Travel Guru: River’s Edge Golf Club – Shallotte, North Carolina Guru's Rating: 8.0
Non-Resident Weekend Rate (with cart): $129
River’s Edge Golf Club in Shallotte, North Carolina, is one of those courses that people either love or hate. In many cases, the love/hate feeling revolves around just one hole on the course.
This Arnold Palmer Signature course is situated on the Shallotte River. It offers fantastic marsh and river views on holes 8 and 9, and on the finishing holes 15 through 18. These six holes (two par 3’s, two par 4’s and two par 5’s) are definitely the highlights of River’s Edge.
When it is in prime condition, it is one of the top golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area. But, when the greens are in poor shape, the challenges of the course make it a very frustrating round of golf. The course struggled for a number of years with the consistency of its bentgrass greens. In 2009, River’s Edge converted all of its greens to Seashore Paspalum, a hardy grass used mainly in Florida. River’s Edge is the most northern course with Seashore Paspalum. This is the first year that the greens seem to have achieved the quality expected of a premium golf course. Time will tell if this is the case.
The challenges are created by the geography of the course, and the layout. Water comes into play on a number of holes, and several holes have areas of wetlands and coastal marsh which are environmentally sensitive, and are marked as lateral hazards. The course’s location on bluffs overlooking the Shallotte River, gives it some elevation changes that are not found on most other courses in the Myrtle Beach area. In addition, there are several par 4’s and par 5’s that leave a small margin of error off the tee. Seemingly good tee-shots can end up out of bounds, or in water hazards.
River’s Edge has a great clubhouse with a balcony overlooking the Shallotte River and the 9 th and 18th greens. There’s a driving range and practice green ideally located between the 1 st and 10th tees. On the downside, except for a “porta-potty” on hole 14, there are no restrooms on the course.
Most Memorable Hole: This would have to be the 9th hole. It’s a par 5 with a thin peninsula green that hangs out into the river. A good drive will leave you with a big decision – should you try to hit the peninsula green about 210 – 220 yards away, or should you layup on the other side of the marsh to
about 130 yards? I’ve played the course about a dozen times, many rounds with PGA Pros and low- handicap golfers and even with the winner of two U.S. Amateur Championships, and I’ve never seen
anybody make it safely on the green in two shots – although I’m sure it’s been done. Everyone I’ve played with who has attempted the shot has either come up short or hit it through the green and into the marsh on the other side.
Most Challenging Hole: Again, this would be the 9th hole, for the reasons discussed above. Before you start your round of golf, walk behind the clubhouse and take a look at holes 9 and 18. This will give you a good view of the two holes. Pay particular attention to wind direction and pin placement. If you don’t have a GPS, it’s a good idea to purchase a yardage book for the course.
The Bottom Line: The scenery at River’s Edge makes it a must play course in the Myrtle Beach area. Currently, Golfweek magazine ranks it #14 on its list of “Courses You Can Play” in North Carolina.
Guru’s Tip: The list price for a round on River’s Edge is in the $89 – $129 range, but you can always find a better deal through one of the many golf package companies serving the Myrtle Beach market. Discounts are also available for afternoon or weekday (Monday – Wednesday) play.
This article was contributed by Eric Rosenberg of Seaside Golf Vacations. Seaside Golf Vacations is a golf package company located in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The company specializes in Myrtle Beach golf packages, and golf vacation packages to other destinations in the U.S. and world-wide. Visit Seaside Golf Vacations’ website, www.seasidegolf.com, for more information.