The U.S. Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in all of golf, and winning it is a major achievement that only the game’s best can carry on their resume. Myrtle Beach has long been among the top golf destinations in the nation. Several courses along the Grand Strand have been designed by U.S. Open champions.
The following is a list of U.S. Open champions and the golf courses they designed along the Grand Strand that are worthy of the U.S. Open trophy:
Jack Nicklaus (1962, 1967, 1972 and 1980 U.S. Open Winner) Nicklaus designed the Long Bay Club, which is off the beaten path, in Longs. It has received a 4.5-star ranking from Golf Digest’s “Places to Play,” and is known for its beautiful dogwoods, pines and maples along the course. Be careful playing its diverse bunker styles and elevation difference, which will both test your skillset. Nicklaus also designed Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Known for its 200-year-old, moss-draped oaks in the historical coastal region of South Carolina, many of the native trees have not been touched. The course was designed with plenty of sand bunkers, water-lined fairways, and subtle greens well guarded by bunkers, which makes the course fun to play. Be on the lookout for “Jack’s Tree” at Hole 14, which is an oak in the middle of the fairway near his old house.
Arnold Palmer (1960 U.S. Open Winner) Palmer created all of the courses at Myrtle Beach National. King’s North offers several of the Grand Strand’s most memorable holes, including the par 5 hole, “The Gambler.” Golf Digest’s “Places to Play” has awarded King’s North 4.5 stars. Palmer’s Rivers Edge sits along the bluffs and tidal marshes of the Shallotte River. With five sets of tees to fit any game, golfers of all skill levels will enjoy this beautiful layout fit for a king.
Ray Floyd (1986 U.S. Open winner) Arrowhead Country Club is Floyd’s premier 27-hole golf complex along the scenic Intracoastal Waterway. It features three unique 9-hole tracks: The Waterway, The Cypress, and The Lakes, each one with a feel all of its own. They feature uncommon elevations, hardwood wetlands, Bermuda grass fairways, and Mini-Verde greens.
Larry Nelson (1983 U.S. Open Winner) Wild Wing Plantation, designed by Nelson and Jeff Brauer, was named the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association’s “Golf Course of the Year” in 2002 and 2003. One look at this design and you quickly realize why this course earned this honor two years in a row. Woven throughout the surrounding natural preserve and framed by tall Carolina pines, this classic par 72 championship layout offers everything from a double green shared by holes six and 17, as well as a drivable par 4, on hole 14 surrounded by majestic wildlife. Whatever your skill level, this is sure to be a memorable playing experience that will have you wanting to double up and play 36, before the sun goes down
Gary Player (1965 U.S OpenWinner) Player’s Blackmoor Golf Club in Murrells Inlet remains one of the Grand Strand’s most player-friendly courses. The signature hole is number eight, a great risk/reward dogleg right par 4 that plays 370 yards or if you are feeling adventurous, you can cut the corner and try and drive the green, about a 270 yard carry.