Recently, Heritage Golf Group made its presence known in Myrtle Beach and the Carolinas. In early 2022, they purchased Brunswick Plantation Resort and Cape Fear National Golf Club, just across the state line in Leland, NC. Then in October 2022, they made a grand entrance into Myrtle Beach with the purchase of the Grande Dunes Members Club, the only private golf club in Myrtle Beach. The group also purchased The Club at Savannah Quarters, in Pooler, GA. According to Heritage CEO Mark Burnett, “These acquisitions are in line with our strategy of owning and operating private clubs in residential communities in key locations and providing members with a vibrant club lifestyle.”
Grande Dunes Members Club is located within the upscale Grande Dunes residential community, it offers its members a world-class golf experience along with fine dining and social activities. The golf course was designed by golf course architect Craig Schreiner with a lot of input from PGA TOUR player and Hall of Fame inductee Nick Price. The golf course opened in 2005 and underwent a renovation in 2019 that included overhauling bunkers and installing a new drainage system to reduce flooding and water retention in highly trafficked areas. In the Summer of 2022, the second phase of the renovation project included a changeover from Bentgrass to TifEagle Bermuda greens. It’s one of the more heat-tolerant grasses available and thrives in 80-degree temperatures.
The Members Club plays 7,029 yards from the Championship Tees (Red) with a course rating of 73.8 and a slope of 136, with a par of 71. Ladies typically play the Gold Tees (5,127/70.1/122). I found the White Tees (6,048/69.5/126) provided an adequate challenge and still allowed me to leave with a little dignity. In all, there are five sets of tees so members should have no problem finding a set to suit their game.
The Members Club is set in an excellent location, high on a bluff overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway, with panoramic views that include the surrounding maritime forest. It features modest elevation changes, wide TifSport Bermuda fairways, and 34 acres of lakes.
The greens are very large and play fast; they’re also full of subtle breaks and false fronts. What may go unnoticed is the length of the greens, many more than 35 yards. With a two to three-club distance between a front and back pin placement, this allows the staff to set up the course in an unlimited number of ways, and never let members get the feeling they are playing the same course over and over. After all, variety is the spice of life!
Grande Dunes has several memorable holes. The par-4, 7th hole plays 429 yards from the White Tees; interestingly enough, that is about 30 yards less than the par-5, 5th hole! Number 7 also the #1 handicapped hole on the golf course. It’s a long, dogleg right par 4 with a large bunker on the right side at the corner that needs to be avoided if you want to score well. Hit the ball right of the bunker and it’s most likely wet. Anything left of the bunker will leave a long 3-wood or hybrid into a long, narrow green protected short right and front left by sand.
Number 9 was my favorite hole; a 515-yard par-5 with water on the right side with islands full of birds. The water is reachable off the tee, so play your shot out to the left. Once you reach the area near the first fairway bunker on the left, the fairway narrows, so my advice is to lay back a bit and leave yourself around 120 yards into the green. You’ll need to play at least one shot over water on your way in. It’s a challenging but fair hole.
The last four holes at Grande Dunes Members Club can really define your round – one way or another. At 551 yards from the White Tees, Number 15 is the longest hole on the course. It’s an ever-so-slight dogleg left that will require three well-struck shots to reach the green in regulation. Trees form the boundary on the right sides and there is sand in the landing area of both your tee shot and layup shot. The green is small and protected by a bunker front left.
Number 16 is a challenging par-3 that plays 165 yards over water into an angled green that is surrounded by sand. You’ll need to fly it onto the putting surface; no running it up here!
Seventeen is a short par-4 that requires some thought. It’s a dogleg left that plays 316 yards with a creek and marshlands running through the fairway. If you’re going straight at the green, you’ll need about a 215-yard carry. If that’s not in your repertoire, you can play it out to the right and leave yourself a little longer shot into the green. Don’t hit it too far though, or you may find one of the fairway bunkers on the far side of the fairway. The green is very large with a lot of undulation.
Remember the water on Number 9? Number 18 brings the same water into play, only this time it’s on the left! A tee shot of around 225 will leave you short of the fairway bunkers and a mid-iron into a long, narrow green with sand on either side and water on the left. With the clubhouse in the background, it’s one of the prettier finishing holes in the area.
After your round on this truly remarkable golf course, venture inside Grande Dunes Members Club’s 27,000-square-foot clubhouse for lunch and afternoon libations. With extraordinary views of the golf course and unobstructed views of the 9th and 18th greens, watch as fellow members give it their best on these two finishing holes.
In addition to a spectacular golf course, Grande Dunes Members Club also has some fantastic practice facilities including a full-length driving range, short game area, and practice putting green. The pro shop is filled with logoed golf apparel and accessories from some of the top names including Peter Millar, Ralph Lauren, and Stich Golf. They also have a wide selection of balls, clubs, shoes, and lifestyle pieces.
As I mentioned earlier, Grande Dunes Members Club is the only private club in Myrtle Beach. It has been said many times that “membership has its privileges,” and membership with Heritage Golf Group certainly epitomizes this. As a Heritage Golf Group member, you’ll enjoy all of the benefits you’d expect at your home club, plus have the option to upgrade your membership for access throughout the Heritage portfolio of clubs. Since golf is always an important part of country club life, your HGG membership gives you access to 28 (and growing) championship Heritage Golf Group clubs. You’ll play on uncrowded fairways under pristine conditions on world-class courses. In addition to great golf, you’ll have access to all of the practice facilities and teaching professionals when traveling. And let’s not forget the food! Dine in chef-inspired restaurants and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of their clubhouses and lounges. There are membership options for individuals, families, and corporations. If you’re looking for all of the benefits and perks that come with private club membership, give them a call at (843) 315-0281 or visit them online, at www.grandedunesmembersclub.com.