Founders Club At Pawleys Island

  • 7829 Ocean Hwy. Pawleys Island, SC 29585
  • 800-882-3420
  • Designer: Thomas Walker
  • Rating: 74.1
  • Slope: 139
  • Yardage: 7,007

Founders Club at Pawleys Island is located in the quiet, beautiful seaside town of Pawleys Island on the Grand Strand’s southern end. The course occupies the same piece of land as the old Sea Gull Golf Course, built in the 1960s, but in 2008, long-time Gary Player assistant architect Thomas Walker completely redesigned the course into its current state. Founders Club earned distinction as “Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year” in 2011 and it hosts rounds for the World Amateur Handicap Championship and the Father-Son Championship every year.

In a region where many courses have similar looks, Founders Club is eminently memorable, given the modern eye with which Walker sculpted it. Instead of expanses of Bermuda grass rough, off-fairway challenge comes in the form of sandy waste areas. The benefit of this is that while sometimes players can draw bad lies, there is often the opportunity to gamble a bit and try to advance a ball all the way close to or onto the putting surface after a substandard tee shot. Water also comes into play at key times, but Walker did well to keep it to the side for the most part.

The highlight hole on the course is the 14th, which seems inspired by Pinehurst’s rolling terrain and pine-dotted sandscapes. A long par four, the hole doglegs to the right around a stand of pines and tumbles downhill before rising to a green pitched from back to front and guarded by deep bunkers left and right. A tee shot that hugs the treeline on the right can catch some extra roll and shorten the hole, making the approach less perilous.

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