Myrtle Beach Golf: The ultimate guide to America’s ultimate golf destination

February 28, 2019
Tidewater No. 13

Myrtle Beach, S.C., is as much an idea as a place, and for many that idea can be boiled down to three phrases: Myrtle Beach golf, Myrtle Beach golf, Myrtle Beach golf. But take a step back, crouch, and get a read on the place itself, and it’s clear that Myrtle isn’t just a matter of abundance. For those in the know, there is tremendous quality on offer, too. More and more, that extends beyond the fairways and greens to all aspects of a Myrtle Beach golf trip — dining, nightlife, attractions, you name it. Here’s how to ensure that you make the most of your next Myrtle golf getaway.

The beautiful closing hole at Glen Dornoch.
Courtesy of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday

WHERE TO PLAY: PREMIUM GOLF

Barefoot Resort & Golf

Myrtle Beach’s Fab Four, with designs from Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye; players looking for a true golf-resort experience should venture no further. Love is a GOLF Top 100 You Can Play course, while Dye hosts Hootie & the Blowfish’s annual post-Masters pro-am. Fazio is sneakily tough, while Norman may be Barefoot’s most playable 18. barefootgolf.com; 866-638-4818

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

The first solo design by the late, great iconoclast Mike Strantz and another GOLF Top 100 You Can Play course, Caledonia is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Its biggest highlight may be its last one, with the 18th green sitting practically in the shadow of its graceful antebellum clubhouse. Without doubt a must-play for anyone coming to the area. caledoniagolfandfishclub.com; 800-483-6800

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club

A grand dame of the Grand Strand and yet another Top 100 You Can Play, the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed Dunes Club is the area’s most storied 18 — and arguably better now than it’s ever been. Rees Jones has overseen renovations to the course in recent times, including a new bunker project in 2018, a year that also saw the clubhouse remodeled. thedunesclub.net; 843-449-5236

Grande Dunes

Smack-dab in the heart of Myrtle Beach, Grande Dunes, designed by longtime RTJ Sr. protégé Roger Rulewich, this links-style layout is set on a bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, with forgiving fairways leading to subtle, vexing greens. Six holes play along the Intracoastal, including the downhill par-3 14th, among Myrtle’s most photogenic holes. grandedunesgolf.com; 877-283-2122

The Dye Course (pictured) is one of four resort courses to play at Barefoot.
Courtesy of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday

Myrtle Beach National Golf Club (King’s North)

The premier course at this 54-hole facility, King’s North was redesigned by Arnold Palmer in 1996 and features one of Myrtle Beach’s most memorable holes: Its par-5 6th, dubbed “The Gambler,” sports a second, island fairway that if reached makes hitting the green in two a good bet. The island-green par-3 12th is another do-or-die hole not soon forgotten. myrtlebeachnational.com; 877-283-2122

Pawley’s Plantation Golf & Country Club

This Jack Nicklaus Signature Design is one of the most prestigious courses on the Grand Strand, and its back nine may be the prettiest, too. The highlight: the gorgeous, terrifying par-3 13th, which plays to a peninsula green surrounded by a saltwater marsh. Pawley’s plentiful 200-year-old moss-draped oaks are as Southern as sweet tea, too. pawleysplantation.com; 877-283-2122

Pine Lakes Country Club

A must-play for history buffs — it’s the area’s first course and remains a highly enjoyable layout. Home to the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, Pine Lakes was designed by Robert White, a native of St. Andrews, Scotland, as well as the first president of the PGA of America. During the winter, free chowder’s on offer at the turn; the rest of the year, it’s mimosas. pinelakes.com; 877-283-2122

Surf Golf & Beach Club

A classic 1960 layout from George Cobb, who co-designed Augusta National’s Par-3 Course with Bobby Jones, the Surf Club is private but permits guest play in partnership with certain local hotels. Appropriately enough, its most memorable hole is a peninsula par 3, No. 6, but the entire course hangs together gracefully, all of a piece. surfgolfclub.com; 843-249-1524

