Since opening in 1999, the Arnold Palmer-designed course at Rivers Edge Golf Club in Shallotte, N.C., has been considered one of the most scenic near Myrtle Beach – and also one of the state’s finest.
In Golf Magazine’s 2016-17 rankings, Rivers Edge was named one of the “Best Golf Courses You Can Play” in N.C., appearing at No. 16. The course also came in at No. 17 in Golf Advisor’s 2016 rankings of the top 25 courses in N.C., based off customer ratings and reviews.
But what exactly draws such acclaim from golfers who play Rivers Edge? Here are five things you should know.
Seven of Rivers Edge’s 18 holes are bordered by the bluffs and grassy marshes of the Shallotte River and Copas Lake, lending themselves to views that extend for miles along the waterway and that few courses in the Carolinas can compete with.
The final four holes are among those that offer such visuals, making a stellar finish a certainty at this layout, a par-72.
Perhaps the course’s best scenery comes on the par-5 ninth hole, which measures 570 yards from the back tees and is aptly named “Arnie’s Revenge.”
Marshland lines the entire left side of the hole and leads to a peninsula green that is narrower than perhaps any you’ve ever seen. Reaching the green on your second shot, which must carry the Shallotte River, is one of the most difficult along the coast of the Carolinas.
Your best play is to just clear the marsh on your second shot and hit a wedge into the green. But no matter the distance, your third shot will test your nerves.
In a story for Kingdom Magazine, created by Palmer for the members of the courses he designed, Palmer ranked Rivers Edge’s ninth hole as No. 15 on his list of the 18 “most challenging” holes in the eastern United States.
The 19th hole
As much as you might struggle on the ninth hole, at least you can look forward to watching others do the same when you arrive back at the clubhouse, which features a 360-degree wrap-around porch that overlooks the ninth and 18th greens.
Enjoy the views from there while having a pre-round lunch or post-round drink.
Recently renovated greens
In 2009, Rivers Edge converted its greens to SeaDwarf Paspalum grass, which is highly salt and drought tolerant and takes stress off a course’s water supply. However, the grass ultimately wasn’t a good fit.
So in July 2015, the course switched its greens to Sunday Ultradwarf Bermudagrass, a hardy strain that offers smooth, quick and uniform surfaces – which I can speak for after a recent round.
On my visit to Rivers Edge, I secured a Sunday morning tee time for $59. Even better deals can often be found on GolfNow, and the course is also a headliner in The East Coast 4, a stay-and-play special from North Beach Plantation in North Myrtle Beach.
The four-round package, which offers 26 courses to choose from, starts at $523 per person for three nights at North Beach Plantation from May 29-Sept. 6. That rate drops to $370 from Sept. 7-20.
More information about the package – which also provides each player in your group with a $100 gift card that can be used for food, beverages, merchandise or same-day afternoon replays – can be found here.