Golfweek recently released its list of the “Top 200 Resort Courses in the U.S.,” compiling rankings data from a nation-wide panel of golf course evaluators. There were nine Myrtle Beach area layouts on the list, including three ranked among the nation’s top 100, so there is no complaining about representation.
But (isn’t there always one?!) there are a few area courses we thought could’ve been included on the list. Here were the most glaring local omissions:
1. TPC Myrtle Beach (top photo) is on the short list of the Grand Strand’s best layouts and deserved a spot in the Golfweek rankings. The Lanny Wadkins-Tom Fazio design offers a significant test, is always in great condition, and despite being just 20 years old, has already hosted a Senior PGA Tour Championship, a NCAA Division I Regional and the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship. This is a top-shelf course.
2. Heritage Club was ranked among “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” as recently as 2008 by Golf Digest, and the layout and conditions are as good as ever. Course raters, who tend to reward the exclusivity of private clubs and high-end daily fee layouts, may not appreciate the breakfast buffet and standing in line with the masses to claim their two free draft beers, but none of that changes the quality of Heritage.
3. The Jack Nicklaus designed Pawleys Plantation Golf Club deserves a better fate from the game’s various ratings panels. Sure, it’s consistently ranked among South Carolina’s best public courses, but Pawleys is worthy of national acclaim. Six back nine holes play along a stunning saltwater marsh and the challenge is varied. This is a top 200 resort course.
4. Myrtle Beach PGA professionals were asked to rank the area’s top 20 courses and Prestwick Country Club (pictured right) was No. 5 on their list, making the P.B. Dye design an obvious candidate to be included, based local expertise, which has to count for something. The back nine at Prestwick is a good one.
5. Tom Doak is one of the game’s great contemporary architects and his work at the Heathland Course at Legends Resort provided early glimpses of what was to come. The links-inspired design is home to some of the area’s widest fairways and large, undulating greens. It wouldn’t have shocked anyone to see Heathland crack the Golfweek list.