The U.S. Open is golf’s most grueling test, challenging players physically and mentally. Only the strong survive and Myrtle Beach is fortunate to have had five U.S. Open winners, including the game’s greatest champion, Jack Nicklaus, design a total nine area layouts.
As you are getting ready to watch the U.S. Open, enjoy a look at the Myrtle Beach golf courses designed by the tournament’s past champions.
— Jack Nicklaus designed two Myrtle Beach golf courses that provide a U.S. Open type test. Both Nicklaus signature courses – Long Bay and Pawleys Plantation – opened in 1988 and remain two of the best and most challenging layouts along the Grand Strand. The back nine at Pawleys, featuring five holes that play along a saltmarsh, is particularly memorable. At Long Bay, Nicklaus used sand and mounding to craft an outstanding inland layout.
— The King, Arnold Palmer, has four area layouts to his credit, including all three at Myrtle Beach National. Palmer’s most popular Myrtle Beach course is King’s North, which features the renowned par 5 sixth hole, known to all as The Gambler. Rivers Edge is on the short list of the Grand Strand’s most scenic courses and has been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest.
— Winner of the 1965 U.S. Open, Gary Player was golf’s first true international star, and he counts Blackmoor among his design credits. The South Strand layout has long been a player’s favorite, rewarding shot-making and providing outstanding customer service.
— Raymond Floyd won our national championship at Shinnecock Hills in 1986 and designed a Myrtle Beach course that favors a U.S. Open style game. Arrowhead, which is always impeccably conditioned, rewards accuracy off the tee and a good putting stroke. Throw in a couple holes along the Intracoastal Waterway, and Arrowhead is an outstanding design.
— Larry Nelson won his U.S. Open at Oakmont, a great layout, no doubt, but one that punishes the best of players. The 1983 champion designed the Avocet Course at Wild Wing, one of the Grand Strand’s most enjoyable and playable layouts, highlighted by a great, short par 4.