The Myrtle Beach area is a veritable wonderland for visiting golfers. With over 80 golf courses to choose from, the possibilities for a vacation itinerary are practically endless. With this in mind, the best piece of advice the dedicated professionals at MyrtleBeachGolf.com can give visitors is this: Try and keep your golf and accommodations focused on one of the area’s three sub-regions — the South, Central and North.
In past months, we’ve spotlighted the top courses in the North and South regions. Now it’s the Central region’s turn. Here are the current top five Central Grand Strand golf courses according to your fellow MyrtleBeachGolf.com visitors:
5. Pine Lakes Country Club
Pine Lakes was the first golf course built in the Myrtle Beach area, having opened its doors in 1927. As such, it is rightfully known as “The Granddaddy” of Myrtle Beach golf courses. Robert White, first president of the PGA of America, designed the course, making it part of his storied career as a golf course architect. At only 6,675 yards from the longest set of tees, Pine Lakes would seem one of the shorter courses in Myrtle Beach. But it is not a pushover by any means. After all, long par-4s like the third, 14th and 18th combine to provide a stimulating but eminently fair test for golfers. In addition to being a lovely course, Pine Lakes is a destination for history and architecture buffs, as its clubhouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. To boot, in 1954, a group of Time Inc. executives hatched the idea that would become Sports Illustrated magazine and the associated media empire within its walls.
4. Myrtle Beach National – SouthCreek
SouthCreek is one of Myrtle Beach National’s three acclaimed courses, located off Highway 501 just a few miles inland from central Myrtle Beach. It represents a joint effort by Arnold Palmer and his mentor in golf course design, Francis Duane. Together, they forged an engaging blend of man-made and natural challenges, resulting in a course that is pleasingly distinct from its two on-site neighbors. The signature hole is the par-5 10th, which snakes to the right around a picturesque lake. Six bunkers lay in wait along the way. All in all, though, SouthCreek is not considered a bruiser and has in the past been named a “Top 100 in America” course by Golf for Women.
3. Myrtle Beach National – King’s North
The complex sits very much in the center of the action on the Grand Strand. Designed by Arnold Palmer, the course reopened in 1996 after extensive renovations and was immediately recognized for its numerous iconic and challenging holes. Like many of Myrtle Beach’s best golf courses, King’s North is not ringed by houses, which means a particularly peaceful “core golf” experience for all visitors. This sense of calm allows the course’s numerous “signature” holes to shine. Our favorite is the par-5 sixth, known as “The Gambler.” A reachable par-5, it curls to the left around a lake with an optional island fairway in the middle of said lake. Hit that fairway, and you may be left with as little as a mid-iron second shot and a real opportunity to card an eagle.
2. Legends Golf Resort – Moorland Course
The Moorland Course at Legends Resort — one of three championship layouts on the property — is quite deserving of its high rating on MyrtleBeachGolf.com. A P.B. Dye design, Moorland boasts a number of memorable holes that are utterly unique, including the very short, drivable-for-all par-4 16th. What makes it such a fascinating challenge is not one but two of the most fearsome hazards in resort golf: a 12-foot deep “Hell’s Half Acre” waste area short of the green and a blind-from-the-tee, incredibly nasty pot bunker lurking over the back of the green. The hole, like much of the rest of the course, is a sink-or-swim, white-knuckle test of a player’s patience as much as his or her golfing skills.
1. The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
The second-oldest course on the beach, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club would be a top-tier course in any environment. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and recently modernized by son Rees Jones, the course provides a true championship-level test to members and guests alike. In fact, it has hosted such prestigious recent tournaments as the PGA Professional Championship and the Southern Amateur, adding to an already impressive pedigree. To get the most out of a trip to The Dunes, focus less on score and more on the classy beachside setting. Everything else will fall into place.
For more information on these and dozens of other Myrtle Beach area golf courses, contact one of our local golf experts today!