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Tidewater Golf Club : North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

TIDEWATER GOLF CLUB, ONE of the top-rated courses in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, offers magnificent views of the Intracoastal Waterway, saltwater marshes and the Atlantic Ocean. Referred to as "pure as the ocean breezes that blow across it," with five sets of tees, Tidewater offers a competitive course for professionals and high handicappers alike.

The 18-hole course features two signature holes, the third and the 13th. Wind and pin location on the third, a tricky par 3 ranging from 93 to 157 yards, will determine club selection. Three large bunkers jealously guard the front of the three-tiered green, and marsh awaits balls that stray long and left. Accurate shots at the flagstick will be rewarded, but, if you take the easy way out and land on the wrong level, putting will be difficult.

The par 5 13th, which plays from 372 yards to 539 yards, offers a view of an ocean inlet. You must keep your drive left because the fairway slopes to the right. If you lay up on your second shot to the left-front collection area, you might have a difficult chip to the putting surface.

Designed and built by South Carolina native Ken Tomlinson, the course reflects his "respect for classic turn-of-the-century golf courses" that are "created in harmony with the natural landscape."

The black tees at Tidewater provide a 7,078-yard challenge, while the jade tees play at 4,615 yards. In between, the gold tees play at 6,630 yards, the silver tees at 6,614 and the copper tees at 5,097.

The course, an example of how "human artistry can mold Nature to achieve a harmonious balance between form and function," challenges players to make strategic decisions, take risks and use their shot-making creativity.

Lessons are available at Tidewater from PGA golf professionals. Players can enjoy the $2.5 million, 18,000-square-foot clubhouse, which features a full-service golf shop, private meeting room, owners-only private parlor and men-s and women-s locker rooms. The Clubhouse Grille serves lunch and dinner and has a fully stocked lounge.

The course is part of a 500-acre plantation built amid pristine forests and coastal bluffs. Golf packages are available for an unforgettable vacation that includes luxurious accommodations, tee times, daily housekeeping services and convenient on-site check-in. Two-and three-bedroom villas are available with access to the clubhouse and a state-of-the-art swim and racquet club.

The serenity and natural beauty of the course sets it apart from others on the Grand Strand.

By Stacy E. Domingo

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