Myrtle Beach is home to many highly acclaimed golf course built by big-name designers, like Myrtle Beach National (Kings North, South Creek and West Course) by Arnold Palmer, TPC of Myrtle Beach by Tom Fazio, and The Dunes Golf & Beach Club by Robert Trent Jones.
But hidden among the more well known layouts are some quality courses that are often overlooked despite offering a great overall value and experience. Designed by the respected Gene Hamm, whose fingerprint can be found on several Grand Strand area courses, Burning Ridge Golf Club in nearby Conway is one of those layouts that checks all the boxes, providing a nice challenge, well manicured and maintained grounds, and maximum bang for your buck.
Golfers looking for a real diamond in the rough can find it just off the main thoroughfare of U.S. Highway 501, about 10 miles inland from downtown Myrtle Beach and easily accessed via S.C. Highway 31. Despite its convenient location, Burning Ridge is tucked away amid dense forest and natural lakes, serving as scenic noise and privacy barriers. The Burning Ridge residential neighborhood was built on an adjoining 18-hole course for minimal overlap.
Named the 2006 Myrtle Beach Course of the Year following a massive renovation project, Burning Ridge has continued to update and upgrade. The par-72 layout’s fairways are lush and beautifully landscaped, and the TifEagle and Bermuda-419 greens are firm and true with a slope rating of 130. Burning Ridge offers four sets of tees – 6,780 feet from the more challenging tips – making it more playable for mixed foursomes of women, seniors and juniors.
Part of the Founders Group International family of courses on the Grand Strand, Burning Ridge offers a true test of golf that allows players to use every club in the bag. The 18-hole layout features three par-5s, with the longest and possibly toughest one coming right off the first tee. Be sure to use the practice range, because the 571-yarder requires a good set up shot to cross the water and avoid the double-sided bunkers guarding the green.
The first hole serves as a nice representation of what you can expect from Burning Ridge – wide and playable fairways but with punishing penalties for errant shots. Water hazards and sand bunkers are strategically placed to put the burden squarely on the golfer to execute solid shots. Utilizing the thick forest and abundant water to frame the fairways and force golfers to keep it inbounds, Burning Ridge has water on nine holes and 35 bunkers.
Not only does Burning Ridge start golfers off with a bang; it finishes that way too. One of the most challenging holes also happens to be the shortest – the 187-yard 17th that requires golfers to carry virtually the entire distance over water. Two front-side bunkers don’t make it any easier to safely land on the green. The par-5 18th features a long dogleg left that leads to the green and another good landing spot – the clubhouse’s 19th hole.
A popular choice among savvy locals, Burning Ridge Golf Club is one of the more affordable options for visitors looking to play a round while they are in town. Golfers can save even more money with a Prime Time Stay and Play Package, which allows you to include a round at Burning Ridge with three more at 21 other layouts, like Litchfield Country Club, Myrtle Beach National (Kings North, South Creek and West Course), Pine Lakes International, TPC of Myrtle Beach and World Tour Golf Links.