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Story by Chris King
Everyone asks, “What is your favorite Myrtle Beach golf course?” It’s a good question that always stirs debate, but for traveling golfers, identifying the Grand Strand’s most underrated courses might be a better roadmap for creating a great golf trip. Myrtle Beach is home to 90 golf courses, which means a handful of layouts won’t receive the attention they deserve. So which Grand Strand courses fly a little too far under the radar?
Glad you asked.
-- Did you know Arcadian Shores was once ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest? Didn’t think so. Sure, it was back in the late 70s/early 80s, but Rees Jones’ first solo design remains a strong layout. The course underwent a renovation two years ago that included new greens, new cart paths, a bunker renovation project and a brand new clubhouse. The course is as good as it has ever been and criminally overlooked.
-- Caledonia, Pawleys Plantation, TPC Myrtle Beach and True Blue tend to attract all the attention along the South Strand, overshadowing courses that are absolutely worth your attention. If you are looking for seriously underrated layouts, River Club, Founders Club or Litchfield could easily appear on your list, but give me Willbrook. The Dan Maples design is a treat to play. The layout sits amidst a beautiful piece of lowcountry property and fairways are lined by live oak trees draped in Spanish moss. I could play Willbrook every day.
-- Arrowhead Country Club hides in plain sight, just minutes from downtown Myrtle Beach and the airport. A 27-hole facility, Arrowhead is one of just six area courses that play along the Intracoastal Waterway and it’s in superb year-round condition. Golfers never leave Arrowhead disappointed.
-- How could a Jack Nicklaus design possibly be underrated? I’ve wondered the same thing, but Long Bay Club is. It’s one of the North Strand’s premier layouts, offering challenge and memorability. The back nine, in particular, is outstanding, highlighted by the par 4 18th, which has been ranked among Myrtle Beach’s top 100 holes. Throw in the island green 13th and the short, par 4 10th and you have the recipe for a great day of golf.
-- Wild Wing was once home to four courses and among Myrtle Beach’s most popular multi-course facilities. When Woodstork, Falcon and nine holes on the Hummingbird layout closed, Wild Wing’s profile receded in the eyes of many golfers. But the Avocet Course is better than ever. The layout, designed by former PGA Championship winner Larry Nelson and Jeff Brauer, is varied and playable throughout. Throw-in the nine-hole course at Hummingbird and you have 27 holes at your disposal. It’s time to rediscover Wild Wing.
What are the Myrtle Beach area’s most underrated courses in your opinion?