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|Myrtle Beach seniors and couples will especially enjoy golf at Willbrook Plantation in Litchfield. (Courtesy of Willbrook Plantation)|
An estimated 4 million rounds of golf are played annually on the Grand Strand: that's a lot of different tastes to satisfy, but Myrtle Beach can fulfill them better than most destinations with more than 100 golf courses.
As you're planning a Myrtle Beach golf trip, chances are your group falls into one the following categories, and we've listed some courses in each that you can't go wrong with.
If the only golf you've played in the winter months is on Nintendo Wii, you might be craving some forgiving courses out of the gate.
The Wizard boasts large fairways and large greens with not too much trouble until the watery 16th. Myrtle Beach National's West Course offers wide fairways, no surrounding homes to take a window out of, and big greens.
It's not all buddy trips in Myrtle Beach, couples make up a very large segment of the golf market in the spring.
Willbrook Plantation is constantly ranked as one of the top women-friendly plays in the nation, and next door, River Club's Head Professional Christa Bodensteiner ensures the tastes of women golfers are met as well.
The new Pine Lakes Country Club is old school charming and offers four sets of tees, two of which are under 5,800 yards. Also try out Heather Glen, Lion's Paw or Arcadian Shores. These should keep the banter pleasant for both parties during the day.
For the best 24/7 vacation experience, seniors should stick to the Lowcountry courses of Pawleys Island and Litchfield just south of Myrtle Beach. Here, the vibe is slower and a little more upscale: no more neon lights, massive beach shops and rowdy bars. The golf courses are a step back in time; full of mossy oaks and dotted with finger lakes. Litchfield Country Club is one of the area's oldest standing courses with shady, dog-legging fairways. It's not too long and is even walker friendly.
Tradition Club features a laid back vibe and the five sets of tees include one at 6,300 yard and another at 5,700 yards. Gary Player is known for his senior-friendly golf designs, so check out his design firm's Blackmoor Golf Club.
For a premium Lowcountry experience, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is also as pretty as you'll find, maxes out at just 6,700 yards and is much easier to hit the greens compared to its tougher neighbor True Blue.
Whether you're showing off to clients, or your boss told you to go nuts after knocking last quarter out of the park, Myrtle Beach can go high end with the best of 'em.
The Grande Dunes Members course is open to resort guests of the Marina Inn and Grande Dunes and is a rare course that won't have a stacked tee sheet during the spring peak season, so you'll feel like the course is all yours.
Barefoot Resort's Fazio course and Barefoot Resort Love are premium conditioned with bentgrass greens and a wealth of natural acreage to play on, while the TPC Myrtle Beach also offers up a tour-worthy experience with top conditions, facilities and service.
Scratch golfers usually try and sniff out a Dye course in the area. Pete has two tough ones to go after: Prestwick Golf Course and Barefoot Resort's Dye course, while his son, P.B., built the Legends Moorland course, rated one of "America's 50 Toughest" by Golf Digest.
The TPC Myrtle Beach and Dunes Golf & Beach Club have both hosted the Senior Tour Championship. To the north, low handicappers will enjoy Ocean Ridge Plantation's Leopard's Chase or Tiger's Eye courses. Tidwater Golf Club boasts a solid championship tee as well.
Is your group filled with testosterone-laden, ego-trippin' long ballers? Go back, way back, to Grande Dunes' Resort Course 7,600-yard set of tees.
One of the best ways to save cash on a top shelf golf course is via P.M. replay (some packages offer replays for discounts even further than what you'll be quoted in the clubhouse, so be sure to ask). Multi-course facilities are the best way to go to ensure your group can get out for cheap in the afternoon.
Legends Resort features three courses. The Parkland, Heathland and Moorland - all of equal standard, but differing styles and a replay rate all out of one clubhouse so you can be flexible with the tee times that are available.
North of the border, Ocean Ridge Plantation features four courses, three of which play out of clubhouses next to one another, while Leopard's Chase is a short drive away. Chances are there's an afternoon tee time available on one of them.
Bargains fluctuate greatly depending on the time of year, but if you're going during the April-May peak spring season, you're best off looking for Myrtle Beach golf packages that are offering the best incentives at the time.
As for individual golf courses, the following aren't the "cheapest," but their golf experience in my opinion supersedes the green fees they usually ask: Possum Trot, The Witch, River Hills, Aberdeen and Indian Wells.
March 16, 2010
Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker.
Myrtle Beach, S.C. has its elite golf courses. The more economical end of the spectrum, though, doesn't necessarily mean a pure sacrifice of the game. There are solid rounds that far exceed the accompanying low-dollar greens fees. Here are four courses that have withstood the test of time and don't take a significant chunk out the bank account.
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