NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- When the tide is out, the marshes of Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation look like a graveyard for golf balls.
It's the best looking cemetery a golfer will ever see. The stirring views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the inlet leading to the ocean set Tidewater apart from its competition along the Grand Strand. The dramatic holes along the marshy inlet -- the par 3s at no. 3 and no. 12, a risk-reward par 5 at no. 13 and the epic par 4 at no. 4 -- are certainly the most talked about (and photographed) holes on architect Ken Tomlinson's routing, but they're not the only dandies to play.
A massive pond makes the par-4 14th tremendously difficult. The finishing hole demands a tee shot that draws around the dogleg to set up a long carry over wetland to a green sitting in the shadow of the clubhouse. The two short par 4s -- the 359-yard seventh hole and 354-yard 15th -– can easily reward a charitable birdie or cough up a triple bogey for sloppiness.
Golfweek rated Tidewater no. 7 among the top public golf courses in South Carolina for 2012. "The course has stood up since 1990 as one of the premier courses down here," member Les Goff said before a recent round. "That speaks to its design."