The U.S. Open is the most prestigious tournament in all of golf, and winning it is a major accomplishment that only the game’s best can carry on their resume. Congratulations to Brooks Koepka for his repeat performance this year at Shinnecock Hills, matching Curtis Strange’s achievement in 1989.
Myrtle Beach has long been among the top golf destinations in the nation. Several of the over 100 courses along the Grand Strand have been designed by U.S. Open champions. The following is a list of the champions and their course designs that are worthy of the U.S. Open trophy:
Jack Nicklaus (1962, 67, 72 and 1980 U.S. Opens)
Nicklaus designed the Long Bay Club which is off the beaten path, in Longs. It has received a 4.5 star rating from Golf Digest’s “Places to Play,” and is known for its beautiful dogwoods, pines and maples along the fairways. Be careful playing its diverse bunker styles and elevation differences, which will both test your skill set. Visit LongBayClub.com or call 877-283-2122 for tee times.
Pawley’s Plantation Golf & Country Club, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year, is another Nicklaus masterpiece. Known for its 200-year-old, moss-draped oaks in the historical coastal region of South Carolina, many of the native trees were spared during the course design. The layout has plenty of fairway sand bunkers, water lined fairways and subtle undulating greens well guarded by bunkers, which makes Pawley’s both a challenge and fun to play. Be on the lookout for Jack’s Tree at hole 14, which is in the middle of the fairway near his old house. Visit PawleysPlantation.com or call 873-283-2122 for tee times.
Arnold Palmer (1960 U.S. Open)
Arnie created all three courses at Myrtle Beach National. The King’s North offers several of the area’s most dramatic and memorable holes that you will encounter, including the par 5, 6th hole, ‘The Gambler,’ a risk reward shot. Golf Digest has awarded Kings’s North 4.5 stars as well. Visit MyrtleBeachNational.com or call 873-283-2122 for tee times.
Palmer’s Signature Design, Rivers Edge Golf Club & Plantation, sits along the bluffs and tidal marshes of the Shallotte River. With five sets of tees to fit any game, golfers of all skill levels will enjoy the beautiful design fit for a ‘King.’ Check it out at RiversEdge-NC.com or call 910-755-3434 for more information.
Raymond Floyd (1986 U.S. Open)
Arrowhead Country Club is Floyd’s premier 27-hole golf complex along the scenic Intracoastal Waterway. It features three unique 9-hole tracks: The Waterway; The Cypress; and The Lakes; Each one with a feel all of its own. The trio features uncommon elevations, hardwood wetlands, bermuda grass fairways and Mini-Verde greens. Call 843-236-3243 for tee times or visit ArrowheadCC.com.
Larry Nelson (1983 U.S. Open)
Wild Wing Plantation, designed by Nelson and Jeff Brauer, was named the South Carolina Golf Course Owner’s Association’s “Golf Course of the Year” in 2002 & 2003. One look at this miraculous layout and you quickly realize why it earned the honor two years in a row. Woven through the surrounding natural preserve and framed by tall Carolina pines, this classic par 72 championship layout offers everything from a double green shared by #s 6 & 17, as well as a drivable par 4, on hole 14 surrounded by native wildlife. Whatever your skill level, experiencing Wild Wing will be memorable, wanting to double-back and play again. Visit playWildWing.com or call 877-283-2122.
Gary Player (1965 U.S. Open)
Gary’s Blackmoor Golf Club in Murrells Inlet remains one of the Grand Strand’s most player-friendly courses. The design is one that stretches the imagination. The signature hole is # 8, a great risk/reward dogleg right par 4 that plays 370 yards from the tips, or if you have game and feel adventurous, you can cut the corner and try and drive the green( bring extra balls), about a 270 yard carry. Call 866-952-5555 for tee times or go to Blackmoor.com.
Founders Group International(FGI) is the foremost golf course owner-operator company in the Southeastern United States. Formed in 2014 through various acquisitions and the purchase of National Golf Management, FGI owns and operates 22 golf courses(423 holes) in and around the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina seaside ‘Golf Capital.’ Those courses include the Pine Lakes Country Club, the “Granddaddy” of Myrtle Beach golf courses that opened in 1927; TPC Myrtle Beach, host of the 2019 NCAA Divison 1 men’s golf regional and the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship; and Grande Dunes Resort Club which in 2009 won “National Golf Course of the Year” and home to the Grand Dunes Performance Center.
More information is available at www.MBN.com or MyrtleBeachGolfTrips.com