The Grand Strand, with nearly 90 courses, is the home of public golf in America, leaving one area of the market underexposed: Myrtle Beach’s small but thriving private golf course scene.
That’s right, in a sea of great public golf, Myrtle Beach is home to some memorable, if difficult to access, private layouts. If you are a member of a private club that might be able to secure you a tee time via a reciprocal agreement, here is a look at Myrtle Beach’s private courses.
— The Tom Fazio designed Wachesaw Plantation (not to be confused with Wachesaw Plantation East, a public course) might be the area’s strongest private design. Unlike many Fazio layouts, it’s not exceedingly difficult and with a finish along the Waccamaw River it’s beautiful. The rolling fairways and stunning live oak trees combine to make Wachesaw one of coastal South Carolina’s top clubs. (Top photo from Wachesaw Plantation Facebook Page)
— DeBordieu is the Myrtle Beach area’s most exclusive tee time. The Pete and P.B. Dye golf course is at the heart of a posh oceanfront community in Georgetown. The layout plays through a maritime forest before a dramatic conclusion along a saltwater marsh. Located just a mile from the Atlantic Ocean, the layout features the sort of dunes often associated with links golf and the wind off the nearby ocean only enhances the challenge.
— Staying along the South Strand, The Reserve in Pawleys Island is a Greg Norman design that plays to the contours of the land and along 160 acres of native wetlands. It’s an unforgettable challenge and the course is at its best playing firm and fast. Highlighting the quality of the design, Golfweek ranked The Reserve among America’s “Top 200 Residential Courses,” but the surrounding community doesn’t infringe on the golf course. The Reserve is a McConnell Golf property.(Photo Right from The Reserve Facebook Page)
— The Myrtle Beach area’s third oldest course, Surf Club, is a classic George Cobb design that opened in 1960. Surf Club’s greens complexes are regarded as among the area’s best, challenging players to be at their best with the flatstick.
— Located along the northern edge of the Myrtle Beach golf scene, The Clubs at St. James are home to 81 holes of golf that are at the heart of a sprawling development. The Founders Club (P.B. Dye), The Members Club (18 holes by Hale Irwin, 9 holes by Tim Cate), The Players Club (Cate), and The Reserve Club (Jack Nicklaus) are all managed by Troon. If you can secure a tee time, each of the layouts is a treat to play.
If you are wondering why the Dunes Club and the Members Club at Grande Dunes aren’t on the list, both are semi-private courses. Public tee times at the Dunes Club are limited and only select providers – MyrtleBeachGolfTrips.com and MBN.com, for example – are able to book rounds there, but there is public accessibility. The same holds true for the Members Club