Tidewater Golf Club : North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

TIDEWATER GOLF CLUB, ONE of the top-rated courses in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, offers magnificent views of the Intracoastal Waterway, saltwater marshes and the Atlantic Ocean. Referred to as “pure as the ocean breezes that blow across it,” with five sets of tees, Tidewater offers a competitive course for professionals and high handicappers alike.

The 18-hole course features two signature holes, the third and the 13th. Wind and pin location on the third, a tricky par 3 ranging from 93 to 157 yards, will determine club selection. Three large bunkers jealously guard the front of the three-tiered green, and marsh awaits balls that stray long and left. Accurate shots at the flagstick will be rewarded, but, if you take the easy way out and land on the wrong level, putting will be difficult.

The par 5 13th, which plays from 372 yards to 539 yards, offers a view of an ocean inlet. You must keep your drive left because the fairway slopes to the right. If you lay up on your second shot to the left-front collection area, you might have a difficult chip to the putting surface.

Designed and built by South Carolina native Ken Tomlinson, the course reflects his “respect for classic turn-of-the-century golf courses” that are “created in harmony with the natural landscape.”

The black tees at Tidewater provide a 7,078-yard challenge, while the jade tees play at 4,615 yards. In between, the gold tees play at 6,630 yards, the silver tees at 6,614 and the copper tees at 5,097.

The course, an example of how “human artistry can mold Nature to achieve a harmonious balance between form and function,” challenges players to make strategic decisions, take risks and use their shot-making creativity.

Lessons are available at Tidewater from PGA golf professionals. Players can enjoy the $2.5 million, 18,000-square-foot clubhouse, which features a full-service golf shop, private meeting room, owners-only private parlor and men’s and women’s locker rooms. The Clubhouse Grille serves lunch and dinner and has a fully stocked lounge.

The course is part of a 500-acre plantation built amid pristine forests and coastal bluffs. Golf packages are available for an unforgettable vacation that includes luxurious accommodations, tee times, daily housekeeping services and convenient on-site check-in. Two-and three-bedroom villas are available with access to the clubhouse and a state-of-the-art swim and racquet club.

The serenity and natural beauty of the course sets it apart from others on the Grand Strand.

A Helping Hand : Tidewater Charity Golf Tournament

A five-day event that will feature a fierce battle on the golf course and raise money for Horry County, South Carolina, charities is set for this September.

The third annual Tidewater Charity Golf Tournament, part of the Sunbelt Senior Tour, will draw some of the area’s top senior pros September 4 through September 6, but it will also provide needed financial support for the Autism Advocate Foundation and North Strand Helping Hand.

Activities get underway Sept. 2 at the Tidewater Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach with a free golf clinic, a trick-shot demonstration, a long-drive exhibition and the ever-popular skills contest, all open to the public, making for a fun-filled day of golf that benefits the entire community.

The competition will be fierce once the tourney starts Sept.4. Last year,10 Sunbelt Senior Tour players obtained their 2007 Champions Tour Cards and the top two competitors in the 2006 Tidewater Charity Golf Tournament qualified for the 2007 U.S. Senior Open at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Three players were highlighted on the Golf Channel. The winner’s purse is estimated to be $10,000, with a total purse of $40,000.

An exciting pro/am tournament always draws big crowds, and this year will be no exception. A total of 102 amateurs will be matched with 34 professionals competing for prizes. An awards luncheon, catered by Outback Steakhouse, will follow the tournament.

The Tidewater Golf Club offers an intricate yet beautiful challenge for most players. The par-72, 7,078-yard course features a pair of signature holes, the par 3 third and the part 5 13th.

“The reason for the tournament is to raise money for the two charities,” explains Tournament Director Bill Pearson. “These charities work hard to help so many people that there is little time left over for fundraising, and that is where we can help.”

The five-day event, which continues to grow in size and stature each year, is expected to raise $30,000.

Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation

In an era when the neighbor-helping-neighbor concept has all but disappeared, is it possible
for an entire community to band together to make a difference? The answer is a resounding
“yes,” at least at Tidewater Golf Club and Plantation on South Carolina’s Grand Strand.

Community activism is not required of the homeowners in Tidewater, but they just can’t seem to do enough to help others. It all starts with the homeowners association board of directors.

“When a property is under construction, the developer markets that community aggressively, but, when it is near completion, the big marketing push stops and newer developments get the spotlight,” says former HOA President Bill Pearson. “We wanted to continue the buzz at Tidewater.”

Cynthia Stanley, a local real estate agent and Tidewater resident, agrees. “One thing that makes Tidewater different is leadership,” she says. “We have a strong board that was formed when the developer started transferring things to the owners.”

She adds that the Tidewater HOA is in excellent financial shape, having been judged by auditors to be one of the strongest associations in the area. Pearson agrees and attributes at least part of the association’s success to “a lack of micro-management” and the fact that meetings are open to all Tidewater owners and the board invites input from all property owners.

“The community is involved in everything the board does,” he says. What exactly do the residents of Tidewater do to maintain their stature on the Grand Strand? They are involved in an array of worthy activities, including Meals on Wheels, tutoring and raising money for a variety of non-profi t organizations. Recently, members of this North Myrtle Beach community organized the Bahama Island Resort South Carolina Senior Open at Tidewater, raising $20,000 to help build a beach access crossover that complies with the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Held in early September, the Open offered a golf clinic, putting and chipping contests, raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets. The tournament itself, with a total purse of $35,000, was a sellout, drawing a full fi eld of 31 pros and 93 amateurs, and more than 100 generous sponsors, including Bahama Island Resort, T&J Development and Oceanfront Real Estate, chipped in.

Stanley, while not a golfer, was anxious to be part of the event because of its goal to raise money for the ramp over the sand dunes. She points out that projects such as this one can cost from $20,000 to $50,000, depending on the height of the dunes. She sponsored the 13th hole.

While the event was produced by the Tidewater HOA, other businesses got involved in a big way. Outback Steakhouse, for example, contributed 180 meals for the awards ceremony, and Outback employees volunteered their services for setup, cooking, serving and cleanup. Tidewater again rose to the occasion when the North Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad needed a financial boost. Tidewater’s residents sprang into action in July, organizing a block party that raised $12,000. “There are hundreds more smaller projects that don’t get the press,” Pearson says.

Many people move to the Grand Strand to enjoy the good life. The residents of Tidewater Golf Club and Plantation take that concept a step further by striving to make life better for others. We can all learn from that.

Tidewater Lifestyles

Lois and Joe Aldinger live comfortably in Tidewater Golf Club and Plantation. They bought their fairway home site on their first visit to the development in 1994, and they have never looked back.

If anything, they look ahead… to a day on the beach at the Tidewater coastal cabana located on the oceanfront in North Myrtle Beach … to at least one or two days a week on the golf course outside their home’s rear panorama… to dancing the nights away at the clubhouse or local night spot… to goodness only knows what else.

Of course, they think fondly of their home back in eastern Pennsylvania, where Joe was in the printing business and Lois was in international marketing. But that was then, and this is an incredible now.

Since they became South Carolinians, the Aldingers enjoy themselves doing whatever they want and need to do. It is a relaxed lifestyle, but it is also a busy one.

They golf. They are involved in the communities inside and outside the Tidewater gates. They dance, as they did when they were ballroom dancing instructors back in Westchester, PA., and they really enjoy the friendships they have developed with other Tidewater residents.

“We first came down to visit Tidewater when, as it turned out, there was an ice storm,” says Lois Aldinger. “We met people here who were so friendly. We just fell in love with these people. We bought our lot on that first visit.”

