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The Grand Strand might be better known as a budget-friendly golf destination, but Myrtle Beach can still go top shelf to impress even the most spoiled country clubbers. At least eight different area courses have earned "top 100" honors from either Golf Magazine or Golf Digest over the years.
The package starts at $1,195 with breakfast each morning at the inn, the Myrtle Beach area's only AAA Four Diamond property eight years running, daily lunch at each course and a pair of dinners at the inn's acclaimed WaterScapes restaurant. Bob Seganti, director of operations at True Blue and Caledonia, calls the package "a dream golf vacation." There are many great itineraries to be had along the Grand Strand, but this might be the best. Playing Mike Strantz's first solo design is a great experience from start (the drive through Oak Alley leading into the course) to finish (drinks on the verandah overlooking the 18th hole followed by lunch or dinner). Seven holes play along the Intracoastal Waterway at this Roger Rulewich design that co-hosted the 2014 PGA Professional National Championship with The Dunes Club. Strantz designed True Blue to be distinctly different and unique from Caledonia, even though they're across the street from each other.
Tidewater architect Ken Tomlinson's work remains masterful, but a renovation completed in 2014 modernized the greens and improved conditioning. Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. What is surprising to first-time players at Spyglass Hill is how hilly the course is, even on dunes holes like the par-4 second. When it opened three years ago, we predicted Old Macdonald would eventually become the most popular course at Bandon Dunes Resort, mainly because it has wide fairways and generous greens. The rugged dunes-like topography of Arcadia Bluffs was always there, just hidden beneath a forest that was removed to construct the course.
Karsten Creek, winner of Golf Digest's Best New Public Course title in 1994, was developed by Oklahoma State University and thus is also often at the top of rankings of the best collegiate courses in America. The first encounter with the serpentine Sheboygan River is from the tee on the gorgeous par-4 fifth, so far right that it merely frames the picture.
Bandon Trails is much like Spyglass Hill on the Monterey Peninsula, not directly adjacent to the Pacific Ocean but still a tremendous romp through coast terrain. The Highland Course at Primland, named in 2007 as the year's Best New Public Course in the $75 and Over category, sits atop a mountain plateau overlooking some of the most unusual scenery in America, a deep river valley dotted with tall spirals of rock.
Forest Dunes is another course, like Spyglass Hill, that has portions that look like Augusta National (pristine turf, pines and gleaming white sand bunkers) and other portions that look like Pine Valley (rugged holes edged by native sand dunes deposited by the nearby Au Sable River). It doesn't get the press that courses like Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Whistling Straits or Arcadia Bluffs, but The Quarry at Giants Ridge plays very links-like with its collection of fairway speed slots, greenside bankboards and backstops and reverse camber greens. By the time Golf Digest named Chambers Bay as America's Best New Public Course of 2008 and in difficulties around and on the windswept greens. Built some 35 years after nearby Harbour Town Golf Links, May River is an interesting contrast in Jack Nicklaus's portfolio, an equally low-profile layout with a number of bump-and-run approach shots but with several Pine Valley-like waste areas.
Conceived as an exclusive private club just a few miles north of Pinehurst, the economic downturn forced owners to open its doors to outside play last year.
The immediate thrill at Mauna Kea is its now-iconic par-3 third, a daunting tee shot over an ocean cove that's a great substitute for those unable to gain an invitation to tackle the 16th at Cypress Point.
When it first opened, Pronghorn was strictly private and its Nicklaus Course was ranked by Golf Digest as No. Few golfers recognize that the East Course at The Broadmoor is a combination of Donald Ross holes (one through six and 16 through 18) and Robert Trent Jones ones (holes seven to 15).
If anything, The Challenge at Manele should be even more popular than Mauna Kea, as it has not just one, but three ocean-cove holes, including the par-3 12th and dogleg-right par-4 17th.
Torrey Pines sits on one of the prettiest golf course sites in America, atop coastal bluffs north of San Diego with eye dazzling views of the Pacific.
Wolf Creek is a fantasy calendar come to life, with holes clinging to stark canyon hillsides and plunging down narrow ravines.
The Irish Course has same manufactured dunescape as found on its more famous sister Straits Course, but has three major differences.
Paa-Ko Ridge, Golf Digest's Best New Affordable Public Course of 2000, is quite long from the tips and regular tees.
