Myrtle Beach,a South Carolina golf hotbed, has been at least an annual stop for the last 13 years, but our latest visit was different than all the others. Our travel writing itinerary called for stops at three courses – one on the south side of town (Caledonia), one centrally located (World Tour Golf Links) and one on the north end (Barefoot’s Love Course).
There were other aspects that made this one special. In Caledonia we returned to one of the most decorated of Myrtle Beach’s nearly 100 courses. In World Tour Golf Links we uncovered a course that we had not even heard of prior to this year’s visit, and in the Love Course we got our first good taste of a four-course facility that holds a unique place in golf history.
As you might imagine, all three have their own story to tell.
With sister course True Blue standing nearby the golf opportunity Caledonia offers is unmatched in South Carolina’s Grand Strand area. All the major golf publications have recognized the beauty of Caledonia, to say nothing of the good food served in its clubhouse.
The late Mike Strantz designed the layout officially known as the Caledonia Golf & Fish Club on Pawleys Island. It was named Golf Digest’s Best New Course of 1997. Strantz, who was based in South Carolina and succumbed to cancer at age 50 in 2005, also designed True Blue and Tobacco Road, another well-regarded Carolina layout.
I find it hard to pick a course better than Caledonia in the Myrtle Beach area, but a survey of club professionals was conducted two years ago and Caledonia was ranked second behind the Dunes Club.
Caledonia was on our schedule in the early years of our Myrtle Beach visits, but we hadn’t been back for at least six years. In the early years we loved it, even when we had rounds in difficult weather. This time we had an early morning teeoff in bright sunshine – and the course seemed even nicer than it was in our early visits. Given all that has happened in the golf world in recent years, we found that a most pleasant surprise. More