The people have spoken - those who play golf on South Carolina's Grand Strand, that is - and the latest edition of the Myrtle Beach Golf Insider's "Hot List" includes a couple of old favorites, but also a pair of newcomers, among the area's top five.
The Hot List, compiled monthly from course ratings by visiting players, in February is topped by Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, located at Pawleys Island, and Myrtle Beach's Grande Dunes Resort Club - holdovers in those positions from previous rankings. New selections are Barefoot Resort's Fazio Course in North Myrtle Beach at No. 4 and Pawleys Island's River Club at No. 5.
Three other courses made their inaugural appearances in the top 25 rankings in 2013: The Wizard Golf Club comes in at No. 19; Myrtle Beach National's West Course is No. 22; and Litchfield Country Club is No. 23. All three courses climbed "significantly," the top-25 list's compilers said.
Among the top 10 courses, new entries are Tradition Golf Club, up from No. 12 to No. 6, and Man O' War, up from No. 15 to No. 9. Myrtle Beach's lone five-star course as ranked by Golf Digest's "Places to Play" list, the Tom Fazio-designed TPC of Myrtle Beach, moved from 22nd to near the top 10, at No. 11.
Rankings for the Hot List come from each course's most recent 30 player reviews for the month, using a 10-point scale in each of six categories: pro shop, grill, staff, fairways, tees and greens. In case of ties, the total number of reviews for each course is used to break deadlocks.
"As courses transition from winter to spring conditioning, the volume of rounds and reviews will pick up steadily," said Myrtle Beach Golf Insider editor Jim Maggio. "We expect to see more comings and goings as the spring season progresses."
For more information, click here. The complete Top 25 for February, with average scores in parentheses:
1. Caledonia Golf and Fish Club (9.39)
2. Grande Dunes Resort Club (9.22)
3. Love Course at Barefoot Resort (9.00)
4. Fazio Course at Barefoot Resort (8.97)
5. River Club (8.78)
6. Tradition Golf Club (8.76)
7. Arrowhead Country Club (8.73)
8. True Blue Plantation (8.72)
9. Man O'War (8.72)
10. Heather Glen Golf Links (8.71) This course has closed permanently.
11. TPC of Myrtle Beach (8.65)
12. Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club (8.65)
13. Pine Lakes Country Club (8.63)
14. Thistle Golf Club (8.61)
15. Kings North at Myrtle Beach National (8.58)
16. Willbrook Plantation Golf Club (8.58)
17. Avocet at Wild Wing Plantation (8.54)
18. The Witch Golf Links (8.52)
19. The Wizard Golf Club (8.52)
20. PineHills Course at Myrtlewood Golf Club (8.51)
21. Tiger's Eye Golf Links (8.51)
22. West Course at Myrtle Beach National (8.47)
23. Litchfield Country Club (8.45)
24. SouthCreek at Myrtle Beach National (8.43)
25. Palmetto Course at Myrtlewood Golf Club (8.42)