The Course That Put Myrtle Beach on the Map: The Dunes Golf & Beach Club

One of Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s finest works, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club was Myrtle Beach’s second course and brought media attention to the Grand Strand, paving the way for the area’s emergence as a national destination. Though you likely know all of that, here is an insider’s look at what makes The Dunes Club so special.

— Sure, Alligator Alley, highlighted by No. 13, the famed par 5 known as Waterloo, attracts the bulk of the attention, but the layout is so much more than a trio of holes with a cool nickname. This is a spectacular design from the jump. From the opening par 4 to the par-3 ninth, which offers a view of the Atlantic Ocean, The Dunes Club starts strong and builds throughout the round. The experience culminates on No. 18, a long par 4 with a pond fronting the green, providing a dramatic conclusion to a championship-level test of golf.

— The Dunes Club is consistently among the best conditioned courses in all of South Carolina. The greens are always fast and smooth and the fairways plush. The Dunes Club invests in course maintenance, and golfers are the beneficiaries. No matter what time of year you play, The Dunes Club will be in outstanding shape from tee to green.

— Folks in Myrtle Beach often tout the influence of The Dunes Club on the area’s growth, but that might be selling the course short. The Dunes Club was coastal South Carolina’s first prominent layout, opening eyes all along the Palmetto State coast. The Dunes Club was luring golfers and national media attention 20 years before Sea Pines opened. This was the course that put the South Carolina coast on the golf map.

— How does a course put South Carolina on the golf map? Hosting the U.S. Women’s Open, the finals of the PGA Tour’s Q-School (Gary McÇord and Ben Crenshaw each earned their card at the course), six Senior PGA Tour Championships, and the final round of the Golf Writers Association of America tournament for 50 years are good places to start – and The Dunes Club did all of them.

— The Dunes Club is ranked among America’s top 100 public courses by Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella, but it’s a semi-private facility that isn’t available to just anyone with a set of golf clubs and the ability to get to the course. To play the layout (and I’d highly recommend it), contact your favorite golf package provider and figure out the best way to add The Dunes Club to your next Myrtle Beach golf trip.