Originally private, the TPC Stadium Course (the original 18 at PGA West) was a candidate for Golf Digest's Best New Private Course of 1986. Although it didn't get built for another 15 years, Fallen Oak Golf Club was first conceived by Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn soon after Tom Fazio had completed Shadow Creek. Unlike its older brother, the Fazio Foothills Course, which had been among America's 100 Greatest Public in 2011-2012 but slipped off this year, the Fazio Canyons courses at Barton Creek has wider corridors, softer slopes and more gentle bunkering. Part of Crosswater was reportedly built in the meadow where John Wayne, as Rooster Cogburn, filmed his climactic charge with guns blazing in the 1969 film, True Grit. The Harvester is a throwback design, incorporating the look, feel and playing qualities of classic old courses built 75 years ago.
Mattaponi Springs was carved from a dense Virginia pine forest by Bob Lohmann and his then-associate Mike Benkusky, the team that also produced (in the same year) the private Canyata in Illinois, ranked No.
Its ocean dunes are mostly covered with turfgrass and mature trees now, but when Robert Trent Jones built The Dunes back in the late 1940s, the property was most windswept sand dotted with lagoons. Back in 1966, Golden Horseshoe was ranked among America's 200 Toughest Courses by Golf Digest. One of the great engineering feats in golf thus far in this century, Cascata climbs up and down a steep, rocky mountain hillside southeast of Vegas.
A stern championship test for a casino resort destination, Tom Fazio's Atunyote features a pond or wetlands in play on three of the first nine holes and on all but one hole on the back nine.
Part of a sterling list of Ten Best New Upscale Public Courses of 1999 (which included Bandon Dunes, Whistling Straits, Bay Harbor and Tobacco Road), the Golf Club at Cuscowilla has wowed our panelists with its variety of terrain, from piney woods to meadow holes to waterfront holes along Lake Oconee.
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Pawleys Island is home to about 10 golf courses, and three made Golf Digest's 2008 list of America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses: The Heritage Club, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club and True Blue Plantation. A magnificent avenue of oaks leads you into the club, where a 12,000-square-foot Southern colonial clubhouse overlooks the Waccamaw River. Caledonia Golf and Fish Club:Designed by Mike Strantz, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club was ranked the fifth Best New Public Course in America by Golf Digest when it opened in 1995.
The course is routed through some of the most stunning terrain in the Carolina low country, and its beautiful landscaping and interesting mix of holes make Caledonia more than a pleasure to play. The closing hole is particularly good, a par 4 where you'll be hitting your approach over a lake. True Blue Plantation:Right behind Caledonia Golf and Fish Club in Golf Digest's rankings, True Blue Plantation is another excellent Mike Strantz design. Gather your favorite foursome and test your skills on championship courses that demand your best play for a legendary golf getaway at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Fourth-generation Californian Doug Dawson shares his 27 month journey and the experiences of playing and rating 220 Northern California golf courses.
I was in sales and management for years, and customers often asked for advice on where to play and which were the best courses. 4.  I am sure there were a few interested and unusual discoveries along the way…please share a few? First, I’ll have to admit I really enjoyed driving the remote parts of California, our expansive and varied state. I wrote the Best 100 for vagabond golfers and adventurers in search of where to play their next round. I started playing golf at age ten, hating every minute of it because my friends weren’t playing golf at the time and were involved in other activities. Somewhere around age 12, I persevered long enough to learn how to hit the ball in the air, a decent distance, and could see hope for the game. My Marine buddies were aghast that Jess and I had the courage to play in such an august group. Now, having retired from business, I find the sport a perfect physical outlet, so long as I walk the course and pack my bag. An interview with Al Barkow, Author of The Upset, Jack Fleck’s Incredible Victory over Ben Hogan at the U.S. So, take the poll and then login to Golfstinks to start rating and reviewing the golf courses you’ve played – with a little help from golfers like you, we can create the best golf course review and ratings database on the web! Price is my number one concern when choosing where to play, followed by the course’s proximity to me. For a surcharge, the Marina Inn staff can arrange transportation to and from the courses, eliminating the hassle of driving. Tight fairways shrouded by mossy oaks and pinched by wetlands are the calling card of Caledonia, ranked 73rd in Golf Digest's Top 100 Public Courses You Can Play for 2016-17.

The surrounding scenery, plus the course's proximity to the inn, might make this gem a favorite of golfers who book the package. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association.
Where the Straits is superior than either of those two iconic courses is in its par-3 holes. Some might call The Ocean Course a links, but water comes into play with annoying frequency and only some of the greens accept low, running approach shots, on Paspalum turf that is not conducive to bump-and-run.
Shadow Creek plays like a musical composition in three movements, with alternating heavy beats and light moments, building to an resounding crescendo. What's more, the holes are a more natural fit into the windswept terrain than the mammoth-mounded Straits Course.
