Story by Ian Guerin
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Canada, are you ready for some golf in Myrtle Beach? Or, specifically for our Quebecois friends – Êtes-vous prêt pour le golf a Myrtle Beach? The 58th annual Can-Am Days in Myrtle Beach, scheduled for March 9-17, 2019, is expected to bring another 100,000-plus visitors during what is one of the best times of the year for local golf. The weather is starting to be a bit more consistent, courses have been touched up after the slightly slower winter months (we know how absurd that must sound to some of you) and all that we have to offer as the Golf Capital of the World is truly showing. If you’re planning on making the trip to the Grand Strand along with some of your fellow Canadian brothers and sisters, here are four courses that will give you a small taste of home.
DUNES GOLF & BEACH CLUB
Robert Trent Jones is an American golf icon, with his famous trail in Alabama anchoring more than 500 solo, group, and redesign projects around the globe. But it was Canadian legend Stanley Thompson who played one heck of a role in Jones’ career beginnings. The duo teamed up in the 1930s and later founded the American Society of Golf Course Architects, not so coincidentally the same year that Jones was putting in serious work at Dunes Club. The course was the second to open in Myrtle Beach and has significant feel of the nature-inspired designs he and Thompson crafted together in colder environments.
WORLD TOUR GOLF LINKS
We’d be lying if we told you that World Tour is going to have anyone standing up and singing “O Canada”. But for one hole, the Maple Leaf is front and center. The eighth hole of this replica course was patterned after the opener at The National Golf Club of Canada in Woodridge, Ontario, just northwest of Toronto. The World Tour version of the hole is going to play slightly shorter, roughly 15-20 yards, depending on tee box, but the wide fairway and angle into the pin will look awfully familiar for those who have been on the original.
BAREFOOT RESORT & GOLF FAZIO COURSE
If that sliver of World Tour isn’t enough to whet your appetite, Tom Fazio’s design at Barefoot Resort’s four-course mega property should do the trick. That’s because it is here that Fazio created a round bent on maximizing a picturesque setting, much like he and his Uncle, George, did at The National Golf Club of Canada. The Fazio Course opened nearly three decades later, but many of the same ideas are prevalent: Varying uses water, thick tree lines at points while using wide-open fairways on others and consistent routing that makes it all just flow.
TPC OF MYRTLE BEACH
A number of pros with direct or indirect ties to South Carolina’s northern coastline have walked away as champions of the Canadian Open. But the latest has set up some roots here unlike any other. Dustin Johnson, who attended nearby Coastal Carolina University and won the 2018 Open at Glen Abbey, parked his golf school at TPC of Myrtle Beach because of his familiarity with the course (another Tom Fazio design, nonetheless). It is the only public TPC-brand course in the Carolinas, and as such attracts its share of international package play.
Ian Guerin is a DJ and freelance writer based in Myrtle Beach. You can follow him on Twitter @iguerin and Facebook facebook.com/IanGuerinWriter/