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Enjoy a quiet round of golf in the country at Burning Ridge Golf Club in Conway, a 10-mile drive inland from Myrtle Beach that seems a world away from the neon lights.
Opened in 1980, Burning Ridge recently underwent major renovations that have made it one of the top layouts among the 100 golf courses on the Grand Strand. In fact, Burning Ridge was named the Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year and the South Carolina Golf Course of the Year in 2006, and the 18-hole par-72 layout is one of the most affordable in the Myrtle Beach area.
Originally designed by renowned architect Gene Hamm, an understudy of the legendary Robert Trent Jones who built more than 60 courses across the country. Hamm did some of his best work in Myrtle Beach, designing seven courses on the Strand, and his reputation for building courses that are both challenging and fun to play are still written all over Burning Ridge.
With a rating of 71.8 and a slope of 122, this 6780-yard layout requires a nice mix of strength and finesse to play it from the championship tees, but alternate lengths of 6200, 5700 and 4500 yards allow higher handicappers to take some of the bite out of the course, which features open fairways but plenty of obstacles en route to the green.
Yawning pot bunkers, dense woodlands, mounded berms and natural water hazards are cleverly incorporated into the scenic surroundings of towering pines and oaks and placid lakes and ponds. Unless you happen to be an accurate and powerful driver, average golfers are encouraged to play from the white tees in order to spend more time on the short grass than the thick rough and rugged terrain that surrounds many of the holes.
The 396-yard par 4 No. 4 is a classic example, featuring a narrow fairway with water on one side and woods on the other. Those who land it safely in between then face a large front-side bunker protecting the green. The theme continues all the way through the signature and finishing hole No. 18, which measures more than 500 from the gold and white tees but if played right, the par 5 presents accurate shooters with birdie or even eagle opportunities.
Burning Ridge offers a full driving range and practice green for golfers to warm up before their rounds, and pro lessons are available. A full-service pro shop and excellent 19th hole are located in the beautiful clubhouse, which features a large patio deck overlooking the finishing hole where golfers can unwind after their rounds.