In this edition of “Take Four,” our panel of Myrtle Beach golf experts weighs in on the Grand Strand designs that offer more of a links-style feel to the golf course.
Scott: It’s in the name, it’s in the clubhouse: The Thistle Golf Club. What I like about it, it doesn’t necessarily have the bunkers or some of the tall grass that you expect, or that you have with The Open Championship, but for me, the wind. I mean, there are not too many places out here where you literally, really don’t have anything to protect you. It’s you versus the wind, and I lose every time.
Bill: Links golf takes on a lot of different definitions over in the UK, but it’s not a true links course, but I love to play True Blue, because when it is playing hard and fast, large greens, large fairways, waste areas … Their vistas remind me a little bit of a links-area course with the berms. And you use every club in your bag, which is very similar to a links course. You don’t walk out of a links course just hitting driver and 8-iron. You’re hitting it all. You’re hitting a lot of bump and runs, you can hit some high balls. But when True Blue’s playing a little firmer, it just has that feel to me of playing that style of golf course.
Chris: I would agree, and I think we need to go there this afternoon. We can provide a more current evaluation!
You know what? Give me The Wizard. You know, from holes 1 through 18 it’s probably not a true links course. There are some parkland holes in there, but from about 4 through 15, I’ll take that. Dan Maples designed the course with the stacked sod bunkers, there are pot bunkers out there. There’s the mounding with, I think they have like over 120 different types of native grasses there. So, there are some really linksy-type elements out there to The Wizard, and you know, for me – look, I’ve not been to Scotland, unfortunately, so I can’t really make an apples to apples comparison, but for now, I think that’s as close as we’re going to get here.
Ryan: For me, I guess I’m going to say the Heathland Course at Legends Golf Resort. I mean, they’ve got that bunkering style that you look at. It is a little bit open out there. It’s got that feel. It’s definitely built and designed to have that, you can tell just when you get out there. And then I’ll just throw Prestwick a little bit in there. I know they’ve got trees and stuff out there, but they’ve got that type of bunkering. And then, I guess we could say some of the bunkers out here on the Dye Course course have that, as well. You get in some of these things, you can just see them in the background. But yeah, for me, I’m going to go with Legends-Heathland as my top one, I would say.
Bill: Think about how cool it is to talk about links-style golf courses here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
Bill: I mean, we’ve got a unique topography, obviously, trees, pine trees, native areas. But the fact that we’re able to talk about links-style courses, here in the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina is pretty cool. That means we’ve got a lot of really interesting decisions.
Chris: It does. And you know what else it does, it highlights the importance of being close to the water. I mean, you can never underestimate the importance of that to any particular trip.
Bill: That’s true. Yeah.
Chris: I mean, Scott pointed it out with The Thistle. Not all of our courses here are you playing along the water, but you’re close enough that the breeze is coming off of it.