Location: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Course architect: Roger Rulewich
From the tips: 7,618 yards
Saturday morning green fee: $$ ($99 off season)
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: No
Fairways: 419 Bermuda
Greens: Champion Bermuda
Starter: A late entry among the more than 90 golf courses within 60 miles of Myrtle Beach, S.C., the Grande Dunes Resort Club was worth waiting for. Designed by Roger Rulewich, who worked for 30-plus years with Robert Trent Jones, and opened in 2001, the resort course is among the best on the Grand Strand. It’s certainly a top-five selection, and one worth playing on each visit to the area.
Play because ... : The golf course might just be the most remembered on any golf trip to Myrtle Beach. The views of the Intracoastal Waterway are stunning, especially from the par-3 14th. And the Champion Bermuda greens are an unexpected treat here in the Lowcountry, where Bermuda is the turfgrass du jour.
Takeaway: It’s a bit more expensive than many, but it’s a top-notch play. Find a bundle deal or a stay-and-play package to lower the green fee. Also consider playing during off-peak hours.
THE RATINGS [1 to 10 scale; 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 7.5
Pro shop: 8.5
Course difficulty: 7.0
Pace of play: 7.5
THE COURSE | Scorecard
Best par 3: No. 14 (244 yards). There is a breathtaking photo opportunity from the tee, with the Intracoastal Waterway on the right serving as the backdrop. If lucky, there will be a boat sailing by. There is water in front of the green too, waiting to catch a scuffed tee shot. However, there is plenty of room for the safe play. The green is 50 yards long and there is room in front as well. A gaping greenside bunker on the right can be your friend. Undoubtedly, this stunning view will be worth remembering. And if you make par or better, it will be among your favorite golf holes.
Best par 4: No. 9 (469 yards). The Intracoastal Waterway running along the left of this hole is a beautiful distraction, but there is ample fairway width off the tee. The struggle is most likely syncing up a downhill lie to an elevated green. Unless played before, be short on the approach shot, leaving a chip from the grassy embankment in front of the green.
Best par 5: No. 17 (578 yards). This is not the hardest par 5 on the course, but it sure plays hard when trying to get to the clubhouse and keep a good score. Water borders the left side of the hole, and the tee box is angled just enough to make you think about where to aim. The fairway narrows in the landing area of the second shot; and the green is angled, leaving little room for misjudged distances. There will be reason to be happy if par is what goes on the scorecard.
Rated by: Craig Smith