Myrtle Beach is America’s favorite golf destination. With the exception of maybe Palm Desert or Scottsdale, nowhere else will you find so many great golf courses in such close proximity. It’s not hard to see why either.
The weather, hospitality, and beauty of Myrtle Beach are second to none. I’ve only been out here once but have friends that go every year, sometimes twice.
When I set about making this list of the top 10 public courses you can play, I had literally hundreds to choose from. It wasn’t easy. Nonetheless, here you go.
Indigo Creek Golf Club
Located in Murrells Inlet, Indigo Creek is the epitome of low country golf.
This Willard Byrd design isn’t short on water or wildlife. That means keeping your ball on dry land is imperative. This is especially true on the back nine where a creek intersects most holes and ancient oak trees line the fairways.
Indigo Creek isn’t the longest course in the world. With that said, do whatever it takes to get the ball in the fairway. Your scorecard will thank you after your round.
If you’re going to be in the area for a few days, check out the stay and play packages available through this property.
Beachwood Golf Club
Within walking distance of the beach and in the heart of North Myrtle Beach, you’ll find Beachwood Golf Club.
Opened in 1968 and designed by Gene Hamm, Beachwood is a local’s favorite and one of the area’s best kept secrets. True to its era, Beachwood doesn’t encompass hundreds of acres. Instead, many of the holes parallel each other and stately oak and pine trees separate them.
You guessed it, accuracy from the tee is the key if you want to have a successful round out here.
The greens are on the smaller side too. If you miss the pin on the short side, you’ll need deft touch to get the ball up and down.
For a round of golf that’s centrally located and doesn’t cost a small fortune, Beachwood is a great bet.
The Pearl Golf Links
One of the hidden gems in Myrtle Beach is Pearl Golf Links. Here, 27 holes of quality golf await.
The three nines are interspersed amongst centuries old trees and the Calabash River.
The North Course is the most open of the three and has a links feel to it. This is a good track for players that aren’t as accurate off the tee.
A classic parkland style design, the East nine is a thinking man’s track. Narrow fairways and small greens are the name of the game here.
The West nine is the newest of the three and features six beautiful holes along the Calabash River.
Each course features separate sets of tees that can be played as 18-hole rounds.
For as much play as these courses get, they’re in great shape.
Valley at Eastport
Opened in 1988, this Dennis Griffiths design is full of personality.
Even though it measures a mere 6,200 yards, there’s plenty of trouble to be found if you aren’t careful.
The greens are touted as some of the best around. However, they’re small and have plenty of slope. Make sure you stay below the hole.
The location of Valley at Eastport makes it the perfect stop when cruising the Grand Strand between North Myrtle Beach and Little River.
If you’re looking for a casual, yet fun round of golf, make sure to stop at Valley at Eastport.
Azalea Sands Golf Club
Another Gene Hamm gem is Azalea Sands. Opened in 1972, this course remains one of the only in the area with no homes on the course.
It’s for that reason that a round out here is so peaceful.
Even though the layout is fairly open, the course isn’t entirely there for the taking. Smalls greens are well-protected and closely mown runoffs make getting the ball up and down tricky.
If you’re thinking about playing multiple rounds in the Myrtle Beach area, be sure to inquire about the Myrtle Beach Golf Pass which gives you discounted green fees here as well as other facilities.
Thistle Golf Club
An awe-inspiring 27 holes of golf await at Thistle Golf Club. When you play a round here, you’ll be treated like a member at a private country club. The staff here don’t overlook any detail and it shows in the rave reviews this facility continually receives.
All three nines are characterized by lush fairways and ample water hazards. The Bermuda greens are some of the best in the state.
This facility is always in the rotation for my friends on their annual trip and it’s not hard to see why.
Farmstead Golf Links
“A cut above ordinary.” That’s the motto of Farmstead Golf Links and the course more than lives up to it.
A true links layout, this course is unlike any other in the Myrtle Beach area. The lack of trees affords expansive views of native grasses and coastal waterways.
What’s even more, the course’s finishing hole is a par six measuring some 767 yards. Believe it or not, this hole starts in South Carolina and ends in North Carolina.
Even though there’s cheaper options out there, Farmstead links is well worth the money.
Brunswick Plantation is a world-class golf resort. If you like staying where you play, the accommodations and amenities here are above par.
There are 27 holes at Brunswick Plantation. All three are distinct and can be combined to play three different 18-hole layouts.
You might be tempted to cut corners and play aggressively on the Dogwood nine. Be careful though as trouble lurks. On the Azalea nine, put the driver back in the bag. Get it in play instead. Lastly, the Magnolia nine is fairly open and not overly long. Because this layout is more exposed, the winds can make full shots tough to judge.
Golf at Brunswick Plantation is both fun and challenging. If you have a chance, give all three nines a try.
Carolina National Golf Club
It’s all about golf at Carolina National. Fred Couples designed 27 holes of spectacular golf that you won’t forget anytime soon. Built in the low country, all three nines weave and bob their way through natural wetlands and coastal estuaries, including the Lockwood Folly River.
The conditions of all three nines are pristine. Bermuda fairways and greens lack the grain commonly found on other courses and are a treat to play on.
When you’re done with your round, swing by the Plantation Grille for fresh, seasonally inspired fare. If you’re thirsty, the wine list is extensive and dozens of local brews are on tap.
Lockwood Folly Golf Course
Serenity is the first word that comes to mind when you tee it up at Lockwood Folly.
Eighteen holes meander through native oaks and whispering pines. On the course’s outer holes, views of the nearby bays and estuaries make themselves known.
The course is all about precision. The fairways are narrow and the greens small. A true shot maker’s paradise, you’ll need to work shots left and right, high and low, to shoot a good score around here.
At less than $50 a round, cart included, this is one of the best values you’ll find.
I can’t say enough good things about Myrtle Beach. Not only is it a golfer’s heaven, the culture, food, and scenery can’t be rivaled. I don’t make it out here as often as I would like but I’m going to do everything in my power to change that.
We only had room for 10 courses on our list and I know there’s plenty more out there. Let us know what some of your favorites are in the comments below.