Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.3

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
North Myrtle Beach, SC

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Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation Review

Tidewater was designed by Ken Tomleson and opened to rave reviews in 1990 and is currently ranked #41 in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses.  Known as the “Pebble Beach of the East” Tidewater has some spectacular holes that play along the tidewater marshes next to the inland waterway.    In addition to some great golf, just riding the cart is a unique experience with 8 miles of cart paths that wind in, around and through marshes, across natural areas, along the tidewater marshes, and through a beautiful neighborhood.  

Tidewater can play very treacherous if you can’t hit the ball consistently fairly straight and manage your club selection.  You’ll find a little bit of everything at Tidewater that will test your skills - forced carries, dog legs, tight fairways, rolling fairways, marshes, and more.  The course was designed to blend in with the environment and reward strategic thinking, risk taking, and shot making skills.  For example, the #1 handicap #4 is a 430 yard dog leg left that rewards risk takers off the tee (miss it and you're in the marsh or waste bunker that runs the entire length of the hole) and the second shot is downhill to a green protected by the marsh, 6 bunkers, and the waste bunker. 

The front nine seems more traditional and straight forward than the back and it has 2 beautiful holes that play along the tidewater marshes which are not only very scenic but fun and challenging.  For example, #3 is an outstanding 160 yard par 3 to a slightly downhill very well guarded (6 big sand bunkers) odd shaped green with some huge undulation and slope toward the marsh - target golf at it's best.  

The back nine is close to a perfect 10!  Fun, scenic, and challenging - with dog legs, water on 4 holes, well protected greens, natural areas, forced carries, narrow landing zones, plenty of trees, and other fun stuff that will challenge your nerves and shot making skills. 

The Tidewater Golf Club greens are about average size with both minor slope and small to severe undulation.  They were about average speed and we found them easy to read - putting didn't seem to be an issue when we played.  Most of the greens were still recovering from the severe winter and as such had some damage.  We were told that normally the greens are near perfect and fairly fast.

The fairways have a range of elevation changes and are tree lined, generous to tight, and sprinkled with soft sand bunkers and some beautiful homes. The fairways were in very good shape with a few rough spots thanks to the harsh winter. Tidewater is very well maintained and manicured. 

Bottom line - a must play course and in this shot-maker’s paradise, you’ll experience a world-class layout, immaculate fairways, greens that rival the finest in the country and a natural setting that’s sure to inspire. With challenges on every hole and ample rewards for the well-placed shot, this is one course that will bring you back again and again.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,044 74.3 144
Blue 6,323 70.4 130
White 5,734 68.3 119
Gold 6,771 72.6 138
Red 4,648 67.1 115

Course Information

Course Architect:
Ken Tomlinson
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Beware of water on 5 holes and the 95 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.3 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$129.00 to $199.00

The clubhouse is fantastic, the pro shop is well stocked, and the service is ok.



Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.