As part of a relaunch of its “Best Places to Play” initiative, Golf Digest has unveiled its list of South Carolina’s best public courses, and Myrtle Beach dominated the venerable magazine’s ranking of the Palmetto State’s best.
The list, which included South Carolina’s top 20 public layouts, was compiled based on the evaluation of Golf Digest’s nationwide panel of course raters.
Eleven Myrtle Beach layouts were ranked among the golf-rich Palmetto State’s best, a group that includes The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Barefoot Resort’s Dye, Fazio and Love Courses, True Blue Golf Club, TPC Myrtle Beach, Grande Dunes Resort Course, Pawleys Plantation, Tidewater and Heritage Club.
The Dunes Club is the area’s most storied course and a former host of the U.S. Women’s Open and six Senior PGA Tour championships. The Robert Trent Jones Sr. design first attracted national attention to Myrtle Beach and “Waterloo,” the famed par-5 13th hole, is one of America’s original “signature” holes.
Caledonia, a consensus top 100 public course, was architect Mike Strantz’ first solo design. Set on a beautiful piece of Lowcountry property, Caledonia is equal parts art and architecture, wowing players with its creativity and challenge. The course’s iconic 18th hole, which requires a carry over water to a green resting in the shadow of the clubhouse, is a perfect finish.
The longtime host of the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am, the Dye Course at Barefoot Resort features the visual deception, railroad ties and rugged challenge hall of fame architect Pete Dye was known for.
True Blue, Caledonia’s sister course and another Strantz design, features some of the area’s largest fairways, greens and waste bunkers. The expansive layout is full of unforgettable visuals and quality shot making is at a premium.
TPC Myrtle Beach is one of the area’s premier big-event venues. The Tom Fazio-Lanny Wadkins course has hosted a Senior Tour Championship and a NCAA Division I regional championship, among other high-profile events.
Grande Dunes Resort Course, which is slated to reopen September 15 after a summer greens and bunker renovation project, offers stunning views of the Intracoastal Waterway. The par-3 14th hole, which plays from an elevated tee box overlooking the waterway, is one of Myrtle Beach’s most recognizable holes.
A Jack Nicklaus design, the back nine at Pawleys Plantation features six holes that play along a tidal marsh, a stretch highlighted by the 13th hole, a short par 3 that plays to a peninsula green surrounded by marsh. Pawleys Plantation, one of the area’s sternest tests, is an unforgettable course.
Home to nine holes that play along either the Intracoastal Waterway or Cherry Grove Inlet, Tidewater is on the short list of the Palmetto State’s most scenic layouts. Recently named South Carolina’s Golf Course of the Year, Tidewater is one of the area’s most sought after tee times.
A par 71 layout, Barefoot’s Fazio Course makes generous use of natural waste areas, native grasses and Fazio’s fertile imagination. The course, which has been ranked among America’s top 100 public layouts, has water on 15 holes and natural elevation change that is unusual for the area.
The Love Course at Barefoot is renowned for a three-hole stretch – Nos. 4 through 6 – that plays around the faux ruins of an old plantation home. The fourth hole, a drivable, short par 4 back-stopped by the ruins, is a delight to play and it’s representative of the experience on the ever-enjoyable Love Course.
Heritage Club, a Dan Maples design, plays through a memorable piece of Lowcountry property, spotlighting the area’s native beauty.