In seeking an opinion of a golf course, who would you trust: a group of guys who parachute into town, play a layout once and render judgement, or people who live locally and play said course all the time?
The answer to that question may inform just badly you want to play Prestwick Country Club.
For whatever the reasons, the game’s primary ratings panels have often overlooked Prestwick when ranking South Carolina’s best public courses. Conversely, when Myrtle Beach area PGA Professionals were asked to evaluate the area’s best, Prestwick was ranked No. 5, ahead of many of its higher profile peers.
Based on personal experience, the evaluation of local PGA pros is a more accurate assessment of Prestwick’s quality. The Pete & P.B. Dye design is a treat to play and these three holes are a primary reason why.
● The sixth hole is one of Myrtle Beach’s best par 3s. The 164-yard (all distances from the white tees) one-shotter demands precision with a mid to low iron in-hand. A canal runs from the tee box through the left side of the green, leaving little margin for error, especially when the pin is set on the port side. This is a nervy shot to a large green that players love.
● Prestwick’s ninth hole (top photo) is an unforgettable, 486-yard par 5 that will make the best of players antsy. A lake separates No. 9 from No. 18 and it menaces along the left side on every shot. The right side of the 40-yard-wide fairway is framed by mounding that is best avoided. Long hitters can go for the green in two but the risk isn’t worth the reward as there is little room to miss. Play three controlled shots to a green that runs from back to front and par should await; get greedy and you may finish the front nine with a big number.
● It was tough not to include No. 14 on this list, but the par 4 18th (pictured right) had to make the cut. The 396-yard par 4 features water running along the entirety of the right side and bunkers flank the primary landing area on the left. The tee shot is a tough one but the stately, two-story clubhouse provides a scenic backdrop to conclude an outstanding round of golf.
Narrowing a list of Prestwick’s best holes to three was difficult. It speaks to the quality of Dye’s work that only one back nine hole made the cut, given the high regard in which it is held.
Regardless of how you rank Prestwick’s best holes, it’s a layout worth playing.
(Photos for this piece from our Instagram account @myrtlebeachgolftrips)