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Moorland Course at Legends Golf & Resort earns Golf Course of the Year honors in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Jason Scott DeeganBy Jason Scott Deegan,
Senior Staff Writer
Legends golf resort - Moorland Course - 2nd hole
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The second hole on the Moorland Course at Legends Golf & Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a stout par 5. (Courtesy of Legends Golf & Resort)

Winning the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association Course of the Year is no simple task. The competition is fierce along the Grand Strand, where nearly 100 courses stretch from Pawleys Island, S.C. in the south all the way into North Carolina.

Just being considered the best of the three courses at the 54-hole Legends Golf & Resort in Myrtle Beach is no small feat, either.

Legends' Moorland Course is the first at the resort to win the MBAGCOA course of the year honors, beating out Tom Doak's Heathland Course and the Parkland Course.

The wild imagination of P.B. Dye comes to life on the Moorland, which opened in 1990. Waste and pot bunkers work in tandem to derail golfers. Water and significant elevation changes (for Myrtle Beach) add visual and strategic appeal. Golf Digest has ranked the Moorland among America's 50 toughest courses. Players like the challenge.

GolfAdvisor.com user jadantfl232 gave the Moorland a five-star rating, although there were definitely mixed reviews on the Web site. "Only the third time I have played this course, but I would play again when we are in the area," he wrote.

Chris King, a spokesman for Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, considers the 270-yard 16th hole his favorite on the course.

"It's affectionately known as Hell's Half Acre," he said. "It's a great, short par 4 where everything from eagle to triple bogey is in play, depending on how successfully you approach the green."

All three Legends courses are owned and operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. Legends has donated hundreds of rounds of golf valued at more than $30,000 to benefit the likes of the Alzheimer’s Association, Habitat for Humanity and Toys for Tots, among many others. The Moorland and Legends offers complimentary instructional clinics twice a week and allow kids to play for free. Legends is the host facility for the First Tee of Myrtle Beach and Golf Academy of America.

This honor gives the Moorland a chance for further state and national awards. Myrtle Beach has been naming course of the year winners since 1996, when the National Golf Course Owner’s Association began its national award.

Five of the Myrtle Beach winners -- Burning Ridge Golf Course in Conway (2006), TPC of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet (2005), Wild Wing Plantation in Conway (2002), Tradition Golf Club in Pawleys Island (2000), Arrowhead Country Club in Myrtle Beach (1992) and King's North at Myrtle Beach National (1996) -- have gone on to capture the state "golf course of the year" award. World Tour Golf Links was named as the NGCOA national "Golf Course of the Year" in 2003.

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Moorland golf course - Legends resort - hole 16th holeLegends Golf & Resort - Moorland Course - 15th

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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