Bill Pearson, president of the Homeowners Association, puts it a little differently: “The community is involved in everything [the board does]. We don’t micromanage. We have so many volunteers with experience that we probably have the highest professional staff anywhere. It’s really a joy to be involved.

“Our board meetings are open to the residents,” he continues. “We have informal question and answer gettogethers at least once a month. Where (some boards in other neighborhoods) may close the doors, that advertises something’s going on. We don’t do that.”

Craig Wink, who is retired and lives in Rochester, N.Y. a handful of weeks each year, always returns to Tidewater for most of the year to live among the other 338 families who call it home. He says his and his wife’s decision to purchase here, after five years of searching, was based on “the atmosphere, the amenities and the activities.” He cites potluck dinners, the volunteerism by residents, a diversity of age groups, bridge games and activities outside the gates among the reasons for choosing Tidewater.

Ronnie E. Nichols, vice president of Great-West Retirement Services, and his wife, Harriette, represent another group of the community’s eclectic residents. They still work, but it was the golf that initially attracted Nichols when he played in the 1999 World Amateur Golf Championship on the Grand Strand of S. C. He decided on the spot to buy a lot and went back home to tell his wife. She still smiles about that event.

Hayley and William D. “Tripp” Davis represent yet another group of Tidewater families. The parents of a lively 2 1/2 year old, they both work; he is a dentist in North Myrtle Beach, and she is a hand therapist. Hayley says she and her husband have bonded with about 30 other Tidewater families who enjoy activities with their children. The Davis’ are expecting their second child this summer.

According to Lois Aldinger, the lifestyle at Tidewater is what you make of it. “It depends on how busy you want to be,” she says as she sits at her dining room table, looking out on the 150-yard marker on the community’s championship golf course.

Lois Aldinger has taken up golf since she and Joe moved in to the community about four years ago. The 2,600-square-foot home is one of two in Tidewater that are based on the same basic floor plan. But the Aldingers added their own touches to the home, giving Joe his television and billiard room and Lois her Red Hat Society room, in addition to providing a guest bedroom and a master bedroom suite that looks through a wooded area onto the golf course. Except for the bedroom areas, the home is a wide, glassed, open area that is seldom interrupted by doors.

Their home is studded with oriental artifacts, many displayed in a lighted, glassed wall unit that stretches across a living room wall. Lois has decorated the kitchen and dinette areas of their home with her second great theme – pelicans. There are pictures painted by neighbors and other reminders of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, neither of which are very far from the Aldinger’s home.

Family comes to visit as often as they can, and that is an integral part of the Aldinger lifestyle. But so is golf. Joe shoots in the mid-to-high 90s, and Lois will only say, “My score doesn’t show how much I love it.” They are also involved in a number of community committees. Lois serves on the Tidewater Plantation newsletter committee, is president of the Newcomers Club, and “queen mother” of the Red Hat Society that is involved in tutoring students outside the plantation. Joe is a member of the homeowners meeting committee, which plans various events.

And then there are aerobics classes, different golf outings played at Tidewater and other courses, dances and, Lois’s personal favorite, sunning at the Tidewater beach cabana located on the Atlantic Ocean in Cherry Grove Beach, just a short drive away. And that’s not to mention the Tidewater Taste Buds in which families host other families for a scrumptious meal.

Only once in a blue moon does Lois say to Joe, “I’m glad we don’t have anything to do today.” However, by the next day, both will jointly or separately find plenty they want to do.

Tidewater seems to be what each resident wants it to be. There are many group activities for residents, as well as many broader community activities such as Habitat for Humanity. In January, residents raised over $6,000 for the home-building effort for Little River Neck residents. At Christmastime, residents assure that children in neighboring areas are not missed by Santa Claus. And on occasion, neighboring groups are allowed to use the Tidewater clubhouse for special events.

While Tidewater is a private gated community, it is clearly a part of the larger picture, with residents reaching out to make life in the area better. It is clearly a place where the lifestyle is served up any way you want it.