Pine Lakes Country Club, known as the Granddaddy of Myrtle Beach golf courses, is a very good straight forward track and a golf club loaded with tradition. Pine Lakes was designed and built by the first PGA president, Robert White, in 1927 and Sports Illustrated was founded at Pine Lakes shortly thereafter. The club house is an impressive white southern colonial and the course was described as an old Scottish style track – the caddies and golf staff wear nickers (they used to wear kilts and ties) and may be going back to kilts in the near future. The course is owned and managed by Burroughs & Chapin and went through a complete renovation and makeover done by Craig Schreiner in late 2008 to bring the Grandaddy of all Myrtle Beach golf courses back to the spirit of the 1920's. Pine Lakes is currently on the National Register of Historical Places.
The front nine is pretty straightforward with a “what you see is what you get” nine – no tricks, no hidden hazards, and a good opportunity to have a relaxing and enjoyable nine. The fairways are tree lined but a number of trees were recently removed to help the fairways recover from a very tough winter – new trees have been planted to replace them. If you spray the ball you can usually find it and get back to the fairway to try and save par. The majority of the fairways, from the tee box to the greens, are wide and forgiving. You will encounter 11 bunkers, water on 8 holes, and some tough approaches.
The back seems more fun, a little bit harder (plenty of opportunities to get wet), more scenic, and was in better condition. #14 is a fun hole with a long downhill drive to a lake across the fairway then back up the hill to a protected green. #15 gives you a good risk reward opportunity to try and fly a huge beach to save some distance on this dog leg right.
Pine Lakes is the only course in the area to have Sea Dwarf fairways and greens. The greens are about average size with gentle slope and some undulation. They were a little rough, slow, and bumpy when we played thanks to one of the worst winters ever as well as some over seeding. We were told that the greens normally are in good condition (a 9), smooth and true, and run about 9 to 10 on the Stimp Meter. They range in size and a good number of the greens are elevated and a bit hard to hold.
The fairways were also trying to recover from a tough winter and weren't in the best condition, again thanks to the very harsh winter. Most of the fairways were wide and forgiving and you can pull out the driver and let 'er rip – but don't miss the fairway.
This a course where you a can have a fun relaxing round and score well – no tricks, traditional and straightforward holes, with occasional water and bunkers that you need to manage.