Destination: Myrtle Beach

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Updated: September 30, 2021

By Steve Turcotte

There are many things to love about golfing in Myrtle Beach. But there is one serious problem: Which courses do you choose to play? 

There are nearly 100 courses up and down the area they call the Grand Strand. You just simply can’t play them all. As much as you would like to spend a couple of months and see everything Myrtle Beach has to offer, you have to pick and choose. On a recent trip, here are some of the pickings and choosings our golf group did on the way to the 2021 Myrtle Beach World Amateur:

 Pawley’s Plantation: This is a gem that was designed by Jack Nicklaus that opened in 1988. The course winds its ways through trees before ending up in marsh-land on the back side. Nicklaus said he enjoyed the work on the course saying “we used what’s here, without forcing or changing what Mother Nature provided.” As good as the front nine is at Pawley’s Plantation, the back nine gets your attention right away on the 10th hole, a short par-4 with trouble left, sand right and water in front of the green. When you get to the 13th hole, the marsh-land kicks in. A dike across the marsh was built for tee boxes for the par-3 13th and the par-3 17th hole. Both short on yardage but tough with all carry over the marsh and smallish greens.

• True Blue: You would think a course like True Blue with its wide fairways would be no match for straight hitters. Think again. Course designed Mike Strantz has enough trouble on every hole to make many of the shots a challenge. It all starts on the par-5 first hole with its wide fairway. But like all of the other holes, the trouble lurks around the greens with sand and water and waste areas. So don’t be thinking that wide fairways will make it easy.  True Blue’s sister course Caledonia make up a resort that is ranked among the best in the country.          

• Pine Lakes: This is called the Granddaddy of Myrtle Beach, being the oldest course in Myrtle Beach. Don’t let the age deceive you. The course has matured through the years and this year, Pine Lakes underwent a re-model project that added new grasses to all of the greens and renovated all of the bunkers. The work was done to get the course back to its original shape – a course that opened in 1927. This is a course that is located virtually in the middle of Myrtle Beach and is a favorite or both locals and traveling golfers alike with its challenging layout and plenty of trouble with the water and sand traps.