An aerial view of the majestic 13th hole at Tidewater Golf Club.
Courtesy of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday

Tidewater Golf Club

GOLF’s Best New Public Course in the U.S. in 1990, Tidewater is as scenic as it is strong. Holes 3 and 12 comprise Myrtle’s most handsome pair of par 3s, both of which play along Cherry Grove; eight holes in total play along this inlet or the Intracoastal Waterway. A recent greens renovation has helped make Tidewater among the area’s best conditioned courses. tidewatergolf.com; 843-466-8754

TPC Myrtle Beach

For those desiring a stern challenge, TPC Myrtle Beach is the place. This spring, the course will host both an NCAA Regional Championship and the fourth-annual Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship. (DJ is South Carolina-born and went to college in the Myrtle Beach area.) Tom Fazio’s design team oversaw a bunker renovation project last summer. tpcmyrtlebeach.com; 877-283-2122

True Blue Golf Club

Still another Top 100 You Can Play layout and, as another Mike Strantz design, a sister course to Caledonia. The theme as True Blue is bigness, from the generous fairways to the large, tilting greens to the yawning waste bunkers. A former indigo and rice plantation, True Blue sports impressively varied terrain with some significant elevation changes. truebluegolf.com; 888-483-6800

WHERE TO PLAY: VALUE GOLF

Arcadian Shores Golf Club

Rees Jones’s first design, Arcadian Shores underwent a major renovation two years ago that included new greens, cart paths, bunkers and a new clubhouse. A very good layout at a very good price. arcadianshoresgolf.com; 843-449-5217

Arrowhead Country Club 

Just five miles from the Myrtle Beach International Airport and with 27 holes, including a couple on the Intracoastal, it’s hard to beat Arrowhead for convenience — or value for money, given how reliably good the conditioning is. arrowheadcc.com; 800-236-3243

Legends Resort (Heathland)

An early Tom Doak solo design done in a links style, with nods to courses such as St. Andrews, Cruden Bay and Lahinch, here is your chance to view a portrait of the architect as a young man, and for a reasonable fee. legendsgolf.com; 800-299-6187

Prestwick Country Club

Maybe not a hidden gem to the degree of Scotland’s Prestwick, nonetheless this Pete and P.B. Dye design hides in plain sight in the heart of Myrtle Beach. It’s a stern test whether tackled from the 7,000-yard-plus tips or otherwise. prestwickcountryclub.com; 843-293-4100

For those in the know, there is tremendous quality on offer in Myrtle Beach.

WHERE TO PLAY: RELAXED GOLF

So, you’re looking to take it easy on yourself, maybe post a career-best round, enjoy a good walk not spoiled by double-bogeys? Here are the five best area tracks with low slope ratings and high fun factors.

Crown Park Golf Club
crownparkgolf.com; 843-756-3200

Meadowlands Golf Club
meadowlandsgolf.com; 910-287-7529

Myrtle Beach National (West)
myrtlebeachnational.com; 877-283-2122

The Witch Golf Club
witchgolf.com; 843-347-2706

The Wizard Golf Course
wizardgolfcourse.com; 843-236-9393

The Witch Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Courtesy of the Witch

WHERE TO STAY

Savvy travelers will generally choose the courses on their itinerary first and work their way backward from there, selecting a hotel, resort or condo that’s convenient to golf. There are, naturally, other potential considerations — a villa might be perfect for a buddy trip, while players with their family in tow might want to be right on the beach in a place with a pool and on-site activities. No matter the logic, these accommodations are all well above par.

