By JOE PASSOV, Golf Magazine Senior Editor
Friendly, efficient staffers greeted us as we arrived, as befits a premier Grand Strand course. Impressively, the beverage-cart girl met us on the first hole, although she didn't return until No. 13. Then again, this potent layout gives you a better buzz than any cocktail can. PACE OF PLAY We teed off at 9 a.m. in late August and breezed around in slightly over four hours. Multiple water holes produced minor holdups, but the personable course marshals kept play moving. That said, rounds likely take longer in prime time, given the difficulty of the hazard-filled track. QUALITY While Mike Strantz's brilliant design has been softened over the years, it remains one of the best in Myrtle. Holes are so interesting and varied that our spy couldn't wait to reach the next tee. The greens and fairways were smooth and well-kept throughout the entire 18. VALUE You'll pay a premium fee for a premium course. Our man shelled out about $100, the off-season rate at this high-end track. A few quibbles here and there (no divot mix in the plastic bottles) are forgivable. The scenery, variety and overall challenge made True Blue worth every penny. VERDICT You know you had a good day on the course if your biggest complaint is that the snack shop was closed. From the late, great Strantz's sublime design to the helpful staff to the tip-top course conditions, this dramatic, watery layout remains a must play in Myrtle Beach.
Pawleys Island, S.C.; 7,126 yards, par 72; Green fees: $110-$120; 888-483-6801, truebluegolf.com For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.