Story by Ian Guerin
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Location and changes to a golf property’s identity can alter the perception of a course. Along South Carolina’s Grand Strand golfing mecca, some courses are hiding their cards better than others. Four specific gems may not carry the bragging rights of their nearby brethren, but that doesn’t mean they should be looked down upon. In fact, these courses have each found esteem throughout the years from various ratings panels and outlets willing to give them an honest evaluation. You should, too. Be it their spots off the beaten path, a lack of rental housing nearby or renovation projects thatscale back, the following tracks are more than worthy of your time.
INDIAN WELLS GOLF CLUB
Drive south out of Myrtle Beach city limits on U.S. 17 and Indian Wells is one of the few golf courses with holes actually visible from the bypass. However, that physical presence is frequently underscored by a relative lack of stay-and-play housing options in the immediate area. That means the crisp Gene Hamm layout can often be considered an under-utilized option for visiting players staying at the poles of the Grand Strand.
INTERNATIONAL CLUB OF MYRTLE BEACH
With fresh greens that put the old ones (and many other local courses) to shame, International Club again proves that it’s locale on the south end of S.C. 707 is worthy of finding it on a map. In fact, it’s relatively easy to get to this Willard Byrd track via just about anywhere on the Strand. With or without those new-age putting surfaces, most players will find this course not too long or too short as its tee selections give everyone a chance to make it the perfect fit.
PRESTWICK COUNTRY CLUB
Pete and P.B. Dye have other architectural bliss around Myrtle Beach, but this is their lone combined effort. Set behind the site’s private, gated neighborhood, Prestwick proves time and again that it’s designers’ name recognition is worth the price of admission. A tricky layout won’t give you many easy shots, but those who venture here and play smart know they successfully tackled one of the area’s toughest tests.
RIVER HILLS GOLF CLUB
Do you tend to spray the ball off the tee from time to time and end up in neighboring hole? Yeah, that won’t happen here. Among the benefits of Tom Jackson’s River Hills Golf Club is a strict diet of holes that seem like they’re all on their own. Only two holes run parallel to each other, leaving players the ability to concentrate on the task at hand. At River Hills, that meansnavigating rolling terrain, creative doglegs and towering pines.