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No Cupcakes Here: Myrtle Beach’s 5 Toughest Tests For Your Next Golf Trip

It’s U.S. Open week, which means it’s time for golf’s toughest test. The United States Golf Association is returning to Pinehurst No. 2 for this year’s Open and will undoubtedly dial up the difficulty level to suppress scoring and challenge the world’s best players.

As golfers, there is a bit of a masochist in all of us, and if your group wants a significant challenge on your next trip to Myrtle Beach, here are five courses guaranteed to deliver for your personal U.S. Open.

1. We will start with The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, which just hosted the Myrtle Beach’s first PGA Tour event. The Robert Trent Jones Sr. design features elevated greens that are among the area’s fastest and most undulating. From the opening tee shot through the dramatic 18th hole, the Dunes Club will examine every part of your game.

2. If you want a big boy challenge, play TPC Myrtle Beach in the early spring when the rough is up as the course prepares to host the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship. Every part of your game needs to be on point, particularly off the tee as finding the short grass is vital. The Tom Fazio-Lanny Wadkins layout was designed to host the best players in the world, so it will certainly challenge your group. (TPC Myrtle Beach 18th right)

3. P.B. Dye has a pair of Myrtle Beach courses to his credit, including Moorland at Legends, a layout Golf Digest once ranked among America’s 50 most difficult courses, but if you want to push your guys, Prestwick Country Club  (top photo Prestwick 12th) is a must-play. The drama at Prestwick builds throughout the round, culminating with a three-hole finish that is among the Grand Strand’s most memorable.

4. Pawleys Plantation Golf Club enjoyed a 2023 renovation that focused on enhancing the Jack Nicklaus design’s playability, and it succeeded in that mission without removing the teeth from one of Myrtle Beach’s most scenic courses. Those back nine holes that play along the tidal marsh continue to delight and bedevil players who embrace the opportunity to conquer Pawleys. (Pawleys Plantation 17th right)

5. Pete Dye has frightened golfers for decades, but at Barefoot Resort, Tom Fazio’s namesake design is the 72-hole property’s sternest layout. The Fazio Course features fairways framed by native areas and water on 15 of 18 holes. If your group wants a proper test, Fazio delivers, demanding you pass a comprehensive exam if you want to post a good number.

Golf is defined by the challenges it presents, and these five courses are among the area’s best, requiring golfers to play well without ever being unfair. That’s why any of this quintet will help make your next Myrtle Beach golf trip an unforgettable one.

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