Tim Gavrich

Senior Writer

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor. A student of course design since he took up the game at age six, he also played for his college team at Washington and Lee University and still tries to tee it up in competition whenever possible. He has been involved in the golf industry since graduating in 2011, and has written full-time about golf travel and architecture since 2014. A native of Avon, Connecticut now residing in Vero Beach, Florida, he has played golf on two continents so far and is not too bad on Bermuda greens for a left-handed New Englander. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.

  • 5.0 stars from 5

    Riomar Country Club

    "Authentic Old Florida golf"

    Set to turn 100 next year, Riomar is one of Florida's hidden gems. With seven of its first nine holes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, there are few more scenic courses in the state. Though it's barely 6,000 yards from the back tees, the course is no pushover, as its small greens fall away on the sides and demand precision with one's short irons and wedges. It is a fun, not-too-taxing test, beloved of its small, low-key membership. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Pawleys Plantation

    "Always good to return to a great love"

    It's hard not to be biased in favor of Pawleys Plantation, because it's a course I grew up playing. The Jack Nicklaus Signature design is one of the strongest in the Myrtle Beach area, but it is showing its 30 years. Greens have shrunk, fairways have pinched in and bunkers have risen against the edges of many greens, making an already difficult - though scenic, especially on the marshy back nine - brutal for many golfers. It is in nice shape, but hopefully Jack Nicklaus' recent visit to the course will prompt management to put some money toward the project of returning it to its original design. When that happens, it will no longer be merely solid, but one of the Grand Strand's best courses. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    PGA National Resort & Spa - Champion Course

    "Appropriately named, the "Champ" is a middleweight test"

    Playing a round at PGA National's Champion Course is a bit like stepping into the ring with a boxer. You need to stay alert at all times, because if you take a temporary vacation, even for a single shot, you can get knocked down in a hurry. Surviving to the end with your wits about you is a victory in itself, and a rewarding one. It toughens you up, because if you can play well here, you can play well anywhere. Also worth noting, the course's recent greens expansion has made approach shots a little more manageable, though the firmness of those new putting surfaces makes shots from the rough almost impossible to keep on the green. Drive it straight if you can. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Sea Island Golf Club

    "A PGA Tour venue that anyone can enjoy"

    Some (let's be honest - most) PGA Tour-host courses are simply too difficult for most golfers. That is not the case at Seaside, where natural elements like the wind and firm turf help make the Colt/Alison classic, updated by Fazio in '99, one that all classes of golfer can play. The greens are elevated but are not too small, often offering a way on via the bounce. Constant changes of direction make it a masterful routing that does not brutalize players with too many upwind holes in a row at any point. And its pre-cart history makes it a terrific walk, especially with the help of one of the expert caddies on staff. It's a pricy play, but if you can swing it, you'll love it. more »

    3.0 stars from 5


    "Solid design still finding its way"

    Founders Club is one of the more interesting layouts in the Pawleys Island area, but for much of its decade of existence in its current iteration, it has had some struggles. When Founders (re)opened in 2008, its Emerald Bermuda greens were some of the first of the kind, promising a superior putting surface. In recent years, Founders' greens have been a bit hit-or-miss, and the expansive waste areas bordering each fairway have had their ups and downs, too. When the course is in good shape, it is one of the stronger options in the area. Last winter was rough, and the greens were still recovering a bit when I played there in October. Nevertheless, if you play the course, you will find plenty of interesting holes. The last six are particularly good, as they take advantage of some interesting terrain. You might just find yourself thinking you're in Pinehurst. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    The Golf Club At Sanctuary Cove

    "A hidden gem by Georgia's Golden Isles"

    Many modern golf courses suffer because they seem to have been built in willful ignorance of history. Sanctuary Golf Club (formerly Sanctuary Cove) is a rare blend of modern land-planning and classical respect for golf course craft. The course was conceived as a real estate play at precisely the wrong time - right before the late-2000s recession - and struggled for years. Now under new ownership and benefiting from better economic times, it appears to be finally hitting its stride. Rounds are trending upward, and the design, inspired by both Donald Ross and Seth Raynor in places, is in very good shape. Still, though, the course is a relative bargain. Play it if you're hauling up or down I-95 and/or as an add-on to a trip to Sea Island or Jekyll Island. You'll love the low-key feel and considerable bang for your buck. more »

    3.0 stars from 5

    The Saints

    "Cheap-and-cheerful Florida muni golf"

    The Saints is never going to make any top-courses lists, but with good prices, cold beer, nice greens and a colorful cadre of local regulars, that's just fine. Add to the mix one of public golf's quirkier names and logos and you have a locally-appreciated public amenity. Nothing more, nothing less. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    The Fox Club

    "A modern South Florida "player's course""

    The Fox Club has an interesting history, and it is particularly well-known as a haven of competitive players. It is easy to see why, as the demanding course is a pretty stern test of ones game. In particular, The Fox Club throws several uncomfortable tee shots at players. Danger lurks off most every fairway in the form of hazard or OB stakes, and a few holes are extremely tight. Defensive swings are commonplace. Once one gets off the tee, though, things calm down. The greens are smallish and fairly undulating, but because the course is not brutally long, a player on his or her game will hit plenty of shorter irons to the targets. From there, putts can be made. But it all depends on whether you can put yourself int that position without running up the score first. The club is private, though open to select outside play. If you want to immerse yourself for a couple days at a course known for challenging elite golfers, you will enjoy The Fox Club. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

    "Simply one of the best you can play in/around Myrtle Beach"

    Nearing the quarter-century mark, Caledonia remains one of the bucket-list picks for any Myrtle Beach-bound golfer. Its exquisite Lowcountry charm, coupled with its precious and fascinating Mike Strantz design makes it a memorable, fun course to play. Caledonia is one of the shorter golf courses in the region, but it defends itself gamely with a terrific set of undulating greens and some impressively deep, sculpted bunkering. If you treat the course like a chessboard, rather than a bombing range, you will likely score to your handicap or better, as scoring chances do present themselves throughout the round. Even if things don't go according to plan, it's exceedingly difficult to get too upset in such a beautiful setting. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Sea Island Golf Club

    "Nice enough, but ready for renovation"

    The Plantation course has always been second-fiddle to the Seaside at Sea Island. Rees Jones' 1998 renovation certainly installed a stern challenge at the course, but the straightforward demands of the course have fallen out of favor in recent years. When Scot Sherman and Love Golf Design renovate it, starting in December 2019, they will give it a much-needed refresh from a stylistic and strategic perspective. This will put it in much closer competition with the Seaside, which will nevertheless always have an advantage because of its superior land. But the new Plantation will close the gap considerably. more »