Location: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Course architect: Tom Doak
Tee – Yardage | Rating / Slope:
Blue Tees – 6,800 | 128 / 72.6
White Tees – 6,355 | 125 / 70.3
Green Tees – 5,905 | 119 / 68.3
Red Tees – 4,904 | 119 / 69.2
Saturday morning green fee: $$ [$50-$99, fall season; discounts for stay-and-play packages]
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: No
Fairways: Common bermudagrass
Greens: Champion bermudagrass
Starter: Legends Golf Resort's Heathland Course is one of five golf courses under the umbrella of Century Golf Partners and the Arnold Palmer Golf Management family. Opened in 1990, it is one of the earliest designs by Tom Doak, who studied landscape architecture at Cornell University. Heathland was the first of the three courses at Legends, closely followed by Parkland and Moorland in each of the next two years. Golf Digest gave Heathland 4.5 stars and Golf Magazine called it one of the "Top 10 New Courses in the World."
Play because …: This is one of the few links-like designs in the Myrtle Beach area. There are no tall trees and there isn’t much water either. The fairways are generous, and the layout is varied and interesting. The list price is $99 for a Saturday walk-up in the late fall, but there are so many favorable options. Locals flock to membership at Legends to take advantage of afternoon play for $10 that comes with a couple of drink coupons. Resort guests get a combo package that includes breakfast and lunch as well.
Takeaway: If Legends Resort is chosen for a getaway to Myrtle Beach, there really isn't anywhere else to go. Tucked off the main highway of Route 501 and just 10 minutes from the beach and the airport, Legends has three golf courses on property — Heathland, Moorland and Parkland. Legends also manages Oyster Bay to the north of Myrtle Beach and Heritage to the south. There are 150 condos on property and two eateries — the Highlander Double Eagle Tavern at the clubhouse and the Ailsa Pub, set back into the condo community for nighttime revelry.
THE RATINGS [1 to 10 scale; 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 9.5
Pro shop: 9.0
Pace of play: 7.5
Best Par 3: No. 12 [165 | 145 | 133 | 105 yards]
Only a middle iron is needed to reach this slightly elevated green. Do not get greedy, though, when the flagstick is tucked on the left. While the right is open and unprotected, the left portion of the green is guarded by a deep greenside bunker. Smart money begs for a tee ball to the center of the green, then take a shot at birdie no matter no matter where the flagstick is located. There is a reasonable shot at par unless the tee shot is too exact and misses the green.
Best Par 4: No. 15 [348 | 334 | 315 | 270 yards]
This hole gets my vote as the most fun among the 18 holes. It is a short par 4, but the path to the green needs to be strategic — take the safe play and go right of the several fairway bunkers and mounds, or opt for a ballistic drive, knowing that if the bunkers can be cleared there is less than 100 yards to the green. The green presents its own challenge, as it is undulated and protected by a grassy mound in the front right. If the flagstick is back right, recording a par can be a real test.
Best Par 5: No. 7 [479 | 459 | 429 | 295 yards]
Here is a chance to make birdie. The fairway is plenty wide, and the hole is straightaway without any bunkers in the way. Big hitters have an opportunity to reach the green in two, while high handicappers will have a chance at birdie with a good wedge approach. The green is long and has two tiers. Be sure to calculate the right yardage to get a makeable putt.
Rater: Craig Smith