In its January issue, Golf Digest dedicated eight pages to a “Compare+Contrast” story looking at three of the game’s “classic” buddies destinations.
The three featured destinations were Myrtle Beach, Ireland and Bandon Dunes. Each locale offers a different experience and each is among the game’s best for different reasons.
The premise of the story is Golf Digest sent two writers to each destination (on separate trips), and they filed a very short report on each. In the end, we like how the Myrtle Beach golf vacation experience stacked up, particularly if your budget doesn’t allow for a $3,000+ trip.
Here is a quick synopsis of each destination based on the writer evaluation.
Courses the writers played: Barefoot Love Course, Blackmoor , Caledonia (multiple times), Grande Dunes, True Blue, Pawleys Plantation (multiple times), Pine Lakes, TPC Myrtle Beach(multiple times).
Average per person costs, including golf, lodging, food and beverage: $986.
Conclusion: “There really isn’t any other place like it on earth, this sprawling playland of golf courses, sand castles, pancake houses and sports bars. No doubt about it, we’ll be back.”
Courses the writers played: Old Head, Ballybunion (Old), Ballybunion (Cashen), Waterville, Doonbeg, Lahinch (Old), Portmarnock Links, The European Club, Royal County Down, County Sligo, Carne, Enniscrone, K Club (Palmer).
Average per person costs, including golf, lodging, food and beverage: $2,305 (what this number doesn’t include is the cost of the flight, which would almost surely push your total over $3,000).
Conclusion: “It was the maiden trip to Ireland for most of us, and we embraced every part of it.”
Courses: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails, Old Macdonald, Bandon Preserve (because Bandon is a resort as opposed to a true destination, each course was obviously played multiple times).
Average per person costs, including golf, lodging, food and beverage: $3,137 (what this number doesn’t include is the cost of the flight, which surely pushed the total cost to close to $4,000).
Conclusion: “Every golfer needs a trip where playing the game is the only thing that matters. For my dad and me, Bandon Dunes was golf, and golf only.”
Our Take: Ireland and Bandon Dunes are both wonderful destinations, but for the vast, vast majority of us, they represent, at best, once a decade trips. The Golf Digest piece highlights why Myrtle Beach is golf’s ultimate vacation.
A trip here is less than a third of the cost of a trip to one of the other featured destinations and all of your buddies will have the opportunity to go, not just the ones making in excess of six figures.
In terms of quality of golf, we have 13 layouts Golf Digest has ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses in recent years, so we feel pretty good about that as well.