With golf’s major championship season poised to begin, what better time to explore Myrtle Beach’s ties to the game’s all-time greats and its biggest events.
The Grand Strand may never host another major (the Dunes Club was home to 1962 U.S. Women’s Open) but here are how the area’s ties to the game’s legends can make your next trip even better.
– No player did more to bring golf to the masses than Arnold Palmer and “The King” certainly left his mark on Myrtle Beach. Arnie designed all three layouts at Myrtle Beach National, including King’s North. If you are able to hit the alternate, island fairway on the par 5 sixth hole at King’s North (aka The Gambler), you may feel like you won a green jacket. Groups can make a vacation of playing the three Palmer courses at MBN before teeing it up at Rivers Edge, one of Arnie’s most scenic layouts, on the way out of town.
– Six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus has a pair of Myrtle Beach courses to his credit. Both Long Bay Golf Club and Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club (top photo)will enhance any trip and you have the opportunity to get a picture beside the statue of the Golden Bear at Long Bay. Keep in mind, Pawleys – which is in outstanding condition – will close for four months over the summer for a comprehensive greens, bunkers and clubhouse renovations project, so this spring is a great time to play there, providing a point of comparison for the renovation work.
– Playing courses designed by a major champion is one thing, but World Tour Golf Links will transport you to the game’s iconic venues. A replica course, four of World Tour’s 18 holes were inspired by Augusta National, including a three-hole stretch that brings you to Amen Corner. It’s a one-of-kind round that every group needs to experience. (World Tour pictured right)
– The PGA Championship is often thought of as the “fourth” major, but that’s not a distinction that should impact your planning. Case in point: Wild Wing’s Avocet Course, the co-creation of Jeff Brauer and two-time PGA Champion Larry Nelson. Just as those Wannamaker Trophies count the same toward Tiger’s major championship count, this Nelson design can contribute to your Myrtle Beach golf trip every bit as much Palmer or Nicklaus’ work.
– Myrtle Beach is home to 13 courses designed by major champions – Arrowhead Country Club, Love Course at Barefoot Resort, Pawleys Plantation, Long Bay Golf Club, King’s North, SouthCreek and West Course at Myrtle Beach National, Rivers Edge, Wild Wing Avocet, Blackmoor, Norman Course, TPC Myrtle Beach and the Members Club at Grande Dunes. Make sure you give at least one of them a try on your next trip.
Photos for this story from our Instagram account @myrtlebeachgolftrips