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  4. Pearl Golf Links East

CALABASH, NC – Located just 15-minutes from North Myrtle Beach, The Pearl features two 18-hole courses, East and West. We had the pleasure of playing the East track.

This was my first visit to The Pearl. Residing in Myrtle Beach there are quite a few first class courses between my home and The Pearl. Surprisingly, the drive was just 30-minutes from door to door and frankly, well worth the time. This is a very nice golf course and one that fits every style of play.

Ron McClellan was working the pro shop and described the course as, “a very beautiful course and quite playable.” It’s a traditional tree-lined course,” he continued. He was right-on.

The course is very attractive with both majestic pines and hardwoods lining virtually every fairway. The native cypress trees were just beginning to go to their summer leaves and were quite spectacular. The azaleas and dogwoods were in full bloom. There was ample rough between the fairways and tree lines allowing for a slightly errant drive to still be playable.

The grounds crew has added their talented touch. The course is well landscaped and the signage looks new. The fact that there are no homes intruding on the natural beauty on the course is a plus in my book.

The clubhouse deserves mention. The pro shop is large and well stocked and at the time of our visit was offering a special promotion. Given three putts, you scored a $5 discount for every one made when purchasing a new putter. A large lounge area featured very comfortable sofas and a large screen television. Not a bad place to enjoy a beverage and watch a sporting event. The snack bar offers a nice menu with all your favorite golf course fare.

A large driving range and putting green are available to loosen-up and find your rhythm. We found the putting green to be very indicative of the L-93 Bentgrass greens found on the course. Those greens were in great shape and rolled quite nicely. Although mounded, the greens were quite true.

One distinct feature the Pearl East offers is no two holes appear to be the same. You’ll need to think your way around the course and concentrate on placements. However, there are quite a few holes the big hitters will have an opportunity to show their stuff. The course was in good shape and looking quite nice after a rough winter season.

No. 6 is a particularly memorable Par 4. At 381-yards from the blue tees and 357 from the whites this Number 1 handicap hole is one of the few with a vertical water hazard. That water is only 225/200 yards to the edge and is approximately 20-30 yards wide at its narrowest point. Unless you can carry a drive 250+ yards to a fairly narrow landing area, lay-up and play a 150/160-yard second shot. The green is not overly challenging and par is obtainable with good shot making.

The Par 5 No. 9 is also a very nice golf hole. If you’re still frustrated by not hitting your driver on No. 6, here’s a chance to grip and rip. At 501 yards from the blues and 481 from the whites a strong drive will put you in a great position. You can either go for the slightly downhill green, or lay-up or be in position for a short wedge. Water on the left and a single tree on the right-center of the fairway definitely will impact a lay-up.

The finishing holes combine great scenery with challenging golf. No. 16 is an interesting hole. Although not long at 352 yards from the blue tees, it requires a very accurate drive. A sand bunker and over hanging tree protects the right bend of the dogleg right and a drive that challenges will have a very narrow landing area. The downhill shot to a generous green provides a wonderful marsh view.

No. 17 requires a strong drive uphill, if you’re going to master this 406-yard Par 4. The marsh to the left and two strategically placed bunkers to the right protect the green. Bogey is not a bad score.

No. 18 a 562 yard Pr 5 is a great finishing hole. Play up the right side avoiding the trap and this 3-shot No. 2 handicap hole is manageable.

We thoroughly enjoyed The Pearl – East Course. From the pro shop and starter to the beverage cart and lounge the staff was very hospitable. The course itself fit my eye and was a pleasure to play. Put me down as a return visitor playing The Pearl – West Course links style golf the next time.