Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Greg Norman have combined to win 10 British Open titles and design eight Myrtle Beach golf courses.
Enjoy a look at the area golf courses designed by players who have won golf's oldest prize.
Jack Nicklaus (3 Claret Jugs) – The most accomplished player in golf history, Nicklaus designed a pair of area courses – Pawleys Plantation and Long Bay – and both opened in 1989.
Both remain among the area’s most challenging and popular layouts for completely different reasons.
Pawleys Plantation is on the short list of the Grand Strand’s most scenic courses. The back nine has five holes that bring a stunning tidal marsh into play, including the par 3 13th hole, which has a peninsula green and is among the Grand Strand’s most photographed holes.
Long Bay is an inland course that relies on mounding and creative bunkering to create visuals and challenge. The short par 4 10th hole, which has sand running up both sides of the fairway and surrounding an elevated green, is the layout’s most recognizable challenge. Long Bay is one of the area’s most underrated tracks.
Arnold Palmer (2 Claret Jugs) – The King designed twice as many Myrtle Beach golf courses as he has British Open triumphs, highlighted by Rivers Edge and Kings North, both of which have been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest.
Rivers Edge is one of the area’s prettiest courses as it plays along the Shallotte River. The track is challenging, particularly the par 5 9th hole, but equally rewarding. Rivers Edge is a bucket list layout for Myrtle Beach golfers.
Palmer designed all three courses at Myrtle Beach National with SouthCreek and the West Course joining King’s North on his resume. King’s North is one of the area’s iconic layouts, highlighted by “The Gambler,” the par 5 sixth hole that has an alternate fairway, surrounded by water, that dares players to shorten the hole.
The West Course and SouthCreek, while not enjoying the same level of acclaim, are both outstanding layouts that place an emphasis on playability.
Greg Norman (2 Claret Jugs) – The Shark’s namesake course at Barefoot Resort is one of only six Myrtle Beach golf courses that play along the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Norman Course's signature hole is the 10th, a stunning downhill par 3 whose green abuts the waterway. While the four holes that bring the Intracoastal into play attract the most attention (and cameras), the inland holes are no less appealing, particularly the 9th, a par 5 that requires a carry over wetlands to a diabolical green. Combined with No. 10, it’s one of the best two-hole stretches on the beach.
Gary Player (3 Claret Jugs) – The Black Knight gave us Blackmoor in 1990. Like its architect, Blackmoor is most renowned for its, no pun intended, player-friendly reputation.
The par 4 eighth hole is the one you will be talking about long after you’ve returned home. The hole has a split fairway; played conventionally, it’s a 370-yard dogleg right, but Player designed a chute through the trees that eliminates the dogleg and reduces the length by 100 yards.
For those who can drive it long and straight, a possible birdie awaits. If you hit it sideways, trouble and likely a large number await. It’s a great risk-reward decision.