True Blue Golf Club made its much-ballyhooed debut in 1988, joining 4-year-old sister course Caledonia. Flashier than that charming Southern belle, True Blue—once considered one of the Grand Strand’s hardest courses—represented the fourth creation of artist and architect Mike Stranz, who was named “Architect of the Year” by Golf World in 1998 for his work on the former rice and indigo plantations of the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Patterned to some degree after Pine Valley and Pinehurst No. 2, the adjacent public courses share a deliberate emphasis on enhancing their natural aesthetic beauty. At True Blue, native grasses and vegetation, centuries-old oaks, and rolling terrain provided a prime canvas for Stranz’s creation, where landscaping takes a backseat to nature. The course is known for its expansive fairways, dramatic elevation changes, undulating greens, and an abundance of bunkers.
The layout, marketed in its early days as “Golf’s Heaven and Hell,” as has softened a bit over time, but plenty of challenges remain. Golfers get down to business right away on the 624-yard, par-5 first hole (back tees), the longest on the course and the first of five par-5s. The quirky sixth, a 404-yard par-4, features an optional green. The par-3 16th, one of five par-3s, stretches to 208 yards, while the 437-yard, par-4 closing hole is bracketed by water to the left and waste bunkers to the right. Five sets of tees take True Blue from 4,900 to 7,100 yards, and the course offers an on-site driving range.
True Blue opened to immediate acclaim that has only grown. Ranked in Golf Magazine’s 2014 “Top 100 Courses You Can Play,” True Blue also ranks No. 30 on Golf Digest’s list of best courses in South Carolina and third on the magazine’s “Myrtle Beach’s Super 60” rankings. The course has also made Golfweek’s list of “Best Courses You Can Play” in South Carolina, and GOLF Magazine has ranked it the eighth-best public course in the state.