Jack Nicklaus. Arnold Palmer. Gary Player.
They are golf titans, winning a total of 34 major championships between them, but this trio of legends has more than on-course greatness in common.
All three have left their mark on the Myrtle Beach golf community as course architects. If you want to experience the work of the game’s most accomplished players, the Grand Strand offers ample opportunities.
Here is a look at work of the “The King,” “The Golden Bear,” and “The Black Knight” in Myrtle Beach.
Palmer is the most prolific of the three, designing four Grand Strand layouts, including two that have been ranked among America’s top 100 public courses: King’s North at Myrtle Beach National (MBN). and Rivers Edge. Arnie first put his stamp on the area when he designed all three layouts at MBN.
West Course and SouthCreek are two of the Grand Strand’s most sought-after tee times, providing player-friendly experiences and quality course conditions. While both designs are a treat to play, King’s North is one of the Myrtle Beach area’s iconic layouts.
The course is most known for “The Gambler,” a par 5 featuring an alternate, island fairway that allows the daring among us the opportunity to reach the green in two. Throw in the island green, par-3 12th hole, featuring a pair of bunkers in the shape of “SC,” and No. 18, a par 4 with more than 40 sand traps, and King’s North is one of the area’s most recognizable layouts.
Palmer’s work at Rivers Edge, which is located on the northern edge of the Myrtle Beach golf scene, is no less scintillating. The layout plays along the Shallotte River and is on the short list of the Grand Strand’s most scenic courses, highlighted by the ninth hole, a par 5 otherwise known as “Arnie’s Revenge.”
Nicklaus designed Long Bay and Pawleys Plantation, both of which opened in 1988. Just as Palmer and Nicklaus dueled in major championships, Pawleys, which features six holes that play along a stunning tidal marsh, competes with Rivers Edge for a spot atop the list of the area’s prettiest courses. Coming off a comprehensive greens, bunkers and clubhouse renovation project in the summer of 2023, Pawleys is better than ever.
Long Bay is an inland layout that showcases sprawling waste bunkers, mounding and a brand-new set of greens. The course is highlighted by three back nine holes – 10, 13 and 18 – that were ranked among Myrtle Beach’s top 100.
In 1990, Player opened Blackmoor, his only area course. The layout is renowned for the quality of its conditions and like its multiple-major championship winning peers, is home to a hole everyone talks about on the way home.
Played conventionally, the eighth hole is a 90-degree, dogleg right par 4, but players can play through a 30-yard chute through the trees in an attempt to drive a green that is just 270 yards away.
If you want to play a memorable Myrtle Beach golf course, Palmer, Nicklaus and Player give you plenty of choices.