2 has long been considered a great second-shot course because of its convex greens that demand precise iron play. What makes this lakefront layout different than other lakeside ones, say Whistling Straits or Bay Harbor, are its distinctive stacked-sod bunkers. But it creeps ever closer on the next few holes, always in the slice zone, until the reachable par-4 ninth, where it taunts us to carry it and go directly for the green. Its opening and finishing holes are in more rugged sand dunes than Spyglass, and while its forest holes might lack the towering drama of the Monterey pines found at Spyglass, the tumbling topography of Bandon Trails provides a majesty all its own.17. Back when Pete Dye was building the course, he was asked to dispose of a huge quantity of sewer sludge from housing developments on Hilton Head, so he dug a big pit to the left of the par-4 16th, had it dumped in there, then covered it with acres of sand. A century-old stone aqueduct brings water from the top of a rain-soaked volcano down to a pond that sits 800 feet above the course. The course design by veteran British architect Donald Steel is austere in its green contours and bunkering, as if not to overpower the setting.23. Forest Dunes has clever greens with subtle contouring, with some treacherous pin positions just beyond false fronts of steep putting surface or just beside fall-away ear lobes leading off the sides of greens.20. Flynn, Seth Raynor was originally consulted about building the Cascades course, but declared the property insufficient.
It has a classic routing with the first nine turning clockwise through forest, the back nine circling counter-clockwise and both touching repeatedly on the wetlands of namesake May River.30.
The design is typical of Coore & Crenshaw, a timeless look where holes often play to targets obscured by landforms, bunkers or ground-hugging green contours. The remaining holes at Mauna Kea are thrilling too, with constant views of the ocean, awkward lies on sloping fairways and roughs of crunchy lava rock.28. It then suffered through a period of economic recession but has regained its bearings and recovered its conditioning. Colt for its Seaside design, but in truth the present Seaside Course is purely Tom Fazio, who incorporated an original Colt-designed nine (called Seaside) along with the Marshland 9 designed by Joe Lee in 1974 to create a new 18 hole course. Yes, a golf ball carries farther at its 6,500-foot elevation, but Paa Ko also plays long because both nines work up mountain foothills for several holes before playing downhill. Wynn wanted Fazio to do a similar course for his Beau Rivage casino hotel on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. His Tullymore design in central Michigan has probably the longest, skinniest set of putting surfaces of any course on America's 100 Greatest Public, along with the longest, skinniest set of bunkers, most of which are deep trenches with repeating knobs that bring to mind Art Deco. The Bob Cupp design is far more subtle than a Wayne western, with low-profile greens edged by graceful chipping areas and fairways intersected repeatedly by the Big and Little Dechutes rivers.
Holes seem to emerge from the land, greens and bunkers have an angular appeal to them and other crisp-edged features flow in long horizons across the landscape. Those lakes come in prominently on many holes, particularly on the 11th through 13th, dubbed Alligator Alley.
Told to route the course to preserve as many trees as possible, Hills made the brawny Longaberger wander gracefully from ridge top to valley, testing every shot with uphill, downhill and sidehill lies. Cascata is authentically Nevada on the edges, the barren areas akin to Wolf Creek in Mesquite, but its turfed areas, planted with date palms, ironwoods and willows, and crossed by endless babbling brooks, is something of a salute to nearby Shadow Creek.
Only a handful of holes play in mature woods, the rest have newly planted trees that are rapidly maturing.
All are excellent Carolina golf courses worthy of any duffer's "dream play" list, but getting on these fairways doesn't have to be a fantasy, as these babies are public.
46 on Golf Digest's list, The Heritage Club is the highest-ranked Pawleys Island golf course.
On the golf course, centuries-old trees, blossoming flowers and rice fields endow each hole with a different and intriguing look.
Caledonia has some of the most interesting par 3s in the area, forcing you to use anything from a pitching wedge to a 3-wood. The clubhouse sits behind the hole, so watch out for the audiences that form there to cheer and jeer. True Blue is one of the more challenging tracks on the Grand Strand, and that's after a redesign by Strantz to make it more accessible to those of us who aren't making our living on the PGA Tour.
I researched the web and bookstores and found very little comprehensive information had been published. Several of our “top ten” courses have served as venues for some of the finest golf championship in the history of the game (i.e. Many golfers believe Spyglass Hill (ranked #2) is the best test of golf skill in California, and we won’t argue that point. Although a well-traveled 4th generation Californian, I still found lots of beautiful new territory.
