By Myrtle Beach golf standards, Heather Glen Golf Links is ancient. During the golf boom of the 1990s until the golf bust after the 2009 recession, courses popped up in the Myrtle Beach area like mushrooms after a summer storm. The beloved championship course at Heather Glen was born before all that, in 1987. When it opened, Golf Digest ranked it America’s No. 1 New Public Course, and it continues to enjoy a high rating in many surveys. Heather Glen is one of four courses in The Glens Group, along with Glen Dornoch, Shaftesbury Glen and Possum Trot.
Heather Glen offers 27 holes made up of three nines — the Red, White and Blue courses — and includes some of the best holes in Myrtle. Driving up to the clubhouse, you get a true Southern plantation feel from the live oaks that line the driveway. You might not admire the tight fairways and tall pines that line the course, however, as you drive your ball too far afield.
Famed golf course architect Willard C. Byrd, a World War II veteran who served on a Navy minesweeper, designed the course. Byrd designed or renovated nearly 100 courses in his lifetime. A sampling of Byrd courses includes Atlanta Country Club, The Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst and Wild Wing Plantation in Myrtle Beach. Golfers know what to expect from one of his well-designed courses.
I teed up to attack Heather with Mike Donahue, Bobby Hancock and Gerry “Gerbils” Patrick. We wonder if we will ever be welcomed back!
Hole 1 | 430 yards, par 4 ‘The Redan’
Always nice to tee up on the first hole and prepare for battle. “The Redan” offers a balanced approach to ruin your day, and it is an equal opportunity hole. For the high handicappers — we had a few in our group — a missed tee shot can get you wet or land you in a perfectly positioned waste bunker. These difficult areas have a certain magnetism for Gerbils. For those who nail a shot off the tee without perfect control, trees and a long bunker await to the right. The worst feature — nicknamed “Hacker’s Haven” — is the large, fearsome bunker guarding the front of the green, where I believe I heard a few naughty words spoken.
Hole 4 | 165 yards, par 3 ‘The Pot Hole’
One would think this hole would be located in Denver in the backyard of some stoner, but “The Pot Hole” resides at Heather and is the home of the “Devil’s Mistress,” which I added to the list of the most hated pot bunkers in the United States. This is where Jimmy Whelehan (certainly not in our group) scored an ace twice in one day, with the same club and the same ball, during two different 18-hole rounds on March 1, 1992. If you think that sounds like a difficult task, you are correct — and he is the only person to accomplish it.
Hole 8 | 409 yards, par 4 ‘The Spectacle’
You need more than 200 yards to clear the pond and the waste bunkers if you take the shortcut and drive the ball toward the green on this dogleg left. Aim for the right fairway for a safe bet, but you still must contend with a fair amount of moguls. I took the safer route, which still gave me a rather long iron to the green. As you can imagine, our group made quite a spectacle as we heaved balls into the pond or the various bunkers Willard Byrd so proudly supplied. Perhaps his minesweeping would have found a few of our sunken drives.
Hole 8 | 525 yards, par 5 ‘Perfection’
I believe I witnessed the most spectacular shot in golf, made by Mike Donahue. It involved a rock, a steel storm pipe and water. But first some information about this hole, one of the more challenging at Heather Glen. You need a near-perfect drive to clear a drainage ditch (which I did) to a luscious fairway. From here, you have to land your second shot in front of the water that guards the green while crossing the drainage ditch once again. The green, partially tucked in on the left, adds to the difficulty and increases the possibility of reaching the water first (which I did). Mike failed to clear the first ditch, landing squarely in the center but not in any water. The hole turns left here, so he aimed for the landing zone, saying something like “This is no problem,” and took a full swing. The ball headed too far left and too low, traveling through the steel pipe, hitting a rock on the other side and returning back into the pipe — this time twirling around about 10 times and nearly returning to its original position. Bobby exclaimed, “Did you see that? That was the coolest thing I ever saw! It twirled around like a corkscrew!”
Hole 9 | 410 yards, par 4 ‘Bunker’s Hill’
On June 17, 1775, the British defeated the Continental Army at the battle of Bunker Hill. Although defeated, the ragtag American troops nonetheless delivered a blow to the British, who suffered significant casualties. As you approach the green on Hole 9, nine bunkers set up a defensive line. The first is about 100 yards out; from here, they dot the right-side approach and circle the green in fortification. Mounding and bunkering create a valley effect as you approach another redan-style green. “Redan be damned!” was the battle cry as we completed a successful round at one of our favorite Myrtle Beach haunts.
Heather Glen Golf Links
650 Heather Glen Way
Little River, SC 29566
tel 843 249 9000
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.