Six Hammock Coast Golf Trail Courses Tabbed by Golf Digest Among Top 25 in Myrtle Beach Area

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Two Golf Digest writers have weighed in, and made their choices of the top 25 Myrtle Beach-area golf courses you should consider for your next golf trip. It features six Hammock Coast Golf Trail designs – one a current member of the publication’s 100 Greatest Public list, three inclusions on its Best in State compilation for South Carolina, and three they’ve selected as “lesser-known gems” worthy of playing.

Golf Digest’s selections include the Mike Strantz-designed Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Golf Club, TPC Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, Founders Club at Pawleys Island and Litchfield Country Club.

Here’s what Golf Digest had to say about each.

Caledonia: “Caledonia was Strantz’s first solo design in 1994, and his creativity shines on this golf-only, oak-dotted, sand-dune parcel abutting the marshes and rice paddies of Pawley’s Island. The design is ordered and composed, twisting low through the heavy tree canopy while setting up classic hole strategies into angled greens. There are touches of Pete Dye and just enough quirk to suggest something more intense and experimental brewing under the surface. Subdued and rhythmic, Caledonia is currently ranked 85th on Golf Digest’s latest 100 Greatest Public ranking (it’s been as high as 66th). Two musts: The chowder at the turn, and a drink on the porch behind the 18th hole.”

True Blue: “Strantz returned to Pawleys Island just a few years after Caledonia opened, nearly to the exact same place, in fact. True Blue is Caledonia’s sister course, located on an inland property that sits just across the street, though sequestered from any marsh views. But what it lacks in scenery it makes up for in volume. Everything at True Blue is bigger and more heroic. Greens erupt out of sand barrens, fairways are 60 to 90 yards wide and holes take on the form of ambling caterpillars. The abrupt, hi-contrast shaping, made possible by the sandy terrain, is a not so subtle nod in the direction of Pine Valley.”

TPC Myrtle Beach: “Once the host of the Senior PGA Tour Championship and now home to Dustin Johnson’s annual World Junior Golf Championship, TPC Myrtle Beach is designed to challenge even the pros. Numerous water hazards, strategically placed trees, and forced carries make this track a tough, but enjoyable test.”

Pawleys Plantation: “This Jack Nicklaus design would contend not only for the best in Myrtle Beach but the best public courses in South Carolina. Pawleys Plantation lies among the natural saltwater marshes and boasts some strong par 3s. According to Nicklaus, each hole has a distinct intended strategy shaped by hazards, trees, bunkers, and even a double green shared by two holes.”

Founders Club at Pawleys Island: “The Founders Club at Pawleys Island opened in 2008 and was built over the existing Sea Gull golf course, which dated back the mid-1960s. Instead of rough, the fairways are lined with sandy waste areas, making the course feel older than it is. The scenic layout has nice variety, with tree-lined doglegs moving in each direction and some elevation changes.”

Litchfield Country Club: “Litchfield Country Club is certainly a first-shot golf course, with narrow tree-lined fairways that dogleg in both directions, often sharply. Playing under 6,700 yards from the tips, the Willard Byrd design is not long but instead requires precision. If you can find the narrow fairways, the second shots are often forgiving, with openings allowing you to bounce the ball up onto the gently sloped greens.”

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