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The 25 best courses you can play in Myrtle Beach

September 19, 2022

There is a seemingly endless (and growing) list of American golf destinations worthy of a trip. In fact, there are numerous destinations in South Carolina alone that would make a list of our nation’s top golf getaways. Hilton Head Island, Charleston and Kiawah Island all boast must-play courses and upscale resorts that keep golfers coming back each year. And then there’s Myrtle Beach. 

One of America’s most recognizable golf destinations, Myrtle Beach has long been a favorite for golfers planning a trip. For good reason: The Grand Strand boasts more than 90 courses, most of them public, with affordable rates. What’s more, there are many multi-course resorts that offer stay-and-play packages, delivering the value and convenience perfect for a trip.

Heading to the Grand Strand and trying to figure out where to play? We’ve got you covered. In this collection of the best courses you can play in Myrtle Beach, we’ve selected the top 25 courses you should consider on your next trip. In an area with over 90 courses, these are the best of the best. This collection includes current members of our 100 Greatest Public and Best in State lists, as well as lesser-known gems worth playing. 

Scroll on to learn more about each course and read reviews from our course-ranking panelists. We hope you enjoy exploring our searchable course database, Places to Play, the new hub of Golf Digest courses content.

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
Myrtle Beach, SC
Its ocean-side dunes are mostly covered with turfgrass and mature trees now, but when Robert Trent Jones built The Dunes back in the late 1940s, the property was primarily windswept sand dotted with lagoons. Those lakes come in prominently on many holes, particularly on the 11th through 13th, dubbed Alligator Alley. (The boomerang-shaped par-5 13th is called Waterloo.) The home hole, with a pond in front of the green, started as a gambling par 5 but today is a daunting par 4. The course has hosted three USGA championships, including the 1962 U.S. Women's Open and most recently, the 2017 U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball.
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Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
Public
Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
Pawleys Island, SC
The late designer Mike Strantz is celebrated within golf architecture circles for his short but brilliant career creating some exhilarating, fun courses. Caledonia was Strantz’s first solo design, and his creativity shines on this tiny oak-dotted, sand-dune parcel, which includes the very short ninth hole. It’s ranked 85th on Golf Digest's latest 100 Greatest Public ranking (it’s been as high as 66th). Two musts: The chowder at the turn, and a drink on the porch behind the 18th hole.
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Barefoot Resort & Golf: Dye Course
Public
Barefoot Resort & Golf: Dye Course
North Myrtle Beach, SC
53 Panelists
The highest ranked of the four courses at Barefoot Resort, the Dye course features classic Dye bunker complexes with risk/reward opportunities for low-handicappers with playable options from forward tees for higher handicappers.
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True Blue Golf Club
Public
True Blue Golf Club
Pawleys Island, SC
77 Panelists
True Blue is Caledonia’s sister course, but it is distinctive on its own—ranking in Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Public from 2003 to 2007. In some aspects, True Blue is a bolder version of Caledonia from architect Mike Strantz with more width but challenging risk/reward shots, particularly the par-5 fourth hole, one of the most invigorating in the entire Myrtle Beach area. Driving golf carts through the massive bunker complexes will add to the experience for some.
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TPC Myrtle Beach
Public
TPC Myrtle Beach
Murrells Inlet, SC
56 Panelists
