Just a few weeks ago, Golfweek Magazine released its hotly anticipated “Best Courses You Can Play, State-by-State” list, and once again, the South Carolina portion of the list is dominated by Myrtle Beach-area layouts. This year, out of 15 top South Carolina public, semi-private and resort courses assessed by Golfweek’s expert course raters panel, 10 of them are located in Myrtle Beach. Here they are:
#3 – The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
The second-oldest course in Myrtle Beach is looking better than ever, thanks to a recent touch-up by Rees Jones, son of original architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. In July 2016, the club will host the latest in a long line of prestigious tournaments: the Southern Amateur.
#5 – Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
Late visionary artist/golf course architect Mike Strantz made Caledonia his first solo golf course design in 1994, and the timelessly charming par-70 layout endures as his most beloved in the Palmetto State. But it’s not alone on the Grand Strand …
#6 – True Blue Golf Club
Strantz’s 1998 masterpiece is located just across the street. Caledonia’s sister course boasts the bigger, brawnier layout, with sandy waste areas bordering large, rolling fairways and greens at every turn. Along with Caledonia, True Blue comprises half of one of golf’s best 36-hole days.
#7 – Tidewater Plantation
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Grand Strand near North Myrtle Beach, Tidewater enjoys a unique location, seemingly in the midst of it all but secluded enough to provide a quiet, tranquil round of golf. Both Cherry Grove Inlet and the Intracoastal Waterway can be seen from different parts of the course, which weaves between coastal forest and tidal wetland settings in delightful fashion.
#10 – Myrtle Beach National Golf Club (King’s North)
To say Arnold Palmer’s mark on the game of golf has been significant is a massive understatement, so it is fitting that his best Myrtle Beach design earns proper recognition. King’s North is home to two of the Grand Strand’s most iconic single holes: the island-fairway par-5 sixth, known as “The Gambler,” and the island-green par-3 12th, with its greenside bunkers in the shape of an “S” and a “C,” respectively.
#11 – TPC Myrtle Beach
The home course of Dustin Johnson when he visits the area, TPC Myrtle Beach offers a true and complete examination of one’s golf game. This Tom Fazio/Lanny Wadkins layout saves its best run of holes for last, culminating with a risk-reward par-5 that is one of the best in the region.
#12 – Legends Resort (Moorland)
Golfers delight in playing the Moorland Course at Legends Resort because it confronts them with a number of entirely unique holes courtesy of P.B. Dye — perhaps none more so than the short par-5 11th. This green is reachable in two shots for most anyone — but it’s incredibly long and narrow, falling off on both the left and the right. This makes up-and-down attempts extremely treacherous for players who find themselves out of position.
#13 – Barefoot Resort (Dye Club)
One of the most heated debates Myrtle Beach-visiting golfers find themselves in is over which of the four courses at Barefoot Resort is their favorite. The Dye Club, hewn out of forest and wetlands by the legendary Pete Dye, is the top-ranked Barefoot course this time around — perhaps due in part to its inventive mounding, pot bunkers and abundant, railroad tie-ringed water hazards. Armed with all of these traits as defenses, the short par-4 10th is one of the most fun holes on the Grand Strand.
#14 – Heritage Club
Located near both Caledonia and True Blue, Heritage Club’s position on this list is a testament to the depth of Myrtle Beach’s golf offerings. With a number of spectacularly undulating greens guarded by muscular bunkers and centuries-old live oaks, Heritage is a quintessential Lowcountry golf course. If you visit Myrtle Beach’s southern end and do not play it, you are missing out. The intimidating, gorgeous par-3 13th alone is worth the greens fee.
#15 – Grande Dunes Resort Club
Six holes that border the Intracoastal Waterway, some of the best conditions of any area course and one of the most inviting clubhouses in the state would normally yield a higher ranking, but just because Golfweek’s panel deems Grande Dunes the “10th-best” Myrtle Beach-area course, that doesn’t mean it is not worth playing. It absolutely is, particularly for the stretch of holes 8 through 15.
These 10 golf courses account for just a fraction of the great golfing greens in the Myrtle Beach area. These and many other deserving courses are waiting for you to discover them. Play them all, and you can assemble your own “Best of Myrtle Beach” golf course list. What are you waiting for? Book your vacation at MyrtleBeachGolf.com today and start scheduling your tee times!