Golf courses have been ranked in just about every way imaginable over the years, with most lists catering to the game’s best players and the (very) rare tip of cap to women.
You know who always gets left out? The average golfer, whom I’ll define as someone who generally shoots between 88 and 92. The experts all forget those of us stuck in golf purgatory, just good enough not to be ‘bad’ players, but certainly not skilled enough to be deemed a ‘stick.’
But I’m here for you. As you prepare for your next Myrtle Beach golf trip, here are five courses that are great for the average player, offering a blend of beauty and challenge.
● Sure, Grande Dunes is on every list of the area’s best courses and it’s hosted events such as the PGA Professional National Championship, so it challenges high level golfers, but the Roger Rulewich design is ideal for us mid-handicappers. The fairways are enormous and onerous forced carries are minimal, meaning you shouldn’t lose many balls. Throw in great greens and spectacular views and Grande Dunes has all the ingredients for a career round. (Grande Dunes pictured right)
● When talk turns to risk-reward decisions, they mostly apply to better players, but Wild Wing’s Avocet Course provides middling golfers with decisions, and it’s great. The 265-yard 14th hole, even if it’s not reachable, provides the chance to be aggressive, as does the ninth hole and its dual fairways, among several other challenges that require you to make a meaningful decision. Most layouts don’t cater to those of us in the middle, but Avocet does and I, for one, am appreciative.
● Arcadian Shores (top photo) is one of the area’s hidden gems. The layout is Rees Jones first solo design and it’s reminiscent of one of his father’s most famed courses – Dunes Golf & Beach Club. People forget that Arcadian was once ranked among America’s top 100 public courses. It’s not an easy track, but the course continues to thrive after a 2018 renovation, and it’s an outstanding design.
● Average players like the opportunity to score, so take a look at The Wizard, a links-inspired Dan Maples design. The layout opens with a par 5 that borders a lake, and the final three holes play along the same body of water. In between are 14 holes meant to provide a taste of golf in Scotland, and with the wide fairways and generous greens, the Wizard will give you a chance to go low.
● The chances of you getting on to Augusta National or making it to St. Andrews are slim, so head to World Tour, enjoy a quick history lesson, and dream of strolling the fairways of some of the game’s most storied venues. World Tour takes you on a trip across the golf globe, so take advantage of the opportunity. (World Tour pictured right)
If you organize a trip, these five layouts will provide golfers with a range of handicaps an equal opportunity to score.