The Myrtle Beach area contains nearly 100 golf courses in a 70-mile stretch of gorgeous coastline. They occupy a wide spectrum from the scandalously hard to the boringly easy, from the immaculate to the dogtrack-like, from the expensive to the dirt-cheap. The third installment in an ongoing series, here are another three area courses that maybe don’t receive as much publicity as the Big Dogs but are nonetheless worthy of four hours of your time and a few dozen dollars in greens fees:
Litchfield Country Club
Litchfield was one of the first dozen and a half golf courses built in the Myrtle Beach area, dating back to the 1960s. While some courses of such a vintage have fallen by the wayside due to deteriorating maintenance and general neglect, Litchfield endures as a lovely example of latter-half 20th century golf in an area where more modern courses receive most of the accolades. Neither too long nor too easy, Litchfield is an especially engaging challenge for shorter hitters, women and juniors, with many greens that are open in front to accept a running approach: all too rare a feature on many courses. The reachable par five 13th is one of the area’s best, with a tee shot that tempts the ambitious player to challenge the water that lines the left side of the fairway.
Long Bay Club
Long Bay represents the opposite side of the coin: a thoroughly modern, tough-as-nails but nonetheless fun golf course in its own right. It is a Jack Nicklaus Signature course—one of only two in the area—and the only real reason that it doesn’t get more love is because it’s slightly off the beaten path, up Highway 9 in Longs. But believe us: it is well worth seeking out for holes like the pretty-as-a-postcard par-3 5th, with an angled green perched above a railroad tie-rimmed pond.
Moorland Course at Legends Resort
All three courses at Legends are underrated because they are among the middle-tier courses at the beach as far as greens fees go. That means that they are usually found in good shape, rather than great shape, and pace of play can get a little sluggish at peak times. However, that should not deter you from seeking out any of them, including the Moorland designed by Pete’s son P.B. Dye, Moorland has a number of holes completely unique on the Grand Strand, including the par-4 16th, which is truly drivable and features two of the most fearsome hazards in resort golf: the 12-foot deep “Hell’s Half Acre” waste area short of the green and a blind-from the tee pot bunker from Hades lurking over the back of the green. The hole, along with the course, is a death-or-glory thrill ride.