They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge a golf course by its clubhouse. But that’s not always the case on the Grand Strand, which features more than 100 golf courses. Not coincidentally, some of the Strand’s top-rated layouts also happen to be home to the most impressive clubhouses. Here’s a list of the top five clubhouses in the Myrtle Beach area:
* Barefoot Golf Resort: This golf complex actually features two worthy clubhouses – one for the Dye Course and another shared by the Fazio, Love and Norman layouts. The Barefoot Resort clubhouse is a massive 35,000 square feet and resembles a Lowcountry mansion. Antique furnishings mixed with all the modern comforts make this clubhouse popular with golfers with high standards. The Dye clubhouse is smaller but no less classy. The Hootie & The Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am is held here each year. Beautiful vistas from the outdoor patio deck give golfers a great view of the course, and photos.
* Caledonia Golf & Fish Club: The driveway, lined with twisting live oaks draped with Spanish moss, leads visitors back to another time and place. Built on a former rice and indigo plantation, Caledonia preserves the history of the property with an antebellum-style plantation clubhouse. Just like the mansions of the South Carolina Lowcountry, Caledonia's clubhouse features a covered porch on the second floor where golfers gather for post-round drinks and watch those who teed off after them struggle with the challenging finishing hole. The menu is filled with Lowcountry classics, like shrimp and grits, crab cakes and oysters on the half shell when they are in season.
* Dunes Golf & Beach Club: You can't beat the view of the Atlantic Ocean from the window-covered dining room and the outdoor patio deck. Visitors are only steps away from the beach and from one of the best layouts on the Grand Strand, Opened in 1948, the Dunes Club was the second course on the Strand and has a historic clubhouse oozing with Southern charm. Golfers gather at the bar to relive their rounds and enjoy the view. Most tales center around the legendary 13th hole, Waterloo, a par-5 dogleg over Lake Singleton that is covered with alligators and lost golf balls. The Dunes Club has been home to numerous professional and amateur events and photos of days gone by.
* Pine Lakes International Country Club: Myrtle Beach's first of more than 100 golf courses has a clubhouse to match. Nicknamed “The Granddaddy” for its role in founding the Grand Strand as a golf destination, Pine Lakes' historic clubhouse is like a shrine to the Myrtle Beach golf industry. Opened in 1927, the clubhouse recently underwent major renovations to return it to its original splendor. The walls are lined with old photographs that tell the Granddaddy's life story, from its beginnings as the resort course for the old Ocean Forest Hotel to the founding of Sports Illustrated magazine by a group of Time Inc. executives who visited the course in 1953. Recognized on the National Historic Register, Pine Lakes boasts the Snug Pub, one of the best 19th holes on the Strand.
* TPC of Myrtle Beach: Opened in 2000, the TPC of Myrtle Beach has a modern clubhouse with a historic feel. Golfers can relax in rocking chairs on the wrap-around porch and enjoy cold beverages from the clubhouse bar. Once the home of the Senior Tour Championship (now the Legends Tour), the TPC of Myrtle Beach’s stately clubhouse has been frequented by legendary golfers Gary Player, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino. TPC also boasts one of the best 19th holes on the Strand with a scenic view of the Murrells Inlet Lowcountry.