Golf

Bob Gillespie

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Best You Can Play: S.C. Golf Course Ratings Panel announces 2013 list

Posted 3/25/2013 8:40:00 AM

The return of spring annually is heralded by warmer weather, clear skies … and, always, a deluge of golf course rankings, both national and regional, by golf-specific publications. Already in 2013, Golf Digest and Golfweek magazines have announced their picks for best courses around the country (and in South Carolina), including (from Golfweek) its top public-access courses, i.e., “Best You Can Play.”

When it comes to knowledge of South Carolina’s finest, though, a closer-to-home source is the S.C. Golf Course Ratings Panel (of which this writer is a member), a collection of golfers, writers and golf-business officials from across the state, men and women who live here and play here all the time, and vote this time each year for their favorites.

In 2013, the Golf Course Ratings Panel has produced its biennial “Best You Can Play” rankings, broken down across the state’s four geographical regions. As might be expected, the list is dominated by the resort areas along the Atlantic coast, with the Best Overall award going to The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, home to the 1991 Ryder Cup and, last summer, the PGA Championship, S.C.’s first-ever men’s major championship.

The Ocean Course also claimed top ranking for the Lowcountry region. Other regional leaders: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island as Best Grand Strand; Mount Vintage Plantation & Golf Club near North Augusta as Best Midlands; and Clemson’s Walker Course as Best Upstate. A total of 30 courses, plus four honorable mentions, made this year’s listings.

The rankings are dotted with big-name architects, among them Pete Dye (and son P.B.), who produced the state’s two most awarded layouts, the Ocean Course and Hilton Head’s Harbour Town Golf Links; the late Mike Strantz, the Mount Pleasant-based designer of Caledonia and sister course True Blue; Greenville’s Tom Jackson (Mount Vintage); plus Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, the late Robert Trent Jones and others.

The complete list (not in order of votes):

Lowcountry:

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Charleston
Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head 
May River Golf Club at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton 
The Links Course at Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms 
Turtle Point Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Charleston 
Osprey Point Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Charleston
Heron Point by Pete Dye at The Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head 
RiverTowne Country Club, Mount Pleasant 
Ocean Winds Course at Seabrook Island Club, Charleston 
Arthur Hills Course at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, Hilton Head 
Heritage Club, Pawleys Island 
Crooked Oaks Course at Seabrook Island Club, Charleston 


Grand Strand

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Pawleys Island 
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach 
Tidewater Golf Club, North Myrtle Beach 
True Blue Plantation, Pawleys Island 
Resort Club at Grande Dunes, Myrtle Beach 
Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, Pawleys Island 
TPC of Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet 
The Dye Course at Barefoot Resort, North Myrtle Beach 
The Love Course at Barefoot Resort, North Myrtle Beach 
The Fazio Course at Barefoot Resort, North Myrtle Beach 
Pine Lakes Country Club, Myrtle Beach 
Prestwick Country Club, Myrtle Beach 
Heathland at Legends Resort, Myrtle Beach 

Midlands:

Mount Vintage Plantation & Golf Club, North Augusta 
Country Club of South Carolina, Florence 
Cobblestone Park Golf Club, Columbia 

Upstate:

Walker Course at Clemson University, Clemson
Furman University Golf Course, Greenville 

Honorable mention:

Aiken Golf Club, Aiken (Midlands) 
Melrose On The Beach Golf Club, Daufuskie Island (Lowcountry) 
Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links, North Myrtle Beach (Grand Strand) 
King's North at Myrtle Beach National, Myrtle Beach (Grand Strand)