Comprising both high-end public and excellent private facilities, the TPC network is now more than 30 courses strong, with outposts as far-flung as Cartagena, Colombia, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Designed by noted architect Tom Fazio in consultation with major champion and Ryder Cup hero Lanny Wadkins, a TPC course came to Myrtle Beach in 1999. In 2000, it hosted the Senior Tour Championship, won by Tom Watson. Nowadays, it is known as PGA Tour superstar Dustin Johnson’s home course when he is in Myrtle Beach, and it also plays host to the prestigious junior golf tournament that bears his name each February.
Don’t let TPC Myrtle Beach’s Tour-caliber pedigree intimidate you into skipping it on your next trip, though. Fazio and Wadkins built the course not just for the best golfers in the world, but the rest of us, too. The fairways are generous, and the greens, though undulating, are pretty large. Smart golfers will have the advantage here over their reckless buddies, who may get snared by the challenging bunkers and water hazards that come into play on some holes.
Like many of its siblings, TPC Myrtle Beach builds to a climax with its last three holes: a par four, par three and par five. Number 16 is a mid-length two-shotter to an elevated, shallow green. The penultimate test is a longish par three to a large, tiered green that juts out into a lake. Hole locations on the right side of the putting surface are especially intimidating, although if you miss to the left, you may catch one of the nastiest bunkers in all of Myrtle Beach golf. Muster all your confidence and make your best long-iron swing of the day, and you might just escape with a par.
TPC Myrtle Beach’s closing hole brings the drama up another notch. A tee shot through a chute of trees leads to a fairway whose right edge is guarded by a winding stream. Just beyond the landing area, that stream crosses the fairway and empties into a lake that runs the remainder of the left side of the hole. If you can string together a big drive and a heroic fairway wood, you might be able to reach the green in two and bring a whopper of a golf story home to your buddies. If your ball finds a watery grave, take solace in the fact that you’re hardly alone. Risk-reward is the essence of compelling golf, and TPC Myrtle Beach supplies many chances. Especially if you’re staying on the southern half of the Grand Strand, TPC should be high on your list of places to play.