GOLD: 7,618 yards / par 72 / 77.3 / 142
BLACK: 7,195 yards / par 72 / 74.9 / 137
BLUE: 6,737 yards / par 72 / 72.3 / 131
WHITE: 6,272 yards / par 72 / 70.0 / 126
SILVER: 5,900 yards / par 72 / 68.3 / 123
RED: 5,353 yards / par 72 / 71.2 / 123 (W)
During its formative decades, Myrtle Beach proper existed between the Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Intracoastal Waterway in the west. But in recent years, the prosperity of the area has caused expansion of residential, commercial and recreational spaces west of that skinny, vital route. As a result, many recently built golf courses have taken advantage of a new sort of waterfront property, draping several of the Grand Strand’s most photographed holes along the Waterway’s banks.
The Resort Club at Grande Dunes boasts seven holes that border the Intracoastal Waterway—the 8th green, 11th and 16th tee boxes, and the 9th, 10th, 14th and 15th holes in their entirety. The cream of this crop is the par 3 14th, which plays to an imposing 244 yards from the back Gold tee. From the middle White tee, though, it is a more manageable 158 yards. Course architect Roger Rulewich set the green at an angle, meaning that the player who can shape a long iron or fairway wood from left to right will have the opportunity to fit the ball onto a green that is less than 20 yards wide and over 40 from front to back. The Waterway sits to the right of the putting surface and a large, jagged-edged bunker will catch shots left short. There is some bailout left of the green, but it leaves a tricky up-and-down. Best to summon your steely nerve, hit the green and walk away with a par.
The 13 holes at Grande Dunes that do not happen to perch on the Waterway are quite strong in their own right. The 6th, a short par 4 that plays 365 yards from the Gold tees and 305 from the White tees, features a bunker in the center of the fairway. It offers golfers the opportunity to play to their level of comfort by laying up short of it, blasting a drive over, or even playing left or right of it in order to attack the green confidently. As the only par four on the golf course (the longest on the Grand Strand) that is shorter than 400 yards from the Gold tees, it is a green-light birdie opportunity for those who play it properly.
The Resort Club course lies at the heart of a highly enjoyable experience at Grande Dunes. The entire community offers a different look, with architecture that reminds more of Italy than South Carolina. But the expansive clubhouse and residences do not encroach on the holes and so do not rob the experience of any of its luster. The Resort Club’s L-93 Bentgrass greens are among the best on the Grand Strand and its expansive, comprehensive practice area is of the quality one would expect from high-end private clubs, complete with a short game area that tolerates shots from up to 100 yards away. Another pleasant touch is that the Resort Club features non-continuous cart paths, such that the views of most holes are uncluttered by concrete. All of these elements come together to form a golf experience that thousands of members, local visitors and vacation guests enjoy year after year.