Myrtle Beach is proud of its reputation as a golf vacation Mecca, but what’s less known about the area are its ties to the professional game.
While the Grand Strand doesn’t regularly host the professional events, like some of its Carolina cousins, many of golf’s legends have teed it up in competition in Myrtle Beach. If playing in the footsteps of golf’s greats is important to your group, here are four area courses that have hosted the best the game has to offer.
● For all the acclaim the Dunes Club receives, its professional history is often overlooked. The Robert Trent Jones Sr. design has hosted the U.S. Women’s Open, six Senior PGA Tour Championships, and the finals of the PGA Tour’s Q-School. Ben Crenshaw and Gary McCord earned their PGA Tour cards at the Dunes Club, and Hale Irwin, Gil Morgan, Jim Colbert and Jay Sigel are among the winners of the Senior Tour Championship. While the course hasn’t hosted a major professional event in recent years, it still serves as the host the General Hackler Championship, a college event that counts Will Zalatoris and Cameron Young among its winners at the Dunes Club. (Dunes Club 10th hole top photo)
● TPC Myrtle Beach opened in 2000, just in time to host the Senior PGA Tour Championship, an event eight-time major champion Tom Watson won. The course was also the long-time home of PGA Tour superstar Dustin Johnson, and TPC has hosted multiple elite amateur competitions, challenging players like Collin Morikawa and Corey Conners.
● Flying under the radar is Wachesaw Plantation East, which hosted four LPGA Tour events, including Kathy Ireland (remember her?!) Greens.com Classic. In 1998, Meg Mallon fired a course record 62 that still stands. Karrie Webb (twice), Grace Park and Rachel Heatherington all won on the Clyde Johnston design. Annika Sorenstam failed to bring Wachesaw’s East course to its knees, but can you? (Wachesaw East 18th hole pictured right)
● We might be pushing it on this one, but when Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Davis Love III and DJ, among many others, have teed it up on your course, you have ties to the pro game. I’m referring to the Dye Club at Barefoot Resort, the home of the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am. The MAM is a hit-and-giggle event, but Pete Dye’s namesake layout is a big-time venue.
If you want to play courses that have tested the game’s legends, Dunes Club, TPC Myrtle Beach, Wachesaw East and the Dye Club are the places to go.