Familiar courses on South Carolina's top 25 list

The Melrose Course at the Daufuskie Island Resort is one of Jack Nicklaus' earliest solo designs, and an early indication of his effective use of water and trees.

    A number of familiar courses made the list of the "25 Best Courses You Can Play" in South Carolina.  The state's golf ratings panel published the list of daily fee courses in November, an update of its 2005 list.
    The Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach, which runs from the North Carolina border to Pawleys Island, contributed more than half the courses anointed by the panel.  Everyone's favorite, Caledonia, is there, along with its companion course, True Blue, located just a mile away on the southern end of the Strand.  The Mike Strantz-designed Caledonia is devoid of encroaching homes, which contributes to its appeal, but True Blue has a few tacky condos abutting its rather free-form Strantz layout; most of the holes, however, are real estate free.  Heritage, another south Strand staple, also made the list and offers an attractive adjacent community.  Pawleys Plantation, a Jack Nicklaus Signature layout (circa 1989) and where your loyal correspondent owns a condo, is on the list as well.  Its course winds

Mount Vintage homeowners rent their homes to Masters competitors and well-heeled spectators for up to $10,000 for the week

through a development featuring single-family as well as condo homes, a few of them within easy range of errant tee shots.
    Mount Vintage Plantation in Aiken also made the list.  Some Mount Vintage homeowners rent their homes to competitors and well-heeled spectators for up to $10,000 for the week of the Masters tournament in nearby Augusta, GA.
    The usual suspects are on the panel's list, including the Ocean Course at Kiawah, with homes nearby but not adjacent to the course.  Other Charleston area courses on the list include Wild Dunes' Links Course, whose 18th green recently collapsed into the ocean, and RiverTowne, the Arnold Palmer layout just north of the city - one of his best - that includes some nice homes.  
    One of my favorites, Nicklaus' Melrose Course at the Daufuskie Island Resort, also made it.  Daufuskie is unusual among east coast communities in that it can only be reached by ferry (or helicopter, if you are so inclined and endowed).  The nearby Haig Point, with its private 27 holes designed by Rees Jones, is a viable alternative for those intrepid souls willing to live in splendid isolation.
    The Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, which includes a number of residential developments, hit the trifecta on the list, including its courses designed by Tom Fazio, Pete Dye and Davis Love.  Only Greg Norman's design was left out.
    You'll find the complete list of courses as well as the panel's press release at their web site.



Arnold Palmer's fine RiverTowne layout in Mt. Pleasant found favor with the ratings panel.

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