Once the host of the Senior PGA Tour Championship and now home to Dustin Johnson’s annual World Junior Golf Championship, TPC Myrtle Beach is designed to challenge even the pros. Numerous water hazards, strategically placed trees, and forced carries make this track a tough, but enjoyable test.
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Tidewater Golf Club
Public
Tidewater Golf Club
North Myrtle Beach, SC
When Ken Tomlinson set out to build this Grand Strand course, he looked to world famous designs, such as Merion and Pine Valley. The architect wanted to ensure that his venue would harmonize seamlessly with its natural surroundings. Tidewater does just that: sitting atop a peninsula, the golf course is nestled between the tidal marsh and forest lands in North Myrtle Beach.
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Grande Dunes Resort Course
Public
Grande Dunes Resort Course
Myrtle Beach, SC
Grande Dunes reopened in September 2022 after a complete greens and bunker renovation over the summer. Spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Grande Dunes Marina make this links-style golf course well worth the visit. Designed by Roger Rulewich Group, the course was built on a high bluff—the ideal setting for a picturesque sunset round. Expansive fairways littered with penalty areas throughout define Grande Dunes as a difficult, yet enjoyable resort course.
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Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club
Public
Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club
Pawleys Island, SC
This Jack Nicklaus design would contend not only for the best in Myrtle Beach but the best public courses in South Carolina. Pawleys Plantation lies among the natural saltwater marshes and boasts some strong par 3s. According to Nicklaus, each hole has a distinct intended strategy shaped by hazards, trees, bunkers, and even a double green shared by two holes.
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The Heritage Club
Public
The Heritage Club
Pawleys Island, SC
A Dan Maples design, The Heritage Club weaves along the Waccamaw River Trail and borders vast abandoned rice fields. This Pawleys Island course is complemented by lush native flowers along its rolling fairways as well as passerby boats on its riverside holes.
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Barefoot Resort & Golf: Fazio Course
Public
Barefoot Resort & Golf: Fazio Course
North Myrtle Beach, SC
Fazio's entry at Barefoot Resort will challenge the best players—with the routing constantly changing direction to account for the seemingly ever-present wind—but is playable for the resort player. The par-5 fourth hole stands out—lined with bunkers and a sentinel pine up by the green. The 18th hole is a great finish, playing up to the clubhouse with a huge porch, perfect for watching players come in.
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The Legends Golf Resort: Heathland
Public
The Legends Golf Resort: Heathland
Myrtle Beach, SC
The Heathland course at the Legends Golf Resort opened in 1990 and was one of Tom Doak’s earliest designs. The acclaimed Doak—who also designed Pacific Dunes, Tara Iti and Streamsong Blue, among many others—designed Heathland in a Scottish links-style, with open, rolling terrain. Shot options abound at Heathland, with well-placed bunkering, patches of dense native grasses and a meandering creek all demanding thoughtful strategy and proper execution.
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Arcadian Shores Golf Club
Public
Arcadian Shores Golf Club
Myrtle Beach, SC
Arcadian Shores was Rees Jones’ first solo design project, opening in 1974. This Myrtle Beach layout jumpstarted Jones’ career, which saw him redesign many U.S. Open venues, earning him the moniker “The Open Doctor.” Like many Rees Jones designs, trees and bunkers line the fairways, requiring quality ball-striking. Many greens are elevated, and approaches that don’t reach the surfaces can roll back down the fairway.
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The Legends Golf Resort: Moorland
Public
The Legends Golf Resort: Moorland
Myrtle Beach, SC

