Wide fairways and greens big enough to build a house on are modern architectural features, but recent trends haven’t obscured the benefits of classically designed courses.
Distance isn’t the only means of creating a challenge, and Myrtle Beach is home to numerous “old school” layouts, where a bombs away approach isn’t in a player’s best interest.
If you want a more traditional challenge on your next Myrtle Beach golf trip, here are five courses you need to check out.
● Litchfield Country Club was Pawleys Island’s first course, opening in 1966, and the Willard Byrd design is emblematic of the era. Doglegs and tree-lined fairways define a par 72 layout that is a treat to play. This isn’t a course players will overwhelm with power, as it rewards execution and patience.
● Pine Lakes Country Club is 95 years old so it can certainly lay claim to being a classic design, but for its architect, Robert White, a native of St. Andrews, Scotland, classic takes on a different definition. The layout is routed over land that has uncommon elevation change on several back nine holes, a byproduct of its location so close to coast. Pine Lakes was Myrtle Beach’s first golf course and it’s much more open off the tee than others on this list, but it remains a destination design. (top photo)
● Blackmoor Golf Club opened in 1990 but its architect, Gary Player, is a traditionalist at heart and it shows on his only Myrtle Beach area golf course. Blackmoor is chocked full of doglegs fenced by pine trees and it isn’t exceedingly long. The course’s most unforgettable decision, whether to play through a shoot of trees in an effort to cut the dogleg and drive the green on the eighth hole, doesn’t scream classic golf course architecture, but it only adds to the fun. (pictured right)
● It’s difficult to get a tee time at Surf Club, which vacillates between being a private and semi-private facility, but the George Cobb design is a gem. The greens complexes are regarded by many as being among the area’s best. If you get a chance to tee it up here, jump on it.
● Finally, let’s not forget Myrtle Beach’s muni – Whispering Pines Golf Club. A tree removal project created a little more room, particularly on the holes that are adjacent to Myrtle Beach International Airport begging golfers to make the trek across the street. This is a (very) under the radar course, but the Fingers, Dye and Spahn design is worth a look.
Myrtle Beach’s “old school” designs are yet another testament to the destination’s strength, its ability to deliver a multitude of experiences.