It only makes sense that golfers like to keep track of things beyond just their score for a given round. Truly avid players live to collect great experiences and play great courses, which is what brings so many thousands of them to Myrtle Beach every year. The surrounding Grand Strand is home to some 100 golf courses, with a surprising number of first-rate layouts that garner national attention year after year.
Golf Magazine’s biennial “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” rankings give golfers an idea of the absolute best courses they can (and should) visit. Naturally, Myrtle Beach is home to four of them: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club (#29), The Dunes Golf & Beach Club (#39), True Blue Golf Club (#77) and the Love Course at Barefoot Resort (#85). Even better news for golfers looking to experience some of the best public and resort golf in the country: Rounds at all four courses can be booked through myrtlebeachgolf.com.
Caledonia ranked #29 in this year's Top 100
Caledonia and True Blue go together like peanut butter and jelly. Both masterpiece designs by late architect Mike Strantz, they sit side by side in Pawleys Island, making for one of the best 36-hole days in the golf world. “Our courses are listed among others that get international attention and have hosted huge tournaments such as the U.S. Open,” said Bob Seganti, PGA Director of Golf Operation for both course. “It’s very exciting to see our names beside theirs.”
True Blue ranked #77 in this year's Top 100
Our suggestion: Start things off at True Blue, with its wide, rolling fairways and huge greens guarded by sandy waste areas and water hazards at every turn. Visually, True Blue blurs the line between golf course design and land sculpture to the point where you will remember every single hole. After lunch overlooking the course, your afternoon round at Caledonia will stay in your mind as well. The wonder will begin as you creep down the course’s entrance road through a centuries-old avenue of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. These majestic trees also affect strategy on the course, whose 18 holes form an engaging and gorgeous journey through a pure Lowcountry setting. The 18th, a par-4 with an approach over water and incredible views out toward the Waccamaw River, will become one of your favorite finishing holes. Adding to the fun, you can expect other golfers to be looking on as you play, as the clubhouse and porch are just steps over the back of the green.
The Dunes Club ranked #39 in this year's Top 100
Situated farther north in Myrtle Beach, the Dunes is perhaps the area’s most iconic golf course. Built in 1948 by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., the course is simply one of the best and most famous in the South — public, private or otherwise. Its signature hole is the long par-5 13th, called “Waterloo,” which bends hard to the right around a lake in a C-shape before rising to the green. The Dunes is also the Myrtle Beach golf venue with the greatest tournament pedigree, having hosted multiple Southern Amateurs, finals of PGA Tour Qualifying and the PGA Professional National Championship, among many other prestigious events. Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s son Rees, an acclaimed architect in his own right, recently made some subtle updates to the course, keeping it in league with the country’s best.
The Love Course at Barefoot ranked #85 in this year's Top 100
The Love Course is just one of four layouts at Barefoot Resort, joining efforts by Tom Fazio, Greg Norman and Pete Dye. A 19th-hole debate rages about which of these courses is the best, which is an indication that you should try to play all of them on your next Myrtle Beach golf trip. But it is understandable that the Love course would be singled out, as it is Barefoot’s most visually intriguing layout. This visual interest comes from a stand of man-made ruins imitating those of an old plantation house, which actually come into play on both the fourth and sixth holes. The former of these might be Myrtle Beach’s best par-4. Playing slightly uphill, it is drivable from the tee, and the powerful player may get to see his tee shot carom off the ruins behind the green to set up a trip-making eagle putt. The rest of the course gets high marks for its playability, particularly through Love’s use of extensive fairway-length chipping areas around the greens, which provide options galore for players of all skill levels.
Since so many golfers enjoy experiencing “top-100” courses, MyrtleBeachGolf.com provides a number of packages where you can check these top tier courses off your must-play list. Easily compare multi-round packages with our custom comparison tool or even design your own Top 100 package by submitting a free quick quote for our golf vacation experts to build your perfect Myrtle Beach golf vacation.