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|The Intracoastal Waterway is a prominent feature at Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links in Myrtle Beach. (Tim McDonald/WorldGolf.com)|
It's a good thing there are more than 100 golf courses in Myrtle Beach. Otherwise it'd be hard to find much beauty in a town with little else besides hotels, a highway and an army of Wings novelty shops.
The most scenic are built along the Intracoastal Waterway, where the picturesque marshes stretch to the horizon. Here's a quick overview of the best.
The Dunes Golf and Beach Club: This legendary course by the sea is one of the most revered on the Grand Strand. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., its live oaks and rolling terrain perfectly complement Atlantic views.
At 7,165 yards with a slope rating of 141, the Dunes will test you off the tee and on the fairways and greens. Beware: Many of the greens are fronted by large, penal bunkers.
Tidewater Golf Club: Stretching along the Intracoastal Waterway, Tidewater has some of the most breathtaking holes in Myrtle Beach, and that's saying something in a town with more than 1,800 of them.
"It's a gorgeous course, with overhanging oaks, marsh everywhere and high bluffs overlooking the sun-sparkled Intracoastal Waterway, complete with cruising sailboats and dotted with local fisherman," Tim McDonald wrote in MyrtleBeachGolf.com review. "Everywhere you look, the conditioning is top-notch, even in the autumn when many other Strand courses are suffering."
Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links: This Scottish-themed course boasts transfixing views of the surrounding marshes and excellent conditioning. Considered one of the best tracks in Myrtle Beach, it won awards from Myrtle Beach Golf Magazine in 2003 and 2004 and has even been recognized by Sports Illustrated.
Designed by Clyde Johnston, Glen Dornoch makes for a challenging but not stiflingly difficult round of golf. The holes are varied, with virtually no repetition and plenty of risk/reward opportunities.
River's Edge Golf Club: This treacherously long course is laid out along the banks of the Shallotte River, making for some stunning views. Arnold Palmer is credited with its design, but in fact much of the work was done by his assistant, Erik Larsen.
"Larsen did his homework, taking an exceptional piece of Low Country terrain and subtly routing Rivers Edge through and around it," McDonald wrote in a MyrtleBeachGolf.com review. "He followed the natural curves and yes, even elevation."
One piece of advice: Don't try this one from the back tees, which carry a 149 slope rating, unless you want a serious blow to your ego.
Brick Landing Plantation: Long considered one of the area's most underrated courses, Brick Landing is also one of the most scenic. The first and last holes play along the Intracoastal Waterway, and the tee box on No. 17 is set on a bluff overlooking the water.
Throw in a few ocean views and you've got a track that can hold its own in any list of scenic Grand Strand tracks. And a recent renovation made the 143-slope-rated course more player-friendly.
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Having boarded the luxurious MV Europa 2 in Lisbon, Clive Agran had five days of golf cruising ahead. For those unfamiliar with the concept, golf cruising is a glorious combination of golf and cruising where a sedate sail is punctuated with the occasional round of golf.
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