There are rounds when high score or not, some courses are just plain fun. Design quirks, a need to challenge your own predetermined notions of the game or simply the opportunity to try something completely unheard of will have that effect. In and around Myrtle Beach, several of the courses here have found cool methods to accomplish that. These are five where even head-scratching results will lead to more than a share of laughs and positive vibes.
BAREFOOT RESORT AND GOLF LOVE COURSE (top photo)
The big talking point with the Love track at the high-end, four-track Barefoot property is almost always the ruins. The man-made additions to the course for its 2000 opening give folks memories of a lifetime. However, they should be considered only a jumping-off point. Davis Love III laid out a player-friendly 18 holes masked by streams and other various fairway hazards that look more intimidating than they really are.
GRANDE DUNES RESORT CLUB
One of the joys of being among the area’s best tracks is that players can go in knowing the small details have been taken care of before they ever arrive. The turf is nothing short of excellent, the bunkers will be prepped to perfection and the greens will roll true at Grande Dunes. What’s also true is that the Roger Rulewich Group put in place a staggeringly impressive design that includes the bluffs overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. It all brings about a feeling that you’ve treated yourself to something special.
MAN O’WAR GOLF CLUB (pictured right)
One of Dan Maples’ five existing Grand Strand designs, Man O’ War is a water-centric as any other in the area. Built around an 80-acre lake, water is in play on nearly all of 18 holes. What that means is players are forced to be creative with their approach, both off the tee and beyond. A number of doglegs then add even more need for thought. It all adds up to create one of those courses where some advanced knowledge can make you look like a boss to your buddies.
MYRTLE BEACH NATIONAL KING’S NORTH
It’s impossible to hum the Kenny Rogers tune “The Gambler” without a smile on your face. Now try to navigate that task during the final two-thirds of King’s North. Although the first five holes here have cool elements, the island fairway on No. 6 (adorned with Rogers’ lyrics on a plaque) begin the start of a build-up that Arnold Palmer somehow kept going throughout. Fun par 3s are matched with creative par 4s and even niftier longer holes.
WORLD TOUR GOLF LINKS (pictured right)
What do we love about World Tour? Start with the fact that no other course will make you feel like you’ve traveled as far as this one. Eighteen holes of replica golf take you around the globe to some of the most iconic fairways the sport has ever seen without needing more than a golf cart to get there. The golf itself isn’t going to destroy your game; the distractions of mimicking what we saw the likes of Jack, Arnie and Tiger do on TV, well, no promises.