Golf

Bob Gillespie

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Thumbs up: Dunes Club renovation gets top marks from Golf magazine

Posted 12/29/2013 2:42:00 PM

When it comes to playing and reporting on the nation’s best golf courses, few do it as often and as completely as Joe Passov, the travel editor for Golf magazine. “Travelin’ Joe,” about whom the magazine says, “he’s been where you’re going,” knows what he likes – and in the November 2013 issue (page 116), he likes The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach.

In particular, he writes in his “Best Trips” feature package, Passov likes this past summer’s renovations of the 1948 club – the Grand Strand’s second-oldest only to Pine Lakes International – as done by architect Rees Jones, son of The Dunes’ original designer, the late Robert Trent Jones Sr. “Following a sensitive retouching by (Rees Jones), the Dunes is open again – and better than ever,” Passov says.

The younger Jones lengthened the course’s back tees by 185 yards (to 7,370 total), added new tee boxes, rebuilt some bunkers and added new ones, and widened approaches to “open up new shot-making options,” Passov writes. But the major alteration was Rees Jones’ converting the old bent grass greens (always a chore to maintain in South Carolina’s hot, humid summers) to Champions Bermuda, the Southern grass of choice. “That means faster, smoother conditions year-round,” the writer says.

The Dunes Club’s famed “Alligator Alley” (holes No. 11-13) received only a mild tweak – they didn’t need anything more – with the club’s signature hole, the par-5 13th known as “Waterloo,” being stretched from 590 yards max to 640. Playing around Singleton Lake, Waterloo demands accuracy and length to get home in two, and sometimes resists being reached in three shots.

Tee times at The Dunes Club are available via stays at member hotels, and green fees range from $75 to $225; find a list at www.thedunesclub.net, or call (843) 449-5236. “If you’re craving a classic amid the marvels of the Lowcountry,” Passov concludes, “you gotta do the Dunes.”