The Dunes Golf & Beach Club – Played 2014
- Rankings: Golf Digest Public #52, Golf Magazine Public #47
- Location: 9000 N. Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Year: 1948
- Architect: Robert Trent Jones
- Course Access: Public
- Walking Rules: Carts Available
Score Card Information:
- Gold: 7,370 yards, Par 72, 76.1 Rating/148 Slope
- Blue: 6,615 yards, Par 72, 72.5 Rating/140 Slope
- White: 6,168 yards, Par 72, 70.6 Rating/135 Slope
- Green: 5,790 yards, Par 72, 68.3 Rating/130 Slope
- Red: 5,310 yards, Par 72, 71.6 Rating/132 Slope
In keeping with my tradition to work in some golf on any trip, I planned to play The Dunes Golf and Beach Club while in Myrtle Beach for a wedding. It is technically listed on the public rankings, but it is not a call up and get a tee time course. There are a few ways to play it including with a member, through reciprocal play, or through certain hotels/golf package providers.
Let’s get a little history on the club. The first nine holes were opened in October 1949 and is the current back nine. The final nine holes were opened in December 1950. Prior to this, in 1948, Jimmy D’Angelo (Gentleman Jimmy) was installed as the first head professional. According to the course website, his passing in 2000 was mourned throughout the local golf community.
In 1992, Robert Trent Jones undertook a renovation of the golf course. They replaced the grass on all the greens. They also modified contours on six holes to make them more player friendly. In 2000, another renovation was started to address the clubhouse, driving range, and golf course because of the growing membership. One cool addition was the new par three alternate hole between 13 and 14, that will serve as an extra hole should any of the other holes be closed for maintenance.
The clubhouse was very elegant and comfortable. I didn’t get to spend as much time in it as I would have liked, but I really liked the vibe. I did get to take some pictures while I walked around. The course hosted the 2014 PGA Professional National Championship that was won with a score of -2 by Michael Block.
It also hosted the Senior Tour Championship from 1994-1999 that was won by the likes of Raymond Floyd, Jim Colbert, Jay Sigel, Gil Morgan, Hale Irwin, and Gary McCord. That is quite a cast of characters. I love seeing McCord’s name on that list.
I played the back nine first, but I will keep the pictures in the normal order to avoid confusion. I played the white tees on a cold, windy day where the ball was not flying very far. The course played plenty long.
Hole 1 – 385 yards – Par 4
This is not the longest hole, but the course starts you out with a wide fairway.
This hole doglegs to the left. The best play is a draw off the bunker. This is another wide fairway.
Remember I said that I started on the back nine. By this point I had been behind the same group for about six holes as a single. I would later find out they were a large group, but I was pretty frustrated at the time. That explains the photo below which features my good friend Jack Daniels.
This is a really short par five. In fact, I hit it through the fairway by a lot. I should’ve gotten the yardage book. From this tee you can attempt to carry the bunkers, but there is rough beyond them.
This hole just looks old-school, golden age architecture to me, minus the cart path of course. The bunkers around this smallish green are very deep.
This medium length hole can be played with multiple shot shapes. The bunkers on the left are definitely in play.
This hole favors a fade off the tee. The teeing area points you towards the left side of the fairway making alignment key.
Another short par five, but the fairway is a little narrower than some of the others we have seen. A fade plays well here.
This tee shot is a great vista. You can see the ocean behind and to the right. The clubhouse is the short white building just below the trees. There are bunkers everywhere and the green is raised.
The hazard here is not in play. You can hit driver or just pop something out in the fairway 200 yards. There is a hazard past the tree line on the right that could catch a wayward drive.
This is probably my favorite hole on the course. The tee shot calls for a fade off the bunker in the distance. The water on the right is not really in play.
This is the shot that I really like. It plays over the hazard with great bunkering around the green. This is a longer than normal shot due to a poor drive, but this is just a great use of the topography.
This hole plays over the water the whole way unless you bail out way left. It played longer than the yardage for me. Anything short risks coming back into the water.
The starter told me to watch for alligators on this hole, but I was fortunate to avoid any. This is an interesting hole. The water is in play if you push your tee shot a little. The hole basically goes around the hazard to get to the green.
There is more glare on this photo, but the front of the green (on the right) has a bowl that sits about three feet below the rest of the putting surface. Any shots just past front flags should funnel close to the hole.
This hole is fairly open to any shot shape. Just bust one out there as far as possible.
Sorry about the sun again! This tee shot is pretty tight and looks even tighter than it actually is.
This is a short hole that really calls for a draw.
This is not on overly long shot, but the ever present bunkers make it a difficult one.
The finishing hole is a medium length par four. The draw plays best on this one.
I had a great time other than the large group in front of me. The course had a great clubhouse and ambiance. The course is a classic, old-school gem. The bunkering was phenomenal and reminded me somewhat of Pasatiempo. The greens were running really smoothly and the rest of the course could not have been in better shape. If you find yourself in Myrtle Beach I would definitely seek out a way to play this beautiful course.