My goal was not to uncover simply routine facts but to learn the nuances which separate one course from another. When told that his brand new 755-yard (15th hole) was not the longest in the state, he said, “No problem.
I wanted readers to have a complete and unbiased source describing: 1) quality, 2) value, 3) weather, 4) winter drainage, 5) terrain, 6) walk-ability and 7) location. This book was a true collaboration between you and your spouse Jessa, an accomplished artist and illustrator. How was it teaming up on the project?
Originally, I had the idea of her riding in the cart, playing the courses, and making quick sketches while we rode from hole to hole. However, I have completed 40,000 words of a fictionalized memoir based on the adventures related to writing about the Best 100. My feeling was that they were just golfers, not gods, and besides, they had no authority over a Coast Guardsman. Nothing like burning a thousand calories per round and keeping the body in shape… while Jess and I meet new folks and have fun with old friends, too. He saw a need for up-to-date information about NorCal golf because 40 percent of the 18-hole public courses are either new or have had major renovations since in 2002.
For example, nice grooming or beautiful scenery might entice me to remember a particular course and convince me to come back again.
And to that end, we would like you to help us establish what is the most important feature on a golf course. In rare instances, GolfStinks may receive monetary compensation for reviewing these products or services.
The Dye Course, which operates out of its own clubhouse, annually hosts the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am. The par-5 first, which Golf Advisor named one of the scariest opening holes in golf, begins an epic round. The Ocean Course is simply another example of the ingenuity and versatility of designer Pete Dye.
Its original concept was a simple lay-of-the-land layout that would prove Mother Nature is indeed the best golf architect. Like hitting a 5-iron onto the hood of a Volkswagen, he said.) So Pete Dye ripped up 10 greens to make them fairer.
The river hugs the next four holes too, then disappears, only to reappear on the last three holes, this time on the left.
Pete Dye and his companions have twice played the course from those tees in under three-and-a-half hours.
With its elaborate greens and spectacular bunkering fully restored by Tom Doak, Pasatiempo is a classic example of Mackenzie's art. Two years ago, the club (which also has a Fazio-designed 18), began allowing public play on its Nicklaus track, whose back nine may be the most delightful Jack has ever designed, with gambling holes and gorgeous scenery at every turn.29. Open, it brought several coastal canyons into play for everyday play, especially on the par-3 third and par-4 14th. The 496-yard par-4 seventh is the same shape and dimensions as the 10th at Augusta National and the back tee of the par-4 17th, atop a butte, affords perhaps the best vista in New Mexico.

It was also once involved in the old Bob Hope Desert Classic, until some pros petitioned to remove it. Wynn's empire got swallowed by MGM Grand, which ultimately had Fazio design Fallen Oak.
The 561-yard 18th is especially water laden, playing over the same serpentine boulder-edged creek twice.44. Confined by the existing corridors of the old layout, Fazio created an unusual complement to neighboring No. Harvester finished second among America's Best New Affordable Public Courses of 2001 to The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa, which is ranked No. Earlier this year, we ranked The Gold Course as one of America's 50 Most Fun Public Courses. Atunyote hosted the 2006 BC Open on the PGA Tour, which became the Turning Stone Resort Championship in 2007 through 2010.56. From the day it opened, Cuscowilla has played firm and fast, years before that became popular.57. The par-71, 7,040-yard course is the focal point of Heritage Plantation and truly a sight to behold. Every hole requires thought and either power or precision, and sometimes a combination of both. I’d phone a week in advance, mention to the pro (or course owner) that I was planning to play the course and would like to set up a post-round interview. On those afternoon rounds, I’d often play with locals to gather insight on course history or playing conditions, weather trends, etc.
For example, the Fall River Valley, east of Redding is a particularly spectacular, with gorgeous snowy springtime views of both Mt, Shasta and Mt.
Well, after waiting in a picturesque spot on Greenhorn Creek for about 10 minutes, and observing the pressure to draw quickly, my expectation seemed a little absurd. While I was brave enough to think I could self-publish my first book, the next one will follow a publishing path which is much more traditional. In those days, one of my vivid memories was as a lowly LTJG, playing regularly with the base commander at Quantico’s Golf Course. The only comprehensive similar book he could find written on the same subject was California Golf *, published in January 2002. Whereas an extremely difficult course or one with poor customer service might convince me to stay away.
Despite this, GolfStinks prides itself on being able to provide our readers with candid content. In no way are we responsible for, or have control over, the content of any external web site links. The concept changed -- some greens moved, one blind par-3 eliminated -- as the quest for a U.S. No need to sleep in the parking lot just to get a tee time anymore (just go online), but you may still have to verify your handicap.
