A round at the Grande Dunes Resort Course features stunning Intracoastal Waterway holes, a central location, and a layout that rewards creativity and shot making.
That was all before a 2022 greens and bunkers renovation project further elevated the course’s place in golf’s most popular market.
John Harvey, who worked with architect Roger Rulewich on the layout and construction of the course in 2001, returned to lead the renovation and here are five things everyone needs to know about the “new” Grande Dunes.
– Grande Dunes recaptured more than 40,000 square feet of putting surface in the renovation, an increase of 33 percent, but what does that mean for you? For starters, the number of pinnable areas has increased dramatically, which enhances both the playability and conditioning of the course. The ability to move pins around means less wear and tear on any one particular part of the green, a win for everyone.
– The dramatic expansion of the greens attracts most of the attention but the bunker work, while sometimes subtle, was no less impactful. The footprint of the bunkers is smaller post-renovation, but the reduction in size didn’t impact the integrity of the design or diminish the challenge for better players. A prime example was the large fairway bunker that loomed on the left side of the 18th fairway. Harvey reduced the size of the bunker considerably and moved it right, closer to the fairway, where it may catch more balls but doesn’t disproportionately impact average players.
– The par 3 14th hole plays from an elevated bluff to a green flanking the Intracoastal Waterway and it’s better than ever. The new bunkers are more clearly defined and the expanded green is 50+ yards long, making an already stunning hole all the prettier. Go ahead and bring your phone to the tee because you are going to want to take a picture.
– The expansive greens introduce greater creativity into the layout, allowing players to more effectively use the mounds that surround the greens. A prime example is the large mound to the right of the 17th green; prior to the renovation, balls played off the mound were more likely to get hung up in the fringe and not release toward the hole. Now, when the pin is on the right side of the green, that mound is every golfer’s friend, funneling balls toward the green and setting up a possible a birdie putt.
– It’s an off the course benefit to the renovation and we’ve talked about it before but leave time to go to Terrazza 19, the new clubhouse restaurant. The food is excellent and the new, open floor plan that includes a lot of natural light and a panoramic view of the course is enticing, as is the outdoor seating.
The 2022 renovation project secured Grande Dunes’ place at the top of the Myrtle Beach golf market for years to come, and it won’t take you long to realize why.
(Photos for this story from our Instagram account @myrtlebeachgolftrips)