Hamm It Up at These 5 Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

Eagle Nest’s 18th Hole

Everyone knows of the Myrtle Beach golf courses designed by the game’s biggest names – Dye, Doak, Nicklaus, Fazio, Palmer et al. – but there are architects who enjoy far less acclaim yet were vital to the Grand Strand’s growth in its formative years.

Gene Hamm, who has five current Myrtle Beach golf courses to his credit, is a prime example. The North Carolina native designed layouts with an emphasis on delivering quality and value, and he made on that promise along the Grand Strand.

Here is a closer look at Hamm’s work in the Myrtle Beach area:

– When Azalea Sands Golf Club opened in 1972, it was the Myrtle Beach area’s 17th course, and with no homes and a prime location in North Myrtle Beach, it remains a popular track. Playing just 6,600 yards from the tips, Azalea Sands offers plenty of room off the tee and a chance for players to go low.

Eagle Nest began welcoming golfers in 1972 as well and the layout touts itself as being home to the Grand Strand’s three toughest finishing holes. That stretch includes the par-5, 603-yard 17th, one of the Myrtle Beach’s area’s longest holes. Eagle Nest is a North Strand institution, delighting locals and visitors alike.

– A former Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year winner, Burning Ridge Golf Club is one of the area’s most underrated tracks. Hamm’s layout has stood the test of time, highlighted by the par-3 12th hole, which stretches to 247 yards from the tips and requires a daunting carry over water.

The Hackler Course at Coastal Carolina University was originally known as Quail Creek and it was a Hamm original. Architect Craig Schreiner led a redesign, but the routing and bones of this local’s favorite are undeniably Hamm’s work. With a convenient location by the university, the Hackler Course, which is run by CCU’s Professional Golf Management students, is as popular as ever.

– Hamm worked with Tom Jackson to co-design River Oaks, which offers a view of the Intracoastal Waterway and a prime location near the heart of town. River Oaks opened in 1988, making it the youngest of Hamm’s local layouts, but it shares the playability and value that have made his work popular.

Gene Hamm isn’t among the game’s architectural legends, but he continues to make a lot of Myrtle Beach golfers happy.