As a local resident of beautiful Myrtle Beach, I’ve witnessed the allure of the numerous golf courses speckling our coastal town for golfers worldwide. But beyond their perfectly curated greens and the chance for a hole-in-one, these golf courses offer something just as incredible: the opportunity to encounter various species of wildlife. Let’s explore some of the area’s premier golf courses, teeing off under a Carolina blue sky while keeping an eye out for the unique critters that call these greens home.
Caledonia Golf & Fish Club: A Splash of Feathered Fiends
Tucked away among gigantic oaks draped in tendrils of Spanish moss lies Caledonia Golf & Fish Club—one of Myrtle Beach’s finest golf courses. But what might catch your eye more than the stimulating layout is the bevvy of birdlife that frequent the club’s 18 holes. Herons, egrets, and even bald eagles are common sightings here, often interested as you are in the fish roving below the water hazards. The club’s focus on preservation and habitat enhancement means you’re always bound to spot some feathered friends.
TPC Myrtle Beach: A Walk on the Wild Side
TPC Myrtle Beach is no stranger to the big leagues — it’s the only Myrtle Beach golf course to be awarded five stars by Golf Digest, and it’s tested numerous professional players. But besides a challenging game, it is a haven for nature lovers. Whitetail deer often frequent the lush fairways, and you’ll often spot alligators sunning themselves besides the greens. Coupled with sightings of turtles, wood ducks, and even the occasional bobcat, TPC is sure to deliver a rich wildlife experience accompanied by a challenging game.
Willbrook Plantation: History, Golf, and Nature All-In-One
Willbrook Plantation is not just well-known for its challenging yet playable layout — the course’s commitment to the environment has earned it the recognition of being a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Alligators and deer call this place home, and bird-spotters will be thrilled at sightings of exotic birds of prey and the rare red-cockaded woodpecker. With ancient live oaks and weeping willows adding a touch of historical charm, Willbrook is for history lovers, bird-watchers, and golf enthusiasts alike.
Barefoot Resort & Golf: Experience Southern Charm with a Touch of the Wild
Consisting of four championship golf courses, Barefoot Resort & Golf offers a rich golfing experience amidst varied terrain. But wildlife enthusiasts should be sure to tee off at the Love Course. Birders will enjoy species such as osprey, cormorant, and Belted Kingfishers, while the lucky few may get to see deer and coyotes that occasionally visit the greens. With beautifully manicured fairways and exceptional wildlife, Barefoot Resort & Golf justifiably completes your wildlife watching journey.
Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club: A Jewel of the Lowcountry
Located on the south end, Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club is a lowcountry gem. The course layout capitalizes on Pawleys Island’s unique terrain, with a stunning combination of salt marsh and dense hardwood forest coverage. This woven tapestry of habitats results in a wild assortment of critters. Besides the gators lounging by freshwater pools, you may identify ibises feeding in flocks, and anoles rustling in the underbrush. It’s a veritable wonderland for any golfer with an interest in wildlife and exceptional views.
Myrtle Beach gives golfers more than an opportunity to perfect their swings and lower their handicaps. It offers the unique thrill of spotting a variety of wildlife, often from the comfort of your golf cart. So, next time you’re preparing for a long golf weekend, consider adding birdseed and binoculars to your packing list. You never know what or who might be watching you from the underbrush as you line up your next shot.