Four of the state's top courses are part Founders Group International, according to the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel. It named Pine Lakes Country Club, Grande Dunes Resort Course, TPC Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club to its 2017 Top Courses Available For Public Play. Grand Strand courses make up more than one-third of the courses on the list of 31. The panel added one extra to the usual cap of 30 because of a tie.
“It's very gratifying to see our courses ranked among the best year after year, especially since there are more than 350 golf courses throughout South Carolina,” said Steve Mays, director of marketing and sales for Founders Group International. “By far, the Grand Strand has more highly-ranked courses in one location that any other spot in the state. That's one of the things that makes it a great place for a golf vacation. Our group can arrange for tee times on any of the area's great courses, including our four that the S. C. Panel has spotlighted in it latest rankings.”
Pine Lakes Country Club opened in 1927 as Ocean Forest Country Club. It's called “The Granddaddy” for being the first course on the Grand Strand and is known for being the place where the magazine Sports Illustrated was founded. Architect Craig Schreiner gave it a full-scale renovation in 2008, bringing it back into the spirit of the 1920s. The back nine still reflects the original design and the front nine was renovated to enhance the elegant experience golfers from around the world associate with Pine Lakes Country Club.
Grande Dunes Resort Club has been highly awarded over the years, named “National Golf Course of the Year” in 2009 by the National Golf Course Owners Association of America. Grande Dunes offers one of the most challenging layouts in the 22-course Founders Group collection. The Roger Rulewich Group design is on a high bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.
TPC Myrtle Beach is the only Myrtle Beach golf course to ever be awarded 5 stars by Golf Digest. This course gives golfers the experience of PGA Tour-caliber golf. Designed by Tom Fazio, it's been played by greats including Tom Watson, Gary Player and Lee Trevino.
Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club is a Jack Nicklaus signature course with subtle greens well-guarded by bunkers, challenging fairways dotted with water, and views of the saltwater marsh that divides the mainland from Pawleys Island. It has received numerous accolades from Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and other national media. The S.C. Golf Course Ratings Panel ranked Pawleys Plantation in the top 50 golf courses in South Carolina in 2016.
The S.C. Golf Course Ratings Panel rates the Best Courses You Can Play evey other year, filling in the even-numbered years with South Carolina's 50 Best Courses. Its criteria for ratings include routing, variety, strategy, equity, memorability, aesthetics, and experience.