Parkland at Legends Golf and Resort in Myrtle Beach: Pristine golf packaged perfectly
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Gerald Cahill had just finished the first of back to back rounds at Parkland at Legends Golf and Resort.
Like most who set foot on Parkland, his rounds were part of a package deal, significantly discounting the cost for Cahill and his wife, Agnes. But it wasn't the cost or the scenic overview of the Scottish-style castle clubhouse that got to him.
"I think its condition," Gerald Cahill said. "The course is in great condition."
Despite rains that had recently flooded the Myrtle Beach area in a matter of days, it was evident that the staff at Legends put plenty of effort into keeping its Parkland course in top condition. Between constant work on the fairways and sand traps, the visual appeal of the golf course continues to match its playing appeal.
Listening to Head Professional Matt Biddington, it sounds like Legends achieved its goal once again.
"You have to have an excellent product," Biddington said. "I can safely say we've been one of the top five conditioned courses in the area. Once March came around and the weather started turning, we've had zero complaints on the course at all."
In fact, it's been the exact opposite. The rants and raves over the condition of Parkland have swamped the golf course with players from around North America.
The Cahills played it multiple times on a recent trip from their home outside of St. John's in Newfoundland, Canada. They weren't alone.
Thanks to Legends' partnership with 50 or more outside vendors, the resort gets the majority of its traffic from package deals, including the popular Five for Four, which combines rounds at on-site courses the Heathland, the Moorland and Parkland and sister courses Oyster Bay in Sunset Beach, N.C., and the Heritage Club in Pawleys Island, S.C. So while a typical round at Parkland would cost $65 to $135, depending on the season, almost no one pays that standard rack rate. Biddington has no problem referring to some of those packages as the best deal in Myrtle Beach.
Parkland at Legends Golf and Resort: The golf course
Once the golfers arrive, they find a somewhat difficult 18 holes. The starter's pre-round speech often includes a description of the golf course as "every bit of 6,500 yards" from the white tees.
"It played a little longer than the other courses," Gerald Cahill said, comparing it to the other four courses in the Legends network. "That's the first time anyone ever gave us that type of advice."
The back tees at Parkland play a hair more than 7,100 yards, while the ladies' set sit just shy of 5,400. Regardless, any Parkland golfer must deal with hazards galore, exemplified by No. 7. All seven sand traps -- including two on the right of the fairway and five on the left -– enter play with the slightest off-center shot. And for the most part, these aren't your run-of-the-mill bunkers.
"They were like British Open bunkers," Agnes Cahill said. "You're buried in them. They have the big lips. You can't go in them."
A mean slice off the tee box on No. 7 puts into play a water hazard that stretches nearly three-quarters of the length of the hole. And that's just the sixth-hardest hole on the golf course.
The challenge is another part of its appeal. The 441-yard, par-4 14th rates as the toughest Parkland has to offer. But after the previous 13, it blends in as simply another trial.
Facilities and golf instruction at Legends
When stacking up against the numerous golf courses on the Grand Strand, the Legends site offers one of the better all-around venues to spice up the golf experience.
Included in the list of perks is a 30-plus acre driving range, an 1 1/4-acre putting green, a separate building to house the Classic Swing Golf School, the clubhouse and pro shop, the aforementioned Scottish-style castle -- complete with a better-than-average pub with plenty of food and drink specials year-round.
"In the spring, there's a lot of days when it's tough to get a spot over there," Biddington said of the pub. "It's been a great change with (the economy) being down. It's great to have people coming through the doors."
The driving range and the putting green are lit well into the evening, another benefit for golfers.
The Parkland course at Legends Golf and Resort: The verdict
It appears the secret on Parkland is out: Find a package deal that matches it and a couple other Legends golf courses, and take advantage of the savings.
Golfers of all skill levels, though, face a challenge many other golf courses don't offer: Of the 18 holes at Parkland, 12 include some form of water hazard. All 18 feature at least two in-play sand traps.
It adds to the enjoyment -- or frustration, if you're not ready -– of a very affordable golf course.
October 15, 2010