Call now with questions or to book

800-882-3420

877-241-5992

« Back to All News

Grand Strand Courses Dominate Ratings Panel Honors

Story by Ian Guerin

The slightly more selective of the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel’s two bi-annual rankings is loaded with Grand Strand options.

In total, 13 of the 31 Best You Can Play Public Access Courses in the state fall inside the Myrtle Beach area, and they are a regular who’s who of the regularly awarded tracks. 

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Mike Strantz’s elegant (and first) design leads the pack, recognized by the ratings panel as the top course along the Grand Strand. Joining Caledonia were: Barefoot Resort’s Dye, Fazio and Love courses; Grande Dunes Resort Course, Heritage Club; Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, Pine Lakes Country Club; Prestwick Country Club; The Dunes Golf & Beach Club; Tidewater Golf Club; TPC of Myrtle Beach and True Blue Plantation.

Traditionally, 30 total courses are selected for this honor - compared with 50 the panel chooses among South Carolina’s 50 Best Courses (even years). However, an unbreakable tie led to the extra selection this time around.

Mike Whitaker, the Executive Director of the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel, pointed out an almost silent new dynamic creeping into the rankings. The panel still judges courses on aspects like variety, memorability, aesthetics and overall experience, among others, but which courses are doing that now have leveled out some after a rush of tougher or newer designs in the late 1990s.

“We don’t have a lot of new courses coming online anymore. That doesn’t happen anywhere,” Whitaker said. “When we first started the panel, there would be several new courses every year. There was always that anticipation of how they would look.

“Golf is changing. Fifteen to 16 years ago, courses were being built to challenge golfers. They were built with an architect creating a big ‘wow’ factor, especially in the resort areas, where people weren’t going to see them but once or twice in their lifetimes. A lot of these courses were built, they were just too hard. Now, we’re learning that it had a detrimental effect on golf. A lot of people quit the game. Now, a lot of those courses are being remodeled to be more user friendly, more fun.”

With a lack of new courses and their “wow” factor, many of the Myrtle Beach courses who made the cut are benefitting from touch-up projects or simply by focusing on what they do so well.

Pine Lakes Country Club, which became Myrtle Beach’s first course in 1927, went through a renovation project in 2008 to return much of the feel from its original design. The Dunes Golf & Beach Club added distance to its back tees, backing those up to 7,450 yards. But while those two mainstays in the markets bolstered their resumes, the majority of the rest are just starting to prove their potential for staying power.

None of the other 11 are more than 31 years old, and six are still inside their second decade. The Grande Dunes Resort Course and the trio of Barefoot Resort selections, for instance, all opened in 2000 and are the relative youngsters of the group. Regardless, they forced their way into the panel’s final list.

“If someone is in South Carolina and they’re going to be in one of these areas, they should go to one of those courses,” Whitaker said. “Its not that a course is [bad] if it’s not on our list. But these are the best of the best. There are so many great courses in South Carolina. We’re just splitting hairs.”

Find Out More


Other Articles You Will Enjoy

Tips for a Fun Girls Getaway from Myrtle Beach Golf Ambassador Meredith Kirk

If you’re searching for a fun golf getaway with the girls and want to experience the best of Myrtle Beach golf on women-friendly courses, look no further. With recommendations from LPGA Instructor and former Mrs. South Carolina America, Meredith Kirk, you and the girls are guaranteed to have fun! Read More

Course Superintendent and Fazio Design Consultant Discuss TPC Myrtle Beach Bunker Project

Course Superintendent Clay Dubose is joined by Senior Associate for the Fazio Design Company, Thomas Marzolf to discuss the new state-of-the-art bunker drainage system being installed at TPC Myrtle Beach. This upgrade will improve playing conditions after rough weather and create bunker consistency throughout the course. Read More

Pine Lakes Country Club a Definite Fall Golf Bucket List Item

Pine Lakes Head Golf Professional Jonathan Brock explains why Pine Lakes Country Club should be on every golfer's Myrtle Beach Bucket List Read More

Related Specials

$91 per golfer per day

South Carolina Ratings Panel Top Rated Grand Strand Courses

Every other year, the South Carolina Ratings Panel narrows down the top 50 golf courses in South Carolina. Get…...
$39 per golfer per day

ADIDAS Fall Rewards Package ~ Each Golfer Receives $50 Adidas Gift Card!

Back by Popular Demand for Fall 2018! Receive a $50 Adidas Rewards Card. Book 2 rounds or more for…...
$47 per golfer per day

Myrtle Beach National Courses Designed by Arnold Palmer

Welcome to 54 holes of Great Golf! Arnold Palmer's designs at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club Represent the best…...
Continue Below
$69 per golfer per day

THE PLAYER’S CHOICE - all area courses at the lowest daily pricing

Build your own golf package online. Golf & lodging all in one easy step. Choose from great area lodging…...
$47 per golfer per day

Rewards Package ~ Each Golfer Receives $100 in Rewards!

Book 4 or more rounds on the Rewards Package, and each member of your group receives a $100 Rewards…...