The golf course industry is not one that invites controversy; read 99 of 100 course descriptions and they’ll all conclude their course is fun, fair, and great for all. The Moorland course at Legends Golf Resort takes a distinctly different tack, self-labeling P.B. Dye’s as “controversial” and “definitely a target golf course.”
It’s a long way from Tom Doak’s Heathland course, which opened at the same resort the same year as Moorland. Legends may be a little tough on itself, however. Although the course plays much like a layout from P.B.’s late father Pete, with numerous water hazards and large sandy waste areas, the course gives wiggle room for players to use skill and find par.
Consider the No. 14 par four, which features an Alps-like hill ahead of the green. True, playing to the safe area of the wide fairway will leave you a blind approach, but there’s the opportunity to take risk from the tee and get a peek at the flag. That’s the essence of strategic golf, and a model taken directly from C.B. Macdonald’s playbook.
That said, there are certainly punishers as well, with approaches to greens perched high on hillocks or along lakes.
Having played Tom Doak's Heathland course a few weeks ago, my expectations for the Moorland course were not high despite most locals telling me that the Moorland is the best of the 3 courses at the resort.
I teed off the 10th hole which runs parallel to the 1st of the Heathland, with the tee shots looking similar but the approach shot was thankfully very different. The 1st green on the Heathland was large, low to the ground and very uninspiring and the 10th of the Moorland was small, elevated and had well defined slopes, although they bordered on a little severe.
The whole course had lots of character and I can remember most of the holes (that can't be said of Doak's Heathland course). The drivable par 4's and par 5's were outstanding, and what an amazing finishing green nestled to the left amongst the hills. Pete Dye sure had an amazing imagination.
The course has a few green sites on steroids, but the course is fun and short so the the tough greens actually add something that makes it an enjoyable challenge. The tee shots are generally not overly tight, usually with a bail out side. I remember the Heathland having way too much width in places and both sides on some holes were bail out sides.
To sum up my review, this course was full of character and every hole was well thought out. You can tell Mr Dye moved a lot of dirt to make the holes memorable with lots of elevation change on a relatively flat site. I know Tom Doak likes to design more natural looking courses, but I would love to see him move away from the minimalist designs when given a flat site and spend more time building holes like Pete Dye has done at Legends Moorland. Its was a thoroughly enjoyable round and is in my top 5 Myrtle Beach courses.
Just a note that this course was designed by Paul Burke "P.B." Dye...his father Pete was not involved in this project. That said, both of Pete's sons derived significantly from their father's style so the rest of your review remains accurate!
I'm sorry, I did not realise it was designed by P.B Dye. Like you said, it does have a lot of his father's design features.
The legends golf resort is a machine. Their rounds of golf usually include breakfast, lunch, and several beverage tickets at a reasonable price. In return, golfers get to experience some pretty decent courses, especially for the Myrtle Beach area. I've always enjoyed playing the Moorland course. There is enough difficulty to challenge a good golfer, but it's not too difficult for the average player to negotiate. The course is a wild mixture of semi-blind shots, water hazards to negotiate, and several green complexes that border on the bizarre. The short par 5 12th comes to mind immediately. The green is severely sloped on each side and the back, so much so that a player could probably spend all day trying to hit and hold the green on a pitch from either side. In addition, there are driveable par 4's and as well as risk-reward par 5's.
Altogether this is not great golf course architecture by any means, but the Moorland is usually a fun outing and worth playing, along with the Heathland course. I've found the Parkland course at the Legends pretty bland, and I would avoid playing there.
The Legends is production golf at its worst. The Legends has their formula and words like deviate and flexibility are frowned upon. However, they do know how create fantastic economical golf packages.
I liked the Moorlands the best. The first hole is welcoming, broad landing area with a pot bunker in front of the green. The first par five is a fun hole. Reachable with water all the way down the right side with trench bunkers. The fairway does split with a higher plateau on the left side about 110 yards out. The left leaning 3rd looks more intimidating than it is. There is plenty of room in the fairway unless you are left in the water. Play for the middle of the green as it does appear that the green is about to slide into the water hazard. The 4th is the longest par four on the course and the number one handicap. Lots of moguls, favor the right side. The 5th is a ho-hum mid-length par 3 with a large green. The 6th is a very reachable par 5, dogleg left. The landing area is generous, however water all the way down the left and similar to 3rd hole the green is perched just above the water. The 7th is a big boy par 3 at 245 from the tips with water down the left side.], handicap number 5. The 8th is a strange hole. It really is straight but angles hard right and then comes back. A short par four, big hitters can go for it, probably about 300 yards. Cutting the corner buys you a little bit, but I think laying up is the way to play this hole. The 9th is a long par 4, fairway bunker left and two greenside.
The back starts with a straight forward par four. Lot of moguls right and lot of bunkers left. I do not get the par 5 11th at all, 463 yards and straightaway. The 9th was 465 yards. Yes, you can get yourself in trouble if you hit a lousy shot, but that can happen anytime. Strange. Let’s follow that up with a 459 yard par 4, this one even has a table top green. The 13th is the shortest hole on the course. An attack iron to a green that has a wrap around bunker on the left side. The 14th is a short par 4. There is a strategic mound as the crow flies between the tee and the green starting about 225 yards. It is about a 280 yard carry with a small pot bunker behind it. Down the right side is a trench bunker. When it doubt go for it. The 15th is a real par five with a two section fairway. Off the tee pretty much straight ahead there is a row of pot bunkers. Just throwing this out there, avoid them. The second shot will be over a water hazard to the second fairway to set up your approach. The 16th is another short par 4. The green is raised and sits behind a large waste and several standard bunkers. The fairway actually extends past the green on the right. Definitely driveable. The 17th is a mid-length par 3 with the green tucked behind a large waste bunker. The finishing hole is a good one. Long dogleg left with water on the inside and a fairway bunker on the outside elbow. The green is protected with two bunkers.
It has a little bit of everything, some fun, interesting, boring and strange holes. Sounds like Myrtle Beach. Legends does offer good golf package values.