With some 100 area golf courses spread out across some 70 miles of coastal South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is one of the very best golf destinations in the world. As such, it offers a great experience for golfers of all ages, handicaps and, yes, budgets. Whereas the more penny-conscious set is often relegated to relative “goat tracks” in other golf destinations, in Myrtle Beach, a phenomenal roster of courses is available at rates that can seem like highway robbery.
Here are three area courses that will not break the bank but will stick in your memory long after you play them:
Wild Wing Plantation – Avocet Course
The economic downturn hit Wild Wing hard — it was originally a massive 72-hole golf complex but now retains just 27 holes: the Avocet 18 and the Hummingbird 9. Luckily, the best of the four original courses was left intact, because it just might be Myrtle Beach’s most underrated course. Avocet was designed by Jeff Brauer and three-time major champion Larry Nelson, and whereas many courses strive for a naturalistic, classic feel, Avocet fully embraces the modernist 1990s golf design trend under which it opened. That means elaborate mounding, at-times lunar bunkering schemes, and a sense of whimsy and fun that helps the course stand out from the crowd. It also is home to a thrilling short par-4 — the 14th, which can be played in no fewer than half a dozen different ways.
Legends Golf Resort – Heathland Course
To be honest, all three of the courses at Legends could easily qualify for this list, as pricing for each of them is kept the same throughout the year, and despite the modest greens fees they command, they are among the Grand Strand’s most interesting layouts. (The fact that breakfast, lunch and two draft beers are included with every greens fee helps the value proposition even more). But the Heathland, an early design by renowned golf course architect Tom Doak, is the class of the group. Doak drew inspiration from many of the UK’s great courses without attempting outright copies, and the result is a set of huge, undulating and incredibly fun-to-putt greens that many golfers enjoy seeing multiple times during their trips. Highlight holes including the Road Hole-inspired par-5 sixth and the split-fairway, long par-4 16th, but there is not a single weak hole on the course.
Founders Club at Pawleys Island
The most recent “new” (built on the corridors of the former Sea Gull) golf course on the Grand Strand made a big splash when it opened in 2008, but it has since settled into the middle tier of Grand Strand golf courses, price-wise. Pair this with the fact that it is architecturally in the upper echelon, and it is definitely worth seeking out. Architect Thomas Walker framed Founders Club’s holes with sandy waste areas, giving the course a wild, appealing aesthetic. The greens are large and undulating without being too taxing, meaning that smart players who are most concerned with finding the putting surface are often rewarded with lower scores than their greedier counterparts.
These are just three of a number of high-quality, low-greens-fee courses in the Myrtle Beach area. To book your next rounds here, be sure to visit our tee times page.