The Love Course is one of four courses at Barefoot Resort. It is both the oldest and the youngest, since all four courses opened on the same day in 2000. But it is either the best or second-best on property, depending on who you ask. If you ask this particular golfer, he’d tell you it’s the second-best, but not by a lot. For my money, the Dye Course is more visually interesting and its more open layout allows the player to shape the ball most any way he or she likes off the tee and into the green. But this is not about the Dye Course. It’s about the Love course, which is, well, lovely in its own right.
Davis Love III’s design firm has always admirably taken cues from the classical fathers of golf course architecture in their work, and that is commendable. It is certainly the case at Barefoot; the par three third hole is a nice take on the reverse Redan, where a left-to-right long iron can kick and roll toward the hole in very pleasing fashion. The following hole, a reachable par four with manufactured “ruins” guarding the green, is one of the most fun holes to play on the Grand Strand and is nearly worth the price of one’s (not insignificant, most likely) green fee alone.
Many modern courses tend to force the player to attack the green aerially too often, but the Love course offers many chances to bounce a ball onto the putting surface, which is a welcome feature for the less stronger players who comprise the majority of its clientele, it being a bread-and-butter resort golf course. An abundance of short grass around the greens permits a wide range of short game shots, which is also too rare both in this area and on golf courses in general.
Three of Barefoot’s four courses, including the Love, sprawl out around the main clubhouse. This means that even on a relatively quiet day, there’s plenty of activity and energy around the bag drop and putting green. It sets a good tone.
As with all four Barefoot courses, the Love is always in very good shape, with firm and generally fast Champion Bermuda greens. The fairways are generous and also in good nick. Only the most extreme critics would find the condition of the course beneath their liking.
The Love Course at Barefoot Resort is well worth the time of most any Myrtle Beach golf visitor, especially those choosing to stay north of Myrtle Beach International Airport. Heck, one could build a very satisfying golf trip around Barefoot’s four courses, with the Love and Dye courses each meriting two plays in a six-round sojourn.