Golfweek has unveiled its 2021 list of the “Best Courses You Can Play,” a ranking of the top public layouts in each state, and Myrtle Beach again dominated golf-rich South Carolina’s public offerings.
Highlighting the depth and quality of the area’s courses, Myrtle Beach is home to nine of the Palmetto State’s top 15 public layouts. Leading the way is the Dunes Club (No. 4), followed closely by No. 5 Caledonia, No. 6 True Blue, No. 7 Tidewater, No. 10 TPC Myrtle Beach, No. 11 Heritage Club, T-12 King’s North at Myrtle Beach National, T-12 Moorland Course at Legends Resort and the 14th ranked Dye Course at Barefoot Resort.
There was little surprise in the Dunes Club and Caledonia leading Myrtle Beach’s course contingent as both are consensus top 100 layouts. The Dunes Club, which helped shine a national spotlight on Myrtle Beach during the early days of the destination’s emergence, is widely regarded as one of Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s finest designs.
Caledonia was Mike Strantz’s first solo layout and helped launch his all-to-brief but meteoric career. True Blue (pictured right), Caledonia’s sister course, offers a different yet equally memorable experience, challenging golfers with gargantuan fairways, greens and waste bunkers.
Tidewater, home to nine holes that play along the Intracoastal Waterway or Cherry Grove Inlet, is one of South Carolina’s prettiest layouts, particularly holes 3, 4, 12 and 13, all of which are set along the inlet.
TPC Myrtle Beach, home to the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship and other high level competitive events, delivers a Tour-caliber experience to players of all skill levels. Heritage Club is an unforgettable Dan Maples design that plays through a stunning piece of lowcountry property.
King’s North and Moorland are contrasting designs that tied for 12th. An Arnold Palmer course, King’s North is one of Myrtle Beach’s iconic layouts (top photo), highlighted by “The Gambler,” a par 5 that features an alternate, island fairway.
Meanwhile, Moorland is defined by its large fairways and expansive, undulating greens.
The Dye Course is the long-time host of the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am and it’s one of the area’s premier big-event venues, as players enjoy the challenge created by legendary architect Pete Dye.
Just on the other side of the state line, a pair of Ocean Ridge Plantation courses were ranked among North Carolina’s 15 best public layouts. Tiger’s Eye was No. 12 and Leopard’s Chase was No. 14 on the Tar Heel State list, further highlighting the strength of the Myrtle Beach area market.
South Carolina’s Top 15 Public Courses, According to Golfweek
1. Ocean Course, Kiawah Island Golf Resort
2. Harbour Town Golf Links, Sea Pines Resort
3. May River Golf Club, Montage Palmetto Bluff
4. Dunes Golf & Beach Club
5. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
6. True Blue Golf Club
7. Tidewater Golf Club
8. Atlantic Dunes, Sea Pines Resort
9. Heron Point, Sea Pines Resort
10. TPC Myrtle Beach
11. Heritage Club
T-12 King’s North, Myrtle Beach National
T-12. Moorland Course, Legends Resort
14. Dye Course, Barefoot Resort
15. The Links at Stono Ferry