With the arrival of spring comes Golfweek’s Best of 2018: Courses You Can Play, a ranking of the premier public courses in each state, and Myrtle Beach again dominated the list of South Carolina’s best.
Six of the Palmetto State’s top 10 courses and eight of the top 15 reside along the Grand Strand, golf’s most popular destination. A pair of familiar names led Myrtle Beach’s entrants on the list as the Dunes Golf & Beach Club was ranked third and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club was fifth.
Caledonia led a cavalcade of Myrtle Beach courses as True Blue (No. 6), Tidewater (No. 7), the Moorland Course at Legends Resort (No. 8), Heritage Club (No. 10), TPC Myrtle Beach (No. 11) and Grande Dunes (No. 15) followed closely behind.
The Grand Strand was represented on the North Carolina side of the border as well as Leopard’s Chase (No. 10) and Tiger’s Eye (No. 14), both located at Ocean Ridge Plantation, were ranked among the Tar Heel state’s top 15 designs.
The Dunes Club’s appearance was hardly a surprise. The Robert Trent Jones Sr. design was the first to bring national acclaim to the area and remains, in the eyes of many, Myrtle Beach’s best.
Caledonia and True Blue, sister courses designed by Mike Strantz, are top 100 public layouts that offer contrasting but equally enjoyable challenges. Caledonia is a shot-makers course, carved through a stunning tract of lowcountry land and lined by live oak trees draped in Spanish moss. True Blue is a modern design with waste bunkers framing many holes, wide fairways challenging players to swing away with the driver, and some of the area’s largest greens.
Tidewater is among South Carolina’s prettiest layouts. With eight holes playing along either the Intracoastal Waterway or Cherry Grove, the views are stunning and the design is strong from start to finish.
Moorland has been ranked among the nation’s toughest courses by Golf Digest, but the P.B. Dye design, with wide fairways and enormous greens, is more playable than its reputation suggests. The course is an enjoyable challenge, highlighted by the short, par 4 16th, known as Hell’s Half-Acre.
Located just minutes from Caledonia and True Blue, Heritage Club, which features Myrtle Beach’s most undulating greens, is a treat to play.
Home of the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship and a former host of the Senior Tour Championship, TPC Myrtle Beach is a tour quality facility and a Tom Fazio classic.
The Grande Dunes Resort Course is highlighted by five holes along the Intracoastal Waterway, including the par 3 14th, which plays from an elevated tee box and presents one of the destination’s most exhilarating tee shots.
Leopard’s Chase and Tiger’s Eye are Big Cats designed by Tim Cate, who used locally harvested coquina boulders, waste bunkers and his fertile imagination to design a pair of layouts that rank among the area’s best.