Tale of the Tape: Myrtle Beach vs. other top golf destinations

June 16, 2014

Grande Dunes is one of the layouts that helps make Myrtle Beach golf's greatest destinationThe August issue of Golf Digest, in a segment titled The Grid, outlined five buddy trip destinations that offer golfers multiple options.

The destinations evaluated – Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Pinehurst and San Diego – are among the nation’s best. While the Golf Digest article drew no conclusions, merely reciting facts about each area proved to be a powerful reinforcement of Myrtle Beach’s status as the nation’s most popular golf destination.

Let’s take a look at the Tale of the Tape from the Golf Digest grid.

(Courtesy Golf Digest)

Public courses with a rating of 4 stars or more in Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play guide:

Myrtle Beach: 71
Phoenix: 52
Pinehurst: 29
Las Vegas: 27
San Diego: 19

Bottom Line: The Grand Strand has nearly as many 4-star courses as Pinehurst, Vegas and San Diego combined (71 to 75) and nearly 50 percent more than Phoenix. Nothing speaks to the quality and quantity of Myrtle Beach’s golf offerings like the Places to Play ratings.

Average Cost of a tee time at the three courses Golf Digest recommends you play from each area:

Myrtle Beach: $160
San Diego: $228
Phoenix: $244
Pinehurst: $295
Las Vegas: $346

Bottom Line: Not only does Myrtle Beach have more outstanding courses, the area also offers far greater value than the compeition. The reality is probably even greater than the Golf Digest grid reflects, because the average price is derived from walk-in rates that most Myrtle Beach golfers don’t pay.

Number of top 100 courses:

Pinehurst: 6
Myrtle Beach: 3 (Digest actually shorted us a course in the magazine by listing only two, apparently forgetting the Dunes Club of all layouts!!)
Las Vegas: 2
San Diego: 2
Phoenix: 0

Bottom Line: Myrtle Beach trails only Pinehurst, an area boosted across the board by the presence of No. 2 (cost: $420, pre-caddie), a layout of obvious historic significance. That being said, I’d gladly match six of Myrtle Beach’s best against the Pinehurst area’s six top 100 layouts. Just saying.

Myrtle Beach earned its reputation by providing great golf at a great value, something the Golf Digest grid makes clear.