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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Arrowhead In Myrtle Beach, Country Club Golf For Everyone



Arrowhead Country Club

With a canvas of Bermuda Fairways and Bentgrass Greens, the team of Ray Floyd and Tom Jackson have created a 27-hole masterpiece along the scenic Intracoastal Waterway in Myrtle Beach. Each nine-hole layout is unique, featuring uncommon elevations, hardwood wetlands and the most impeccable manicured holes in the area.

Arrowhead was recently awarded SC's Golf Course of the Year (1998).
Arrowhead is conveniently located five minutes from the Myrtle Beach International Airport. Ask about our special programs for Juniors. Non-metal spikes required.

You're always welcome at Arrowhead Country Club

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (Sept. 21, 2003) -- Raymond Floyd once produced a video called "From 60 Yards In." It sounds like a primer for all National Football League field-goal kickers not named Tom Dempsey or Jason Elam (who share the record for the longest three-pointer at 63 yards). More aptly, the Floyd tape was a pitching, chipping, putting and sand play briefing by an acknowledged wizard of getting it up and down from situations that are bogey at best for most mortals.

It is no surprise that his biggest input on the Arrowhead Country Club course, a 27-hole Floyd Signature design that opened in 1994, was on the green
complexes, according to head golf professional Eddie Dennis. The routing was done by prolific Southeastern architect Tom Jackson, whose other Grand Strand designs include River Hills Country Club, Myrtle West and Buck Creek Plantation to name a few. But it was Floyd, the man notorious for putting teeth back into Doral's Blue Monster course for a short while, who made sure his imprimatur was all over the scoring shots at Arrowhead.

"The golf course was cleared and the fairways were somewhat set on the way the holes were going to go before (Floyd) became heavily involved," said Dennis, who has been at the course since its opening. "Floyd's input was primarily on and around the greens, including swales, runoff areas and trap placement. He wanted golfers to have different options if they missed a green.

"Some courses have elevated greens where your only option is a flop shot," Dennis added. "Floyd is more of a pitch and run kind of a guy. He gives you two or three options of shots to hit around the green. You can use a sand wedge, a bump and run or even putt it from off the surface. That feature is probably the true signature of a Floyd course."
Arrowhead Country Club With Floyd long gone from his only South Carolina design, Arrowhead has had to forge its own renown in a competitive market that offers golfers a smorgasbord of over 120 courses to choose from.
The niche it has carved, and one that has served it well, is as a friendly facility that resident Stranders consider a favorite.

Veteran travelers know that if you want to find the best spots in any town, find out where the locals go. That goes for restaurants, shopping and, yes, golf courses. Arrowhead Country Club is one that is beloved by the residents
While it thrives on business from local hotel packages, as do almost all of the courses in the area, Arrowhead, unlike some, does not shun local play in lieu of the high dollar tourists.

As a reward for its local loyalties, Arrowhead has been ranked among the "Best of the Best" for consecutive years by readers of the Myrtle Beach Sun News. It is a quality course that was chosen South Carolina's Golf Course of the Year in 1998 by the National Golf Course Owners Association.

Additional reasons why Arrowhead is preferred and respected include consistently good conditions, reasonable greens fees, free range balls, free yardage books, staggered tee times and a friendly staff that seems versed in Dale Carnegie interpersonal training.

Whether greeting you at the bag drop or chatting you up on the course, the staff will let you know that your presence is appreciated.

Waterway's 4th Hole"We try to have a really relaxed atmosphere," said Dennis. "It's not a real tight country club setting. Our staff is real laid back and friendly. The biggest thing that we hear from golfers is that they have been made to feel welcome. That and compliments on the course conditions. It's been in consistently great shape in the 10 years since I've been here because the ownership is committed to keeping it that way and willing to spend the money necessary to do it."

With a total of 27 holes on the Lakes, Waterway and Cypress nines, Arrowhead is not prone to backing up golfers like a drain in dire need of Liquid Plumber. Combine that with nine minutes between tee times, plus additional breaks -- i.e., no golfers -- thrown in and quick rounds at Arrowhead are as common as sunburned tourists cruising Ocean Drive with Ohio plates.

"We try to do everything to make (playing at Arrowhead) as good of an experience as we can," said Dennis, who related that after almost a decade of having the luxury of shepherding a facility with an extra nine, he would not know how to go back to a course with just 18 holes.

The Lakes and Cypress nines opened first with the Waterway holes completed about 14 months later in September 1995. Because they border the Intracoastal Waterway in some spots, the Cypress and Waterway courses are the most requested. But the opportunities to do yacht watching aside, there is little difference in the playability of any nine. All three have course ratings within two-tenths of each other and the lengths differ no more than 50 yards.

"Most golfers claim that the Cypress course plays a couple of shots harder, but I don't know if that's true," said Dennis. "It may be more visually intimidating than the other two." Holes No. 2, 3 and 4 on the Cypress course require carries over water and are the most scenic and strategic triumvirate of consecutive holes at Arrowhead.

Perhaps the biggest challenge at this course is pinpointing your favorite hole after your round.
No. 3 on the Lakes nineNo. 3 on the Lakes course, a par-5 of 556 yards, is a dogleg left with water running down the left side and fronting the green. A private consultation on course management with Ray Floyd himself before teeing off on this hole is your best bet for remaining unscathed. A good drive and you can go for it in two. A mediocre tee shot or lacking a Phil Mickelson go-for-it constitution and you can play it safe by caressing it to the green down the right side.
A sight that you don't normally see while golfing, water skiers, might greet you on No. 5 on the Waterway nine. At 387 yards, it is not a particularly long or difficult par-4. It is considered the second toughest hole on the nine maybe because of the potential distraction of spotting a Thurston Howell III look-alike sailing by at the helm of his vessel a few nautical yards left of the cart path.

Along with a variety of holes and nines, Arrowhead is a very playable course, which Dennis credited for a history of repeat customers.

"One of the great things about Arrowhead is that it provides opportunities for pars and even some birdies for golfers who don't hit it that far but can put a couple of good shots together," said Dennis. "On a lot of courses, shorter hitters can't reach the par-4s in two shots. Here, a golfer who drives it 180 yards off the white tees can still get to most of the greens in regulation and have the chance to score well."

And if they don't, they can probably find a copy of Floyd's "From 60 Yards In" instructional video at the local Blockbusters.

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