Promoting excellence in South Carolina golf course design and operations
through competitive rankings, education and public advocacy.
"Best You Can Play In
"Go East" for the Palmetto State's finest public-access golf, seems to be the advice from South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel. Of the 31 courses selected in the panel's biennial voting on the Best You Can Play in South Carolina, 27 are located in the tourist meccas along the Atlantic seaboard.
"Given how golf has become such an important part of the tourist industry, it's no surprise that the coastal areas have developed numerous high quality golf courses for public play," Michael Whitaker, executive director of the panel, said in discussing the ranking released at the group's annual spring meeting.
Although the list is alphabetical without numerical ranking, Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island and the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island (the top two courses in the organization's 2010 overall rankings) were recognized jointly as "Best In State" after panel balloting resulted in the two courses receiving an identical number of votes.
"There are so many outstanding golf courses that you're really splitting hairs in the voting," Whitaker said. "Some of the older courses have stood the test of time, and others that have undergone renovation have increased in quality."
Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour's Heritage Classic, and The Ocean Course, which staged the 1991 Ryder Cup and will the play host to 2012 PGA Championship, tied for the best public courses in the state.
Regional honors went to: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club at Pawleys Island for the Grand Stand area; The Walker Course at Clemson University for best in the Upstate; The Country Club of South Carolina in Florence and Mount Vintage Plantation & Golf Club in North Augusta tied for best in the Midlands.
Pine Lakes Country Club, the so-called "Granddaddy" of Myrtle Beach courses that dates to 1927, increased its presence in the balloting after undergoing a $15 million renovation. The Wild Dunes Resort "Links Course" on the Isle of Palms, built in 1979 and one of the first courses in the state with ocean-front holes, received a boost from its restored 18th hole. Erosion had victimized the classic finishing par-5.
The coastal courses honored stretch from Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links in Little River near the North Carolina state line to the Harbour Town Golf Links on the south. Sixteen are on the Grand Strand between the North Carolina line and Pawleys Island.
Kiawah Island Resort, represented by the Ocean Course, Osprey Point and Turtle Point, and Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach, with its Dye, Fazio and Love courses, both placed three layouts on the list.
The South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel is composed of 125 golf enthusiasts representing a diverse range of occupations, handicaps and backgrounds. The panel's objective is to promote excellence in the state's golf course design and operations through competitive ranking, education and public advocacy. The "50 Best" courses (public or private) are selected in even-number years and the "Best Courses You Can Play" are announced in odd-numbered years. Criteria used in the judging include routing, variety, strategy, equity, memorability, aesthetics and experience. A panelist must have played a course to vote for it.
Information on previous rankings can be found on the organization's website www.scgolfpanel.org.
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"Best You Can Play" Public Access Courses in
= Best In State #
= Best In Region *
= New to the list of Best You Can Play
Club of South Carolina
Vintage Plantation & Golf Club
Furman Golf Club
Walker Course at Clemson University
Island Resort - The Ocean Course
Island Resort - Osprey Point Course
Island Resort - Turtle Point Course
Island Club - Crooked Oaks Course
Island Club - Ocean Winds Course
Dunes Resort - Links Course
River Golf Club at Palmetto Bluff
Dunes Resort - Arthur Hills Course
Sea Pines Resort - Harbour Town Golf Links
Sea Pines Resort - Heron Point by Pete Dye
Resort - Love Course
Resort - Dye Course
Resort - Fazio Course
Golf and Fish Club
Dornoch Waterway Golf Links
Dunes - Resort Course
at Legends Resort
Plantation Golf and Country Club
Lakes Country Club
Golf & Country Club
Dunes Golf and Beach Club
Founders Club of Pawleys Island
Golf Club and Plantation
of Myrtle Beach Myrtle Beach
Background On SC Golf Course Ratings Panel
South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel is composed of
golf enthusiasts representing a diverse range of occupations, handicaps
and backgrounds. These individuals have been charged with the task
of identifying the best that
Objective and Purpose
objective of the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel is
to promote excellence in SC golf course design and operations through
competitive rankings, education and public advocacy. The Panel serves
as an ambassador for golf in
2) The Best Courses You Can Play Bi-annually (in odd-numbered years) the Panel releases a listing of the best non-private courses in the state. Every resort, public access, and daily-fee course is eligible for this elite listing.
How We Rate Them
In determining their ratings panelists consider the following criteria:
The Panel consists of a maximum of 125 members, 8 of which serve as Regional Directors. Twenty-five percent of the panel represents each of the following geographical regions: The Upstate, The Midlands, The Lowcountry, and The Grand Strand. Twenty percent of the panel are women.
Categories of Membership
· Golf Industry individuals who have a direct connection to the golf industry
· Players & Coaches individuals who excel at playing or coaching the game
· Media individuals who report on golf for one or more media outlets
· Business & Industry individuals who utilize golf within the business community
For more information on the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel contact its Executive Director, Michael Whitaker, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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