Anderson Ocean Club and Spa

Condo accommodations overlooking the water in the heart of Myrtle Beach, with easy access to golf and nightlife. andersonoceanclub.com; 844-887-9452

The Inlet Sports Lodge

Boutique property located in Murrells Inlet and a short walk to the outstanding food, entertainment and scenery at Marshwalk — ideal for a South Strand trip. inletsportslodge.com; 877-585-9360

Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort

Oceanfront resort located just minutes from Pawleys Plantation and Caledonia; large property with on-site restaurants, great spot for big groups. litchfieldbeach.com; 888-734-8228

Marina Inn at Grande Dunes

Four-Diamond property with condo accommodations located along the Intracoastal Waterway and across from the Grande Dunes Resort Course; has a Ruth’s Chris among its restaurants, and its open-air bar along the waterway, Anchor Cafe, is a lively happy hour spot. marinainnatgrandedunes.com; 843-913-1333

Marriott OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes

One of the area’s nicest properties, with villa accommodations overlooking the Atlantic, it’s located in Myrtle Beach, just steps from Dunes Golf & Beach Club. marriott.com; 843-692-5500

Mar Vista Grande

Four-Diamond oceanfront property with 3- and 4-bedroom condos that make it perfect for groups; set in the heart of Myrtle Beach, it’s just minutes from Tidewater Golf Club. elitemanagementandrealty.com; 843-877-0413

Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes

Great waterfront location, indoor and outdoor pools, pool bar, full-service spa—what’s not to love? marriott.com; 843-449-8880

North Beach Plantation

Across from Barefoot Resort, its entrance conjures Atlantis in the Bahamas. Six pools, including a swim-up pool bar, and a spa, help make it a premium North Myrtle Beach property, as does its outstanding restaurant, 21 Main. northbeachrentals.com; 855-904-4858

The Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes is located just steps from the ocean in North Myrtle Beach.
Marriott.com

WHERE TO EAT

Aspen Grill

The name may suggest Colorado, but this is traditional Carolina cuisine to the core. While the menu changes seasonally, if the scallops over wild mushroom risotto with fried spinach is available, it’s a must. aspen-grille.com; 843-449-9191

Chive Blossom Restaurant & Bar

Part of a thriving restaurant scene on Pawleys Island that also includes Bistro 217 and Perrone’s, Chive Blossom leans Southern but also brings in Asian, French and Mediterranean flourishes. Its soups are renowned, as are its signature cocktails. chiveblossom.com; 843-237-1438

New York Prime

Turning meat and potatoes into the extraordinary is what the best steakhouses do, and New York Prime (which also has locations in Atlanta and Boca Raton) does just that. Its steaks are aged 28 days, and you’ll remember them much longer than that. newyorkprime.com; 843-448-8081

WHERE TO PLAY (OFF THE COURSE)

Brookgreen Gardens

Let’s say you tweak your back, or you’re of the opinion that a little culture won’t kill you. If so, visit Brookgreen Gardens, which holds the country’s largest collection of American figurative sculpture, showcased in a lovely garden setting, as well as a botanical gardens, a zoo, and historical exhibitions and excursions. brookgreen.org; 843-235-6000

 Hawaiian Rumble MiniGolf

For players with kids in tow, or those still a kid at heart, miniature golf is a Myrtle Beach must. You can putt-putt away in a tropical setting at Hawaiian Rumble, an 18-hole course that wends its way through a garden straight out of Maui, with a 40-foot volcano at the center and Hawaiian music wafting through the air. hawaiianrumbleminigolf.com; 843-272-7812

Hawaiian Rumble mini golf is billed at the No. 1 mini golf course in the world.
Hawaiian Rumble mini golf

WHERE TO PARTY

Barefoot Landing on the Waterway

For golfers on the Grand Strand’s north end, the waterfront Barefoot Landing offers the House of Blues, Dick’s Last Resort and Bully’s Pub & Grill for those still energized after the sun has set on 36 holes of golf. bflanding.com; 843-272-8349

Broadway at the Beach

This outdoor complex is a major shopping, entertainment and dining hub. Its recently renovated nightlife district offers everything from dancing to dueling pianos to a Dave & Buster’s. broadwayatthebeach.com; 800-386-4662

Topgolf Myrtle Beach

Got something to work out in your swing? Just want to eat and drink in the presence of others hitting balls? The new Topgolf in Myrtle Beach will have you covered once it opens, slated for this March. topgolf.com; 843-945-3318

A view of the hitting bays at Topgolf.
Courtesy Topgolf