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.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Nov 28, 2022

World’s Most Underrated Travel Experiences

Adventure tour operator Explore Worldwide recently conducted a study to find the most underrated travel experiences around the world. The operator analyzed more than 350 lesser-known destinations and experiences across more than 130 countries, ranking them based on how high its Trip Advisor score fared against how many people actually reviewed the activity and how many Google searches the experience received.

6,000 Reasons and More to Celebrate!

IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.

Slideshow
Nov 28, 2022

8 Reasons to Put Buenos Aires, Argentina, 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 Buenos Aires, Argentina, with us.

Daily
Nov 28, 2022

Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club Coming to PHL

Philadelphia International Airport announced a new Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club is coming to the airport. Created in collaboration with PHL, MarketPlace PHL, Chase and Airport Dimensions, the 20,000-square-foot lounge space, in the airport’s Terminal D/E connector, will boast locally inspired décor and a curated menu.

Lose Track of Time in Savannah, Georgia

Sweet tea. Soul food. Y'all. Sound familiar? Though these words and phrases are commonly associated with the South, it's understood in any language. If you're seeking a city abroad that will enchant you, capture your attention from start to finish and welcome everyone as family, we cordially invite you to visit Savannah.

Daily
Nov 28, 2022

The Radio Hotel Opens in Colorful New York City Neighborhood

The Radio Hotel and Tower, opened earlier this year, sits in the heart of Washington Heights, a west-side Manhattan neighborhood near George Washington Bridge.

Daily
Nov 23, 2022

“Celebrity Beyond” Begins Inaugural U.S. Season

At the end of October, Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, Celebrity Beyond, arrived in New York City, marking its North American debut and beginning its inaugural U.S. season. I had the pleasure of exploring the ship while it was docked in Bayonne, New Jersey, and learning more about the transformational new ship with the first and American female captain, Kate McCue.

Alaskan Wild Wonders by Celebrity Cruises

Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.

Daily
Nov 23, 2022

3 Destinations That Inspired Literary Masterminds

Looking for your next place to instill inspiration? These neighborhoods and hotels saw literary greats walk their corridors, from James Joyce to Oscar Wilde. Consider staying at these elegant properties and walking these destinations to experience the same influential nature these places had on some of the greatest writers in history.