Now that we are traveling again, here is a great road trip idea and course to play if you are in the Myrtle Beach area. See what Golfer's Tee Times Senior Writer, Sean Fawcett, exclusively has to say about this special gem:
TRAVEL FEATURED COURSE: World Tour Golf Links in Myrtle Beach
By Sean Fawcett
Imagine playing St. Andrews and "Amen Corner" and TPC Sawgrass and Oakmont and Bay Hill, plus Winged Foot and Cypress Point and Pinehurst No.2 and Pine Valley. Seems like a dream, doesn't it? Well, it is a dream come to life with replica holes of the very best in golf at the course awarded 5-stars by Golf Digest, the World Tour Golf Links in Myrtle Beach. Even the magnolia-lined entrance way will remind you of that famous course in Augusta, Georgia.
Consistently rated as one of the favorite golf courses at the world-famous Grand Strand, FOUNDERS GROUP INTERNATIONAL'S World Tour Golf Links is a golfer's bucket list of lifetime golf vacations all at one location.
The 18-hole municipal course is divided into two sets of nines -THE OPEN 9 and THE CHAMPIONSHIP 9. Holes on THE OPEN 9 includes holes from North America's top-ranking golf courses including National Golf Club of Canada and the world's top-rated course, Pine Valley Golf Club. The CHAMPIONSHIP 9 features holes inspired by all four men's major championships: The Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.
As you start on THE OPEN 9, you'll see that the first and nine holes are side-by-side, just as they are in Scotland. At the second hole, players then get to play the 16th hole from Donald Ross' Pinehurst No. 2, also known as "The Cradle of American Golf. " One might remember this par 5 was on this par-5, World Hall of Famer, Johnny Miller, hit what he called his "best shot under pressure," a 3-wood to within 8 feet of the hole to defeat Jack Nicklaus and Frank Beard in a title winning playoff.
Follow that up with the targeted and thrilling but also nerve-wracking tee shot to the awe-inspiring island green of TPC Sawgrass No.17. You'll get a sense of what it's like to be a PGA TOUR professional playing at the famed Stadium Course. Pete Dye's infamous par 3, perhaps the most famous par-3 in the United States, is just one of those holes where a player of any ability level wants to play it repeatedly.
Moving along to the sixth hole, you'll be inspired by a hole from one of America's most r exclusive courses, Pine Valley. I can attest to Pine Valley's exclusivity, living less than 30 minutes away yet only being able to see it from afar. It's even hard to find a fellow golfer that has successfully been invited to play there. It just doesn't happen. Shell's Wonderful World of Golf with Ben Hogan was the closest I've gotten to it. So getting to try my hand at playing such a legendary course as Pine Valley was mind-blowing. A short par-4, aka Pine Valley's 12th hole, which is driveable for some golfers, features an abundance of bunkers that are basically found naturally in the sandy New Jersey Pine Barrens.
For even more mind-blowing fun, World Tour Golf Links also features Augusta National's most famous trio of holes, Nos. 11-13, better known as Amen Corner, on its CHAMPIONSHIP 9. Playing the treacherous par-4, 11th hole, playing downhill and sloping to the extremely intimidating greenside pond to the left. Next is the beautiful and equally difficult, par three 12th and par five 13th with Ray's Creek, and you'll feel like you're having a out-of-body experience in the very best way, and no matter what score you shoot.
Another hole get to tackle is Augusta's No.16, where we have seen countless Masters memories including Jack Nicklaus' long birdie putt, or Tiger Woods unforgettable chip in. Trying to hit the small severely sloping putting surface that only the very best in the world are invited to try every April in search of the elusive Green Jacket is a wonderful challenge and totally unforgettable.
Other holes on the CHAMPIONSHIP 9 feature Winged Foot #18, Cypress Point #10, Royal Troon #8, Olympic Club #18, Oakmont #14. The final hole on the CHAMPIONSHIP 9 is a tribute to the 11th at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida
"Many of golf's most acclaimed courses are either strictly private or prohibitively expensive, so at the World Tour, we provide players a glimpse of what it's like to experience the best the game has to offer," added World Tour general manager Brad Crumling. "With everything from Amen Corner, to the Old Course, to the seventeenth hole at TPC Sawgrass and even the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon, World Tour delivers a round of golf that players surely don't forget."
SOME ADDITIONAL INTERESTING WORLD TOUR GOLF LINKS FACTS
1. To play the courses which inspired World Tour Golf Links, you'd have to travel nearly 20,000 miles, through six time-zones and five different countries.
2. Of the courses that inspired the World Tour Golf Links, 16 are so exclusive that the average golfer would not be able to play them at any price.
3. Greens fees for just one round at each of the six public courses featured at World Tour would total more than $1,000 - not including airfare and lodging.
For more history and facts, or to book your next round, visit the World Tour Golf Links website.
Pictures courtesy of World Tour Golf Links website (Gallery). All other rights to this article are reserved by Golfer's Tee Times Media Group