From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: At the same time in 1989 when Tom Doak was constructing the Heathland Course at Legends Golf Resort, Pete Dye's younger son, P.B. Dye, was on site concocting another 18, the Moorland Course. (I'm pretty sure Doak routed Moorland at the same time he prepared his plans for Heathland, because early press releases stated Doak was do three 18s at the resort. He ended up building just one of the three.)

 

For our architecture editor's complete review, click here.

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Barefoot Resort & Golf: Love Course
Public
Barefoot Resort & Golf: Love Course
North Myrtle Beach, SC
A member of Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Public ranking from 2003 to 2007, the Love course is one of the best in Myrtle Beach and yet ranked as the third-best at golf-rich Barefoot Resort (just a few tenths of a point behind the Fazio course, according to our panelists). This is Love Golf Design's only work in Myrtle Beach, and it makes good use of the land with a good variety of holes—long, short and doglegs in each direction.
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The Legends Golf Resort: Parkland
Public
The Legends Golf Resort: Parkland
Myrtle Beach, SC
As evidenced by its name, the Parkland course at Legends Golf Resort is tree-lined and relatively flat, with subtly contoured fairways. There are recently renovated bunkers and plenty of native fescue lining many fairways.
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Myrtle Beach National: King's North
Public
Myrtle Beach National: King's North
Myrtle Beach, SC
A past member of our 100 Greatest Public list, King’s North is one of three layouts at Myrtle Beach National. The Arnold Palmer design features some of the Grand Strand’s most notable holes, including the par-5 sixth hole, aptly nicknamed “The Gambler.” Off the tee, players must choose one of the two fairways, either the island strip that shortens the hole, or the safer option to the right, making it a three-shotter. The par-3 12thfeatures an island green, and though it’s more generous than the famous TPC Sawgrass original, the wooden bulkheads lining the green provide similar intimidation.
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Prestwick Country Club
Public
Prestwick Country Club
Myrtle Beach, SC
Situated in the heart of Myrtle Beach, just a few miles from the airport, Prestwick Country Club is a collaboration between Pete Dye and his son, P.B. The par-72 features many of Dye’s distinct characteristics, including intimidating sightlines, wooden bulkheads, dramatic mounding and deep-faced bunkers. Though the layout can be quite demanding from the back tees, set at just under 7,100 yards, there are six sets of tees.
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Pine Lakes Country Club
Public
Pine Lakes Country Club
Myrtle Beach, SC
Pine Lakes Country Club, nicknamed “The Granddaddy,” opened in 1927 as the first golf course in Myrtle Beach. Designed by Robert White, the first president of the PGA of America, Pine Lakes is a scenic layout less than a half-mile from the Atlantic Ocean. In 2021, the course underwent an extensive renovation, which included regrassing the greens and reshaping and adding new sand in the bunkers.
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Founders Club at Pawleys Island
Public
Founders Club at Pawleys Island
Pawleys Island, SC
The Founders Club at Pawleys Island opened in 2008 and was built over the existing Sea Gull golf course, which dated back the mid-1960s. Instead of rough, the fairways are lined with sandy waste areas, making the course feel older than it is. The scenic layout has nice variety, with tree-lined doglegs moving in each direction and some elevation changes.
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Thistle Golf Club: Cameron/Stewart/MacKay
Just over the border in North Carolina, this Myrtle Beach area layout offers 27 holes. The three nines offer great variety, with some holes narrow with water and others wide open with massive bunkers and imposing mounds. At times, the course can have a Scottish links-style feel, with the significant contouring and patches of native grasses. Other times, like at the par-3 island green, it more closely resembles an American resort, with plenty of water in play.
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Oyster Bay Golf Links
Public
Oyster Bay Golf Links
Sunset Beach, NC
Oyster Bay, just over the border in North Carolina, has a tranquil setting situated on the Intracoastal Waterway, a couple miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Many holes on this Myrtle Beach-area layout are tree-lined doglegs, though some open to the surrounding marshland, especially on the back nine. The signature par-3 17th features a small island green where a precise iron shot is required to avoid the water.
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Litchfield Country Club
Public
Litchfield Country Club
Pawleys Island, SC
Litchfield Country Club is certainly a first-shot golf course, with narrow tree-lined fairways that dogleg in both directions, often sharply. Playing under 6,700 yards from the tips, the Willard Byrd design is not long but instead requires precision. If you can find the narrow fairways, the second shots are often forgiving, with openings allowing you to bounce the ball up onto the gently sloped greens.
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Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links
Public
Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links
Little River, SC
Situated on the Intracoastal Waterway, Glen Dornoch has terrific views and captivating design variety. Designed by Clyde Johnston as a tribute to Donald Ross, the greens can be small and daunting, penalizing shots missed in the wrong area. The course demands thoughtful strategy, with overhanging trees and patches of native grasses coming into play. The finish is especially strong, with the scenic par-3 17th playing over marshland and the par-4 18th playing alongside the Intracoastal to a massive double-green shared with the ninth.
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Arrowhead Country Club: Lakes/Waterway/Cypress
Arrowhead Country Club is a 27-hole facility with three distinct nines located just a couple miles from the airport in Myrtle Beach. The tree-lined Cypress nine winds through Carolina hardwoods with water coming into play on seven holes, mostly on the right side. Water also comes into play on many holes on the Lakes nine, including at the narrow par-5 third. The Waterway is perhaps the most player-friendly of the three nines, with wider fairways and large greens. Arrowhead boasts a “Kids Play Free” program where juniors 16 and under can play for free with a paying adult.
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Man O' War Golf Club
Public
Man O' War Golf Club
Myrtle Beach, SC

Water is the defining feature at Man O’ War, coming into play on nearly every hole. The Myrtle Beach layout features back-to-back island greens, including at the par-3 15th, which we ranked among golf’s best island greens. First, the 14th is a relatively short par 4 where the second shot plays over water. The par-3 15th is short—only about 125 yards—and plays to a 48-yard wide, 65-yard-deep island green. What’s more, there’s also an “island hole,” where water surrounds the fairway and green.

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