Cascades was ranked by Golf Digest as one of America's 100 Greatest for 40 years and is No. The back nine, playing repeatedly over deep barrancas, is a test for even the most talented of golfers.27. It was a seventh place finisher in Golf Digest's ranking of Best New Resort Courses of 1994. It has twice been ranked among America's 100 Greatest, from 1995 to 1998 and from 2005 to 2006. 2 Course by adding two new par 3 holes, styling the greens with slopes and run-offs, creating large expanses of native sand and then peppering the land with 180 pot bunkers, most of them in clusters guarding doglegs and pin placements.45. It shouldn't, especially since its Donald Ross heritage was reinforced by a restoration by John Fought nearly 10 years ago.
As with most Dye designs, the greens are tricky, the bunkering extensive and there's rarely a level lie. When the entry road is named Busted Rock and proves to be a twisting, turning, 10-mile logging trail, you begin to wonder why anyone would leave the safety of guardrails for a round of golf. Finishing off our “top ten” list of best courses is Sevillano Links (in Corning, 60 miles south of Redding) which had the best conditioning of all those I reviewed. Friday night I would make the trek back to my bay area home, play a Saturday morning round with buddies and spend the next week writing reviews while memories were still fresh. Chapter 5 describes travel planning, conveniently organizing courses by region, so a golfer can maximize their trip and be aware of which destinations offer the greatest dollar value. Even the Commandant of the Marine Corps and his dogs would occasionally join for 9 in the late afternoon. Thus, we have made it our policy to never express anything but honest opinions in a review. Information here may contain errors or inaccuracies; proprietors do not make warranty as to the correctness or reliability of the site's content. The Fazio Course, televised during the Golf Channel's Big Break Myrtle Beach, incorporates the best mix of playability and scenery at the resort. As a sign near the first tee states, Bethpage Black is an extremely difficult course recommended only for highly skilled players.9. But when the gatekeepers turn out to be a herd of deer, and the view from the parking lot leaves you transfixed like, yes, a deer in the headlights, you understand why the reclusive owner of the 12,000-acre Primland hunting preserve would choose to build a public golf course in this obscure portion of southern Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.
Nothing like a buddy, a golf course with few others on it, great resort food, and a friend with the same level of growing ability to start true interest in the sport. If you own rights to any of the images, or are depicted thereof, and do not wish them to appear here, please contact us for prompt removal.
The best stretch starts at the par-3 ninth hole, offering up a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean. Our latest round took over 5 hours, as it seemed like every player wanted to film his every shot for memory's sake. With Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw re-introducing hardpan rough and distressed turf off every fairway, No. The new and improved Prince now has Seashore Paspalum turf and some of the surrounding jungle cut back for playability.19. I introduce a new way to rank course difficulty, and also thought readers might be interested knowing which holes I considered the toughest of the Best 100. The infamous Alligator Alley comprises holes 11-13, followed by a bonus hole, an extra par 3 called "14a." The glorious par-5 13th hole wraps around Lake Singleton.
This might be the least-known, most-spectacular riverbed landscape in America, better than the Hudson Valley, superior to the Royal Gorge.
You will also find a glossary within, and for the trivia buffs, I provide enough interesting facts to win a few bets. Although she really enjoyed doing the artwork, at one point she mentioned hoping never to draw another tree!
Imagine a section of the Grand Canyon, its walls covered mostly in forest, except for some spires of rock protruding 1,000 feet and more above the riverbed. Stick a golf course atop this mountain, surround it on three sides by this deep gorge, and you have The Highland Course at Primland, Golf Digest's Best New Public Course $75 and Over for 2007. Aided by his then-associates Tom Mackenzie and Martin Ebert (who have since formed their own partnership, Mackenzie & Ebert), Steel routed holes along ridges, over chasms, down valleys and into sideslopes, always offering a safe alternative to every perilous carry.
They're not quite British pot bunkers, but all are deep enough that no sand is visible, just faces of tall, fuzzy fescue.
The climax of Highland is an anything-but-redundant finishing trio of doglegs-right along a lazy bend of the Dan River Gorge.
The 465-yard 18th is particularly daunting, uphill across a mountain slope to a saddled landing area, then down the tumbling fairway to the green below. There's talk of relocating the 18th green closer to the rim, and chopping down a few trees along the right. This would create an East Coast version of the eighth at Pebble Beach, providing one long last breath of Blue Ridge beguilement.

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