Title: Golf Course Folklore: Tales from Myrtle Beach
If there’s something that breathes life into the soul of a pastime, it’s the folklore that surrounds it. One of the favorite year-around golfing destinations, Myrtle Beach, is not devoid of such captivating tales that has stitched themselves into the very fabric of the city’s golf courses. Legend, humor, and a sense of humility all intertwine within these fabled greens creating a unique cultural tapestry that provides much more than just a round of golf.
First on our list is none other than Arnold Palmer’s mythical link to the Myrtle Beach National – King’s North Course. It is said that Palmer, known as ‘The King’ of golf, has left more than his course design in Myrtle Beach. Golfing aficionados share tales of mysterious gusts of wind that happen only when golf balls near the greens of “The Gambler”, King’s North legendary sixth hole. The believers swear it’s Palmer himself, sweeping the course to ensure a fair and challenging game. And indeed, golfing at King’s North, you can’t miss the feeling of a grand legacy giving an aura to your shots.
Dunes Golf & Beach Club, meanwhile, is home to one of the most curious tales of the Myrtle Beach circuit. It is whispered amongst golfers that if you want to guarantee a game-winning swing, you should catch sight of the elusive “Green Heron” presiding over the club’s par-3, ninth hole. This long-legged bird of grace is believed to bring golfers luck. So, keep your eyes peeled for the feathered resident when you’re facing the challenging and scenic “Waterloo” hole. The sight of the bird coupled with the views of Singleton Swash might just lead to the perfect swing.
Perhaps the most endearing of all tales hails from the Tidewater Golf Club. Generations of players believe that the course’s tidal waters adjacent to Cherry Grove possess a unique trait. Those who dip their clubs in it prior to teeing off on the scenic fourth hole are said to experience a surge in their game. As folklore goes, it’s a ritual begun by the shrimpers who worked the nearby waterways, lending a touch of local charm and tradition to the golf course.
Who could forget the legend of the “Grey Man” of Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club? Folklore says that residents of Pawleys Island see the “Grey Man” before a devastating hurricane, urging them to leave. Golfers have appropriated this legend, asserting that sightings of the ethereal figure amidst the centuries-old oaks and thick marshland ensure a promising round. So, if you happen to come across the “Grey Man” while preparing for the challenging Jack Nicklaus signature course, consider it a rare stroke of luck.
Myrtle Beach’s Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, designed by the late Mike Strantz, bears its own haunting tale. Over the years, staff members have reported hearing disembodied voices murmuring in the clubhouse. Rumor has it, these are the spirits of Strantz and the former plantation workers, discussing the unparalleled beauty of the course. Don’t fret if you hear the telltale murmurs; they’re just witnessing you experience the enchantment of one of America’s Top 100 courses.
Lastly, True Blue Plantation is host to an age-old tale grounded in the site’s previous incarnation as an indigo and rice plantation. Some golfers argue the pristine condition of the course is due to a diligent caretaker ghost. They say a faithful ex-worker from the rice plantation era roams the fairways at night, ensuring his beloved fields, albeit now holes, stay in pristine condition. Be it fact or folklore, you cannot deny the course’s year-round immaculate condition.
Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, these tales undeniably enrich the golfing experience in Myrtle Beach. They deepen our connection with the game and the treasured landscape, making each swing, birdie or hole-in-one a part of not only our stories but the tales infused in the very spirit of these lands. So, while you relish the game on the delightful greens of Myrtle Beach, remember that in these parts, folklore is as much a part of the game as the clubs in your bag.