From the mountains to the midlands and a stunning coastline, South Carolina is arguably America’s most golf-rich state, but what region is home to the Palmetto State’s best courses?
The South Carolina Golf Course Rating Panel recently released its list of the “Best You Can Play 2023” and 13 of the state’s top 30 public courses were located along the Grand Strand, far more than any other part of the state.
The South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel is composed of golf enthusiasts representing a diverse range of occupations, handicaps and backgrounds. The individuals were charged with identifying the best that South Carolina golf has to offer.
While the panel didn’t individually rank courses, here were the 13 layouts that earned a spot on the list: Dye, Fazio and Love courses at Barefoot Resort, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Grande Dunes Resort Course, Heritage Club, King’s North at Myrtle Beach National, Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, Prestwick Country Club (pictured right), Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Tidewater Golf Club, TPC Myrtle Beach (top photo) and True Blue Golf Club.
There were no surprises among the Myrtle Beach courses that made the list. Caledonia is a consensus top 100 public layout while recently renovated Grande Dunes, featuring new greens, bunkers and a completely remodeled clubhouse, will continue to ascend in the eyes of golf course raters and the public.
King’s North at Myrtle Beach National is an Arnold Palmer design that is lauded for its creativity and risk-reward holes, highlighted by the par 5 sixth hole known as “The Gambler.” Pawleys Plantation is a Jack Nicklaus layout that features six back nine holes that bring a stunning saltwater marsh into play. Pawleys is slated for a summer renovation project that will include the complete overhaul of the course’s greens and bunkers, an effort that will further enhance its appeal.
TPC Myrtle Beach is a PGA Tour-level venue that delivers unmatched customer service, while Dunes Golf & Beach Club, a Robert Trent Jones Sr. design, is the area’s most storied course.
The three Barefoot layouts that earned a spot on the list have all been ranked among the nation’s top 100 public courses, and Tidewater Golf Club is renowned for its beauty. True Blue, another top 100 layout, is Caledonia’s sister course and every bit as attractive.
Prestwick, a Pete and PB Dye design, and Heritage Club, which is routed through a stunning piece of lowcountry property, are two of the area’s best, even if occasionally underrated, layouts.
While individually all the area courses that earned a spot on the list are outstanding, collectively they are a testament to Myrtle Beach’s greatest strength – the depth and quality of the area’s offerings.
No destination in America can match the Grand Strand when it comes to number of outstanding courses, a fact the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel list reinforced.
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