People frequently ask, "What are the toughest Myrtle Beach golf courses?"
We’ve taken the opinion out of the question and gone straight to the USGA’s slope rating system. A course’s slope rating is a “measurement of the relative playing difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers, compared to scratch golfers.”
Armed with that knowledge, here are the five most difficult Myrtle Beach golf courses - from the white tees (we choose to use white tees because that’s where the vast majority of players tee it up from).
(rating 72, slope 139):
Jack Nicklaus certainly designed a bear, but it has long been a favorite of Myrtle Beach golfers.
The challenge of Pawleys Plantation is exceeded only by its beauty, particularly on a back 9 that plays along a saltmarsh. It only plays 6,184 yards from the white tees but Pawleys tests every part of a player’s game. Great challenge. Great course.
Did you expect a design that has hosted six Senior Tour Championships, the U.S. Women’s Open and the finals of the PGA Tour Q-School to be a pushover?
The greens are as fast and undulating as any in the state and the Robert Trent Jones Sr. design demands power and precision.
The youngest Myrtle Beach golf course is also among its most difficult. With elevated fairways framed by waste bunkers that double as cart paths, Founders Club provides a unique look and test.
It’s right across the road from Pawleys Plantation, creating the opportunity for a 36-hole day to identify the best player in your group.
Moorland was once ranked among the 50 toughest courses in America by Golf Digest, and the P.B. Dye design doesn’t surrender birdies easily. But it also has exceedingly wide fairways and mammoth greens, allowing players to swing away.
Moorland is also home to one of the area’s most renowned holes - the 223-yard (from the whites) 16th, otherwise known as "Hell’s Half-Acre."
Tucked away in Little River, this Tom Jackson designed beauty offers a meaty challenge. It plays 6,401 yards from tees we evaluated, making it the longest courses on our list.
One of the area’s hidden gems, River Hills is a 4-star course that provides outstanding conditions and customer service, ensuring it’s a great place to play on your next Myrtle Beach golf trip.
Agree or disagree with the five toughest Myrtle Beach golf courses, per the USGA’s slope system?
Let us know what you think.