The PGA Championship is underway so what better time to take a look at the strong connections between the game’s final major and the Myrtle Beach golf scene?
Seven players who have hoisted the Wannamaker Trophy have designed Myrtle Beach golf courses, including some of the area’s best.
Here is a look at the work past PGA champions have done along the Grand Strand.
John Daly – Much like Long John himself, Wicked Stick encourages a grip it and rip it brand of golf. The course enjoys a prime location and places an emphasis on playability, highlighted by generous fairways.
Raymond Floyd – A four-time major winner, including a pair of PGAs, Floyd co-designed Arrowhead Country Club, a 27-hole facility, with Tom Jackson. With several holes that play along the Intracoastal Waterway and a year-round emphasis on superb conditions, Arrowhead is a players favorite.
Davis Love III – Barefoot Resort is one of golf’s premier multi-course facilities and Love, then a fledgling architect, faced the challenge of designing a layout that could stand next to those created by Greg Norman, Pete Dye and Tom Fazio. Love was more than up to the task, just as he was in winning his only major, the 1997 PGA at Winged Foot. The Love Course has been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.
Jack Nicklaus – The greatest of them all, Nicklaus opened Pawleys Plantation and Long Bay in 1988 (maybe Jack didn’t win another major after the 1986 Masters because he was spending his time designing courses in Myrtle Beach!). The back nine at Pawleys, which has six holes that offer views of a saltwater marsh, is among the Grand Strand’s most scenic. Long Bay, with it yawning waste bunkers, is an outstanding design and a stern test.
Gary Player – Known as the World’s Most Traveled Athlete, Gary Player made his contribution to the Myrtle Beach golf scene with the design of Blackmoor. Built on land that used to be home to historic Longwood Plantation, Blackmoor parallels the Waccamaw River and the 13th hole plays along a pre-Civil War cemetery that is part of the national historic registry.
Lanny Wadkins – The 1977 PGA champion, Wadkins co-designed TPC Myrtle Beach with Fazio. TPC is one of fewer than 30 5-star courses nationwide, according to Golf Digest, and the home club of PGA Tour star and Myrtle Beach golf spokesman Dustin Johnson.
Nick Price – The second South African on this list, Price’s design of the Member’s Club at Grande Dunes, a private course, has flown under the radar because it isn’t open to the public. Lack of exposure shouldn’t be confused with a lack of quality. The Members Club is an outstanding track.
How many courses designed by former PGA champions have you played?