With more than 100 championship golf courses located along the 60-mile stretch of Carolina coastline commonly called the Grand Strand, avid golfers can drive, chip and putt their way around the Myrtle Beach area without ever scratching the surface.
Because of the Grand Strand's diverse terrain and marine environments, including the oceanfront, Lowcountry wetlands, inland woodlands and maritime forests, legendary golfers/designers like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman took full advantage to carve masterpieces from the unique canvases of the Myrtle Beach area. That's good news for scratch golfers looking to test their skills.
Meet your Waterloo — Photo courtesy of Dunes Golf & Beach Club
For low handicappers in Myrtle Beach proper, there are several challenging layouts located within a five-iron of the downtown coast. The Dunes Golf & Beach Club - a Robert Trent Jones design that borders the Atlantic Ocean - is considered the crown jewel of Myrtle Beach golf. The former home of the Senior PGA Tour Championship and other major tours, this 1948 gem presents a world-class course in a scenic environment, especially the famous No. 13 hole known as "Waterloo."
The new Grande Dunes Golf Club, located just across the Intracoastal Waterway, is another classic course for those looking for a true test of golf.
On the South Strand, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island offers championship golf on a former Lowcountry rice plantation. Covered with salt marshes and dense live oak and pine forests, this Mike Strantz creation is a sight to behold and a tough challenge.
Neighboring True Blue Plantation is a links-style version of the same terrain, and the TPC of Myrtle Beach is just a few miles up Kings Highway in Murrells Inlet.
The North Strand also features some true classics, like Barefoot Golf Resorts' four courses designed by big names such as Greg Norman, Pete Dye, Davis Love and Pete Dye. The North Myrtle Beach-based resort also has a top-notch driving range and practice facility to work on your swing before or after your round.
Nearby Tidewater Golf Club and Oyster Bay Golf Links in Sunset Beach, NC, are some of the toughest layouts on the Strand.
Golfing Barefoot — Photo courtesy of Barefoot Resort
Inland courses include the Legends Club near Conway, which also offers excellent practice facilities and first-class instruction. Best of all, Legends has on-site golf villas, where golfers can stay and play, and Ailsa's Pub, one of the best 19th holes on the Strand.
Scratch golfers also may want to visit the PGA Tour Superstore for some new shoes, clubs, gloves, balls, etc., along with club re-gripping equipment that can help get your swing up to snuff before you tee it up at these classic Myrtle Beach courses.