FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Pawleys Island, SC, The River Club

May 1, 2009
2009 / May 2009

The River Club opened in 1985 at the southern end of the Grand Strand in Pawleys Island, S.C. The Tom Jackson design features bent-grass greens which, as advertised, play true and fast. Housing is located throughout the course but is generally well distanced from the lines of play.

Our foursome arrived bright and early for a Sunday morning tee time, coffee in hand. Our starter warned us about aggressive crows invading carts and making off with keys, watches and food. Though the pesky birds were visible, we did not experience their antics. We were also told this is Lowcountry — translation: There is water everywhere. This is no exaggeration, although there is no actual river at the River Club, just an abundance of lakes and ponds.

The water is not simply ornamental. It is fully in play on a dozen or more holes. Wild shots are often followed by a splash, and there are plenty of situations where players must either confront the water or consciously avoid it. But the course does not demand long, forced carries over water or marsh. Almost every hole has a safe option for steering clear of trouble, making the course very playable and a great option for foursomes of mixed abilities.

Even though the course is accommodating to novices, it is demanding on better players. While there is usually ample room off the tees, approach shots to well-protected greens can be difficult. Getting it close is no easy task.


Hole 4

(339 yards, par 4)

The water does not really come into play on this short dogleg right. A large bunker protects the turn in the fairway and teases you to cut the corner. This is a case of risk and reward, but the risk is not justified. Playing safely left of the bunker from the tee leaves only a short iron or wedge to the green. Challenging the bunker may take 50 yards off of the approach, but the slightest slip to the right can create problems with trees and awkward lies. It may even be possible to overdrive the fairway and find trouble on the far side. Stay safe and try to avoid the bunker guarding the front of the green.

Hole 6

(477 yards, par 5)

I never had so much fun making an 8 as I did on this hole. At 477 yards from the white tees, the hole invites longer hitters to go for the green in two. A solid drive, favoring the right side of the fairway, will leave a little over 200 yards to the green. It sounds simple enough, but the shot is entirely over water and the price for errant shots is high. Conservative players will likely fare better here, as a mid-iron lay-up down the narrow fairway will open up the green for a soft wedge. Pay attention to the bunkers, which protect the left side of the lay-up area.

Hole 8

(160 yards, par 3)

With water intruding directly in front of the right side of the green, this par 3 turned out to be a real pest. Our entire group attempted to pursue the right front pin. The wind was strong, and although we felt we had properly adjusted our club selections, all fell just a yard or two short of the dance floor. Two managed to hang on to the steep bank in front of the green, while the other two rolled back into a watery grave. We spent all of our time on the front half of this green, but I would highly recommend avoiding the three rear bunkers at all costs.

Hole 9 (394 yards, par 4)
This No. 1 handicap hole runs straight from tee to green, but a large bunker guards the right side of the driving area. After all four of our group found the left side of the fairway, we discovered a very tricky approach from there. The green is large, but the left side is well protected by large bunkers, which punish anything less than a perfectly struck shot. We managed only one par from our four good starts.

Hole 11

(524 yards, par 5)

This is a gorgeous dogleg right. It’s not terribly long, so don’t worry about staying too close to the inside of the turn. Hit a nice, easy drive down the middle. Then, a midiron lay-up will leave a short iron to the green. Those who elect to challenge the hole by driving around the dogleg will find the green is well protected from long approaches by water and sand. There is no chance to roll up onto the putting surface, so reaching in two would be a tremendous accomplishment.

Hole 12

2 (360 yards, par 4)

This is one of the few “dry” holes at the River Club, a nice little dogleg right and a good scoring opportunity. A large bunker protects the inside of the bend. A fairway wood from the tee should find the turn in the fairway, leaving a mid-iron approach. Feeling heroic? Try hitting a driver over the bunker and have less than 100 yards to go. The choice is yours.

Hole 14

(149 yards, par 3)

With so much water in play, I suppose an island green par 3 was inevitable. The hole appears daunting, but the green is larger than it looks. Check the yardage, test the wind, pick your stick and swing. Play safely to the middle of the green and let your putter do the talking. Those who can control their nerves may be rewarded with a birdie opportunity.

Hole 18

(493 yards, par 5)

This water-filled dogleg left is certainly the most entertaining. Cautious players will play the tee shot to the bend in the fairway. More adventurous players can aim for a peninsula, requiring approximately 240 yards of carry, but shortening the approach to the green by 70 yards. A safe mid-iron will leave a short pitch to the green. Thrill-seekers may attack the green in two, but the shot must be struck with absolute perfection. Anything short is in the water. Anything long finds the rear bunkers which, as I found, are not an easy up and down. I never did find out why this is rated the No. 18 handicap.


The River Club

11 Pine Drive
Pawleys Island, S.C. 29585
tel 800 344 5590

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Slideshow
Jul 17, 2024

7 Reasons to Put Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with us.

Hit the High Notes in Nashville

Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.

eFlyer Reviews
Jul 17, 2024

AMERON Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa Review

As we pulled into the small town of Schwangau, we were greeted by two breathtaking castles, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. To our delight, our hotel, AMERON Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa, was situated between the two. The best part? I had views of both castles from my room.

eFlyer News
Jul 17, 2024

Marriott International Launches Travel Management Program for Small- to Medium-Sized Businesses

Marriott International just launched Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy, a comprehensive online travel booking program designed as a direct channel for small- to medium-sized businesses.

Share Your Travel Preferences with Global Traveler in a Short Survey & Win

Learning more about our readers’ travel habits and preferences ensures Global Traveler delivers the content you desire. As the travel industry has adapted and changed over the last few years, it’s more important than ever to connect. To best meet your short- and long-term travel content needs, please help us!

eFlyer News
Jul 17, 2024

Pittsburgh International Airport Announces 15 New Stores

Pittsburgh International Airport announces another milestone as part of its ongoing modernization project. As the airport gears up for record-breaking travel and a new terminal, Pittsburgh International Airport also expands its stores and restaurants. Fifteen new concessions will grace the airport.

Daily
Jul 16, 2024

Bawah Reserve Introduces New Journeys to Wellbeing Program

Bawah Reserve, in the remote Anambas Islands of Indonesia, offers travelers six personalized wellness retreats through its new Journeys to Wellbeing program. Six pillars of wellbeing are addressed on the retreats: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social and environmental.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

Global City Guidebook: Rotterdam

Situated about one hour from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the second-largest city in The Netherlands and Europe’s largest seaport, is the more futuristic city of the pair. Rather than rebuild as it was before, following its near-destruction in World War II, Rotterdam looked ahead, and its extraordinary architecture is a result. The city has always focused on healthier living and working environments, and today it engages in climate-adaptive urban projects. Two areas harken back to old Rotterdam: Delfshaven (Delft Harbor) and Oude Haven (Old Harbor). Rotterdam is always alive, especially in springtime.