As part of the relaunch of its popular “Best Places to Play” initiative, Golf Digest has unveiled its list of South Carolina’s best public courses, and Myrtle Beach, to no one’s surprise, dominated yet another ranking of the Palmetto’s State finest layouts.
According to Golf Digest, nine of the state’s top 14 public courses are located in the Myrtle Beach area, including the Dunes Club, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Barefoot’s Dye Course, TPC Myrtle Beach, True Blue, Grande Dunes Resort Club, Pawleys Plantation, Tidewater and Heritage Club.
The Dunes Club (top photo), the area’s most storied course, and Caledonia, legendary architect Mike Strantz’ first solo design, are consensus top 100 public layouts, and Barefoot’s Dye Course is the host of the annual Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am.
True Blue, Caledonia’s sister course, is one of four Pawleys Island layouts on the list, joining Heritage Club and Pawleys Plantation, a Jack Nicklaus design renowned for the beauty of its back nine, which features six holes that play along a tidal marsh.
“This [Nicklaus] design lies among the natural saltwater marshes and is known as one of the Golden Bear’s finest,” Golf Digest wrote. “According to Nicklaus, each hole has a distinct intended strategy shaped by hazards, trees, bunkers, and even a double green shared by two holes.”
TPC Myrtle Beach, which has hosted the Senior PGA Tour Championship, a NCAA Division I Regional, and numerous other high-profile events, earned a spot on the list and the praise of Golf Digest.
“TPC Myrtle Beach (pictured right) is designed to challenge even the pros,” the magazine wrote. “Numerous water hazards, strategically placed trees, and forced carries make this track a tough, but enjoyable test.”
Tidewater, which features nine holes playing along either Cherry Grove Inlet or the Intracoastal Waterway, and Grande Dunes, home to Myrtle Beach’s most stunning views of the waterway, were also included among South Carolina’s best.
“Spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Grande Dunes Marina make this links-style golf course well worth the visit,” Golf Digest said of Grande Dunes. “ Designed by Roger Rulewich Group, the course was built on a high bluff — the ideal setting for a picturesque sunset round. Expansive fairways littered with penalty areas throughout define Grande Dunes as a difficult, yet enjoyable resort course.”
Myrtle Beach is golf’s most popular destination and the range of courses singled out by Golf Digest is one of the primary reasons why.