Story by Chris King
Golf Advisor, America’s premier golf travel website, has ranked its top 50 public courses based on the evaluation of the game’s most important constituency – golfers – and a pair of Myrtle Beach layouts earned a spot among the nation’s elite. After tabulating more than 144,000 player reviews, Golf Advisor ranked Caledonia Golf & Fish Club as America’s 33rd best course in 2018 and TPC Myrtle Beach checked in at No. 49. The presence of both courses on the list didn’t come as a surprise to Myrtle Beach insiders, who have long regarded the duo as being among the area’s best.
Caledonia, Mike Strantz’s first solo design, is renowned for its Lowcountry beauty and always pristine conditions. The half-mile drive onto the property, where a narrow driveway is lined by spectacular live oak trees, sets the stage for an unforgettable round, highlighted by the iconic 18th hole. The Golf Advisor story showcased a review from lcbgolf, who said of Caledonia, “The ambiance of this place is incredible. Southern oaks with the Spanish moss, the flowers, landscaping, etc. It’s like playing golf at a botanical garden.” Caledonia was also No. 12 on Golf Advisor’s list of America’s top 25 best conditioned courses.
The TPC brand carries great expectations with it, and the PGA Tour approved facility in Myrtle Beach has always exceeded the hype. The Tom Fazio design has met the approval of everyone from Dustin Johnson, who long called the course home and has his namesake golf school onsite, to traveling golfers in search of a bucket list round. Golf Advisor reviewer kfish64 said of TPC, “We’ve had TPC as a regular course in our week-long trip for 3 or 4 years ow, and each year it is EASILY the best conditioned and most liked of the courses we play.” After completing a bunker renovation project led by Fazio’s design team last year, there is every reason to believe TPC Myrtle Beach will be even better in 2019.
Golf Advisor also ranked the best courses in each state based on reviewer evaluations. Caledonia and TPC Myrtle Beach were ranked second and third in South Carolina, trailing only Harbour Town. The Dunes Golf & Beach Club (No. 7), Avocet Course at Wild Wing Plantation (No. 9), Barefoot Resort’s Dye Course (No. 18), Tidewater Golf Club (No. 22) and Prestwick Country Club (No. 24) were also ranked among the Palmetto State’s top 25 courses.
To compile its best of 2018 rankings, Golf Advisor took a combination of each course’s overall score and the six subcategories each layout is evaluated on (value, conditions, layout, pace of play, friendliness and off-course amenities). In order to be eligible, a course had to offer regular public play and have received 10 reviews since December of 2017.