So many great golf courses, so little time. Of course, it would take three months to play every layout on the Grand Strand, the 60-mile stretch of Carolina coast that surrounds Myrtle Beach. Although that would be fun to try, most of us have to squeeze in as many rounds as possible in a short span of time. So if you are looking to play the best golf Myrtle Beach has to offer, here is our list of the Distinguished Dozen, the top 12 courses on the Strand:
1) Dunes Golf & Beach Club: Myrtle Beach’s most sacred golf shrine was the second among more than 100 golf courses to open on the Strand. Hosting several professional events over the years, the Dunes Club recently underwent renovations that stayed true to Robert Trent Jones’ original design. No. 13 Waterloo, a double dogleg right around the gator-filled Lake Singleton, is the most famous hole on the Strand.
2) Caledonia Golf & Fish Club: Built on a former rice plantation in Pawleys Island, this Mike Stranz design is situated on one of the most scenic pieces of Lowcountry property on the Strand. Tidal creeks and salt marshes dot the landscape and Live Oaks, Cypress and Pine trees frame the fairways to create a beautiful but challenging experience.
3) Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation: This Little River layout is located on one of the most scenic pieces of property on the North Strand. Salt marshes, maritime forests and vast waste areas serve as natural hazards that conspire to make this a tricky layout, but the beauty of the course will help calm your nerves.
4) True Blue Plantation: The sister course of Caledonia also makes the top five with another Lowcountry classic. Architect Mike Stranz managed to create two masterpieces on one former rice and indigo plantation. Make a full day of it and play both courses.
5) TPC of Myrtle Beach: This course opened in time to host the 2000 Senior PGA Tour Championship and it continues to offer a pro-style test. Tight tree-lined fairways and challenging elevation changes make you feel like a pro, even if you don't play like one.
6) Rivers Edge Golf Club: Arnold Palmer designed this top-notch course on the banks of the Shallotte River and the high praise continues to roll in. Ranked as one of North Carolina's top layouts, Rivers Edge is well worth the 45-minute drive.
7) The Reserve Golf Club: First-class facilities meet natural beauty at this Pawleys Island course. As part of the exclusive Reserve Golf Club family and highlighting the beauty of the Lowcountry, this Greg Norman design offers an unforgettable golf experience.
8) Barefoot Golf Resort: This four-course golf feast features designs by famed golfers Greg Norman and Davis Love III and architects Pete Dye and Tom Fazio. Featuring scenic stretches along the Intracoastal Waterway and Carolina bays, all four courses are worthy.
9) Wachesaw East Plantation: Located in Murrells Inlet on a former rice plantation, this championship-caliber course also offers a scenic stroll through the South Carolina Lowcountry. The LPGA Tour used to host a tour event on this Clyde Johnson design.
10) Legends: All three courses on this Scottish-themed, centrally located Myrtle Beach golf complex are solid. The Heathland Course draws the best reviews, but the Moorland and Parkland layouts are very playable and challenging. Stop by Ailsa Pub after your round.
11) Myrtle Beach National: Kings North is the top course among this 54-hole golf complex. Redesigned by Arnold Palmer in 1996, this championship layout features challenging holes, including the island green on No. 12 that makes it one of the best on the Strand.
12) Pine Lakes International Country Club: This semi-private club makes the list for its combination of excellent golf and rich history. The first golf course on the Grand Strand, the “Granddaddy” started it all back in 1927. Recent renovations, including the historic clubhouse, stayed true to the original design while providing some much-needed upgrades.
Myrtle Beach is home to many great courses. On your next vacation, come challenge yourself, and play a few rounds of these great top courses!