Wachesaw Plantation East is located in gorgeous Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Open since 1996, it is an excellent Clyde Johnston-designed golf course, built on the site of a former rice plantation, in the heart of the southern Grand Strand, just minutes from Myrtle Beach. Given 4.5 out of 5 stars on Golf Digest’s “Places to Play” list, Wachesaw East has received worldwide attention for having hosted the LPGA Kathy Ireland/Greens Competition Classic in the past.
Wachesaw East is a straightforward but nonetheless engaging golf course that strikes the important balance between challenge and playability for golfers with a wide range of handicaps. The presence of its five sets of tees ensures that no player will be confronted by a golf course that is excessively long and/or penal. It is a par-72 layout with the traditional arrangement of four par fives, four par threes and ten par fours. The crescendo of the course comes at the penultimate hole, a par five measuring 500 yards. The hole plays straightaway, but Johnston took inspiration from some of the great courses of Scotland in order to ratchet up the level of intrigue. After a good drive, aggressive players are faced with a choice of whether or not to try to go for the green in two. In addition to four bunkers and an undulating, square-shaped green, players must contend with a narrow, meandering stream that crosses directly in front of the putting surface. Call it Johnston’s nod to the famed Swilcan Burn at St. Andrews.
Wachesaw East’s off-course facilities are very good, as one would expect from a course with a background that includes high-level professional golf tournaments. A grass driving range is available for pre- and post-round tune-ups and two large combination putting/chipping greens complete the scene. The clubhouse houses a well-stocked pro shop and full-service grill with a patio that overlooks the practice facility.