellent experience from start to finish. Gentleman at the front gate's sense of humor, to the friendly staff at the bag drop, and the courteous staff in the club house.

But those greens.....wow. It gave an average hacker like myself a glimpse of the conditions the pros at Oakmont were up against on the greens.

Funny moment of the round: I believe it may have been the ranger that asked me along the way what I thought of the course. I told him it was beautiful and sarcastically told him they should make the greens a little faster. He replied "we are working hard to get them to a 12." - referring to the Stempmeter.

Loved every minute I was there and will definitely return next chance I get.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


Commented on 08/17/2016

Thank you for the great review. Glad you and your group enjoyed themselves while on the property...seems you received the complete Thistle Experience.

On the subject of the greens, I apologize for my rangers inaccurate response.....they were rolling 12.4 on the day you played...lol. They are fast, not quite as fast as Oakmont, but boy do they roll true. Please come back and visit soon.

Make sure to book early for the BEST rate! http://www.thistlegolf.com/book-tee-time/


"Stewart MacKay"


qrkid's avatar
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/10/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes Good weather

Reviewed on

This was my 1st time at The Thistle. Drove down from Wilmington and that was an easier drive than I thought. I play a Tim Cate designed course in the Wilmington area and really enjoy it so I was excited to try The Thistle.

Course was in great shape. There was some sand on all the greens but they rolled true and had some pace. Fairways were in good nick. There was some rough but it was not penal Pace of play great (never saw anyone in front or behind. It was a Wednesday morning/afternoon). Some very challenging holes and interesting holes. I am not a long hitter so some of the par 5's played quite tough. Staff was great as well.

Will definitely be adding The Thistle to my rotation of courses. Already looking forward to returning.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


Commented on 08/17/2016

On behalf of all of us at Thistle Golf Club, thank you so much for your review! We are so happy you think so highly of our course, don't hesitate to make your next tee time in advance with us to you will save on your round! http://www.thistlegolf.com/book-tee-time/


"Always stellar!"


LouLoomis's avatar
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/08/2016
Previously played Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Too bad everyone knows about this place now...been playing here for a while, but over the last year or two the word has gotten out. Still, they manage to accommodate your requests regarding playing on your own vs. getting paired up with people and they don't overbook the course. That is very welcome...even if the course wasn't always in such good shape and so fun to play, I'd keep coming back because of the service.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"Tour like shape"


u000001250218's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a month

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/07/2016
First time playing

Reviewed on

I am a local in myrtle beach, and dont see golf courses in this type of shape very often. Green were firm and fast, fairways full and tight, and rough full, but fair. If you have the chance its worth the drive for the conditions and great staff.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent


I recommend this course


Commented on 08/17/2016

Thank you so much for reviewing our golf course! Since you are a local, please consider joining our Hickory Stick Loyalty Program. Hope to see you back soon. http://www.thistlegolf.com/hickory-stick-loyalty-club/


"Thistle Golf Club - Nicest Course at the Beach"


adamsjosh2003's avatar
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a month
Handicap:  20-24

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/27/2016
Previously played Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Just finished up a round of 18 at the Thistle Golf Club in Sunset Beach, NC. If you are anywhere near the Wilmington/Myrtle Beach area, you owe it to yourself to play a round here. “Perfection” is the only word I can use to describe the whole experience. The course was in immaculate condition and was manicured to a T. In 20 years of playing, this is the nicest course I have ever played. Greens, tee boxes, sand traps, and fairways were in perfect condition. The club house and the memorabilia in it were breathtaking, and the customer service was second to none. This customer service was demonstrated from everyone from the bag drop, to starter, to the General Manager. The tee times were spaced apart, as we did not see more than one foursome at any hole. Even the ice towels given to customer to keep cool were scented to enhance the customer experience. I will definitely play this course again and will recommend it to anyone I talk golf with. The Thistle Golf Club today demonstrated perfection. - Josh Adams


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


Commented on 08/17/2016

Thank you for the kind words and great review. We take great pride in our product, paying attention to the smallest of details.

We are honored to hear this is the Best Course you've ever played. I've passed your comments on to my entire staff. We will continue to get better and better. Please come back the next time you are in town. Book in advance and save. http://www.thistlegolf.com/book-tee-time/


"Great course"


jck50's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/02/2016
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Really enjoyable great layout greens and fairways were in excellent shape


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


Commented on 07/05/2016

Thank you for your review and rating of our course! We are happy to hear you had an enjoyable experience and would welcome you back any time to play. Hope to see you soon!


"Well worth the price of admission"


u000003424376's avatar
Age:  65+
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/24/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes Good weather

Reviewed on

The course was in excellent condition, with well marked tees and distance markers. The bunkers are sometimes deep, and always have good sand. I was in enough of them to know. This is a challenging layout, with plenty of tee box choices to fit most golfers' ability levels. Quite a few of the green complexes are well bunkered and elevated enough to make club selection far from simple. I enjoyed the round and will be back.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


Commented on 07/05/2016

We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your round! We look forward to your next visit, if you book far enough in advance with us, you save on your round!


"Excellent course"


haleericc's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/20/2016
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

A little pricier than other options but worth it. Challenging course, but fair. Excellent condition and attentive staff.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


Commented on 06/23/2016

We are so glad to hear you think our course is worth it, we would have to agree with you! Thank you for taking the time to come play and feel free to come back and see us any time!


"Thistle a no-brainer."


JackStraw6's avatar
Top 1000 Contributor
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/16/2016
First time playing Used cart Played 18 holes

Reviewed on

Thistle is everything everyone here has said it would be. From the bag drop to the 18th hole the place is top shelf. We took advantage of a free replay and played 36. Greens are fast, roll true and in great shape .A true test of golf.Wide Fairways were all in good condition. Will definitely be back.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


Commented on 06/23/2016

Thank you so much for your review and agreement with other's positive reviews! We look forward to your next visit!



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