800 Country Club Rd, Weldon, NC 27890
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With year-round play, affordable rates and accommodations, and over 80 award-winning courses to choose from, Myrtle Beach has rightfully earned the nickname “Golf Capital of the World.” It is along more than 60 miles of native Carolina coastline that golfers make their pilgrimage each year to kickstart a new season, bask under the summer rays or escape the winter blues. But while everyone who travels to the Grand Strand with clubs in tow knows the paradise that awaits, they might not be aware of what they’re missing along the way.
It’s been said that, with any road adventure, getting there is half the fun. If that’s true, a lot of Mid-Atlantic golfers who choose Interstate 95 as the easiest and most convenient route to Myrtle Beach may want to add an extra day or two to their travel itineraries. Over the past few years, TeeTime Golf Pass has upped its game by adding nearly two dozen Myrtle Beach courses to its program. Members often take advantage of the special deals in the passbook at these destination courses as early morning or afternoon add-ons to their pre-booked golf packages. But what TeeTime passholders may not have noticed near the back of the “book” are four golf courses all located just off I-95 at North Carolina exits 173, 168, 145 and 93. Any one of these layouts would make the perfect “travel break” to or back from Myrtle Beach. In fact, combining all four into a separate southern golf trip wouldn’t be a bad idea, either (all four courses are 3-4 hours closer to points north than Myrtle Beach!).
Let’s start with Chockoyotte Country Club in Weldon, NC. Located only a few miles past the Virginia/North Carolina line and less than two miles off I-95 at exit 173, this exclusively private course just celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021. But TeeTime Golf Pass members have an open invitation to play there Mon.-Fri. for just $25 or weekends anytime for $35. Just make sure you call in advance for a tee time and identify yourself as a TeeTime member.
Theoretically, you could drive all the way to Pinehurst, NC, to play a layout designed by two legendary architects. Or you can just stop at Chockoyotte CC instead. This 18-hole, 6,550-yard championship course was designed by, now get this, Donald Ross and Ellis Maples (front and back sides). It weaves through majestic North Carolina pines with the front nine featuring the trademark Ross upside-down saucer greens and the back more spacious, and undulating, Maples’ style putting surfaces. In 2021 the club finished over $100,000 in renovations to the greens, converting all of them to a more seasonal-friendly Bermuda grass. The course is challenging, opening with back-to-back par 5s, but not overly difficult to the average player. In short, Chockoyotte CC offers a relaxed, rarely crowded opportunity to experience the design brilliance of two of golf’s greatest course designers.
Next up is the hidden gem of the four, Scotfield Country Club. Located about 10 miles off exit 168 in Enfield, NC, the 18-hole course has been offering “golf in the country” since 1965 and serves as the home course for TeeTime’s Mid-Atlantic director, Bud Key. The beautiful 185-acre property is a bit off the beaten path but certainly worth a visit, especially since TeeTime members can play once for just a $15 cart fee anytime Mon.-Fri. and for $20 once anytime Sat.-Sun. and holidays. The Bermuda grass greens and tifway 419 Bermuda fairways set up a leisurely stroll through the Carolina pines, but there are certainly enough challenges — in particular the devilishly hard par-5 17th with its water hazard fronting a sunken green — and quirks to keep you on your toes. Truthfully, it is a fantastic layout and setting equivalent to what you would find at a much steeper price in the Pinehurst area.
Third on the list is Belmont Lake Golf Club, a much more upscale daily-fee facility with a superb layout crafted by David Johnson Golf Design of Atlanta, GA. Conveniently located just a pitch and putt off I-95 exit 145 in historic Rocky Mount, NC, Belmont has already become a fan favorite among many TeeTime Golf Pass members traveling to and from Myrtle Beach. Just about every hole is signature worthy, including the par-5 18th hole with its spacious fairway running parallel to a beautiful 80-acre lake and two man-made ponds. In addition to its pure natural beauty, Belmont Lake benefits from a great balance of holes — doglegs left and right, small and large greens, big fairways and tight corridors, sand and water, and a wonderful variety of hole lengths which will appeal to both conservative and play-by-the-seat-of-your-pants golfers. This truly is a championship-caliber course stretching over 7,000 yards and with some of the best G-12 Champion Bermuda grass greens in the entire state. Best of all, Belmont Lake encourages TeeTime members to play there by offering an exclusive $30 rate (cart included) seven days a week.
Finally there’s Reedy Creek, a personal favorite opened in 1988 in Four Oaks, NC (exit 93 off I-95). Traveling golfers are now realizing what the locals have known all along — this is hands-down one of eastern North Carolina’s best courses. The Gene Hamm-designed jewel combines a healthy dose of challenges while remaining extremely playable and enjoyable for the average player. The layout was expertly laid over a beautiful piece of rolling farmland that accentuates the property’s many unique features. Each hole has its own personality, with water playing a starring role on nine of them. With more four and five-star reviews than you can shake your big stick at, Reedy Creek is on par with many of the more expensive and ballyhooed layouts found throughout the state.Yet it remains low-key, friendly and remarkably affordable. In fact, TeeTime members can play Reedy Creek Mon.-Fri. for just $30 (cart included) or take advantage of the weekend four-for-three promotion in the passbook.
Traveling to Myrtle Beach has become a right of passage for many golfers, especially those who live and play in the Mid-Atlantic. The anticipation begins long before you pack your bags and rev up the ole’ SUV. But remember: don’t let the destination get in the way of enjoying some incredible golf on the way there. After all, life is a highway and there are so many great stops along the way. Just don’t forget to pack your TeeTime Golf Pass.