If you’re a golfer who has ever dreamed about stepping off the plane and right on to the golf course, Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach, SC can come as close as any club in America at making your dream come true. In fact, course owner Chip Smith has pictures of golfers lugging their golf bags and luggage across the street to play the golf course.
The golf course at Whispering Pines is as challenging as it is beautiful to look at. The course has been carved out of over 200 acres of mature hardwood and towering pine trees. The course originally opened in 1963 and was redesigned by Texas architects Finger, Dye and Spann in 1983.
If you like to see mother nature at her best, this is the place for you! In 1998, Whispering Pines was designated a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” by Audubon International. At the time, they were only the 3rd course in South Carolina to achieve this honor.
For several years, conditions at Whispering Pines deteriorated and the course lost many of their regular players. In 2015, Atlantic Golf Management – who was the previous operators of TPC Myrtle Beach – stepped up and assumed management of the course. Atlantic has made many improvements, including better conditioning of the course, and have plans for many more.
You’ll find tree-lined fairways, strategically placed lakes, and well undulated TifEagle greens await your arrival at Whispering Pines. Although it’s located across the street from the airport less than five minutes from the heartbeat of the Myrtle Beach oceanfront, Whispering Pines offers golfers tranquility. There are no homes on the course, so no backyards or windows to worry about. It’s just you, mother nature and the occasional fighter jet buzzing overhead!
Favorite Hole: Number 14, Par 5, 463 yards. If you’re playing this course for the first time, you might look at the scorecard and immediately think “eagle opportunity.” But not so fast; this double dogleg is incredibly difficult to reach in two. Play your tee shot slightly right of the water and your layup shot slightly left of the large tree on the right side. That will leave a short pitch shot into a green cut on an angle and sloping back to front with two bunkers on the right side. This hole requires 3 well placed and controlled shots to have a chance at par or better.
Favorite Par 3: Number 6, 151 yards. This is an interesting little par 3 that plays over water to a green that slopes back to front. What makes it so interesting is that with a front pin placement, anything short stands a good chance of rolling back down into the water. Bunkers on either side of the green necessitate the need to hit the green.
Favorite Par 4: Number 8, 390 yards. Another of Whispering Pines challenging holes that feature a pond on the left side of the landing area and more water on the right. This creates a narrow landing area, so consider hitting a club that won’t carry to the pond. It will leave a longer approach shot, but better safe than sorry! From there you’ll play to an elevated green. A deep bunker guards the front left of the green and the mounding all around can make for an interesting up and down from the rough. Par is a good score here!
Favorite Par 5: Number 12, 538 yards. Off the tee, you’ll need to contend with a large tree in the middle of the fairway. Push your tee shot right and you could find the water. Once past the tree, you’ll find smaller trees along the edge of the fairway on the right side, so you’ll need to play your layup shot out to the left to have a clear line into the green. Two small, deep pot bunkers guard the left side; right of the traps and you’re likely to find more water! The green is small with some subtle undulations. No wonder this is the #1 handicap!
Whispering Pines has some impressive practice facilities including a full-length driving range; a chipping area and practice putting green. You can hit a few balls to get loose before your round or hit a few buckets and work on different aspects of your game so you’ll be ready for your next round. In case you can’t figure things out on your own, golf lessons are offered for all skill levels at the Whispering Pines Golf Academy.
Unlike many green grass golf pro shops that have given in to the big box golf retailers, the pro shop at Whispering Pines carries a good selection of golf apparel from such well-known companies as Antigua, Callaway, Divots and more. They also have the latest shoes from Nike and Callaway and the prices on the equipment they stock will match or in many cases beat the big box outlets. Whispering Pines pro shop also stocks a wide selection of balls, gloves, and accessories. Equipment and accessory brands include Adams, Titleist, Callaway, Cleveland, Nike, Wilson, and more.
Last Word: One thing you’ll notice at Whispering Pines is the size of the greens; for the most part they are small and elevated; a double whammy for many! This places a premium on accuracy on your approach shot. During your round, it’s not uncommon to see military jets doing some practice runs or flying over information. After all, the Myrtle Beach airport was once an Air Force base and the golf course was previously known as Myrtle Beach AFB Golf Club.
With an above average course rating of 70.9 and a slope of 128 from the White Tees, Whispering Pines offers most golfers a good challenge, with no gimmicks. As you stand on the tee, what you see is what you get, all you have to do is hit the shots and make the putts! It’s a great place to get in the first or last round of your Myrtle Beach golf vacation.
For more information on everything Whispering Pines has to offer, visit them online at playwhisperingpinesgolf.com. You can also book tee times through their website.