The Legends is home to five outstanding and distinctly different courses – Parkland, Heritage, Moorland, Heathland, and Oyster Bay. Moorland was designed by Pete Dye and is the most challenging of the three courses and requires target golf thanks to large expanses of natural growth, sand, sculpted terrain, water, and waste areas combined with extraordinary undulations and bulk headed areas. Moorland at The Legends was designated by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 50 Toughest Courses.” Heathland is a return to the “Old Country” traditions and is molded in the image of the British Isles links courses with holes reminiscent of St. Andrews - no tree or high vegetation, strategically placed steep bunkers, and deep rough. Oyster Bay, rated 4 ½ stars and “Best New Resort Course” by Golf Digest combines a rare, harmonious blend of penal, heroic, and strategic golf shots with cavernous bunkers and wickedly undulation greens. And Heritage Club (rated #46 in Golf Digest's 2007/2009 "Top 100 Public Courses in America") is a trip back in time, built on two historic plantations this is the more traditional course with giant magnolias, freshwater lakes, and marshes.
We played Parkland during a week long golf vacation to Myrtle Beach and really enjoyed it. Parkland leverages the diversity and beauty of the natural terrain with contoured, tree lined fairways, vast natural areas, deep faced bunkers, and massive multi-level greens. Strategy from tee to green as well as a deft touch off the tee and on the approach is required to score well here. The course plays in and out of some neighborhoods as well as through the natural areas - you're in for a great round of golf as well as a very scenic cart ride through the marshes and trees.
The first hole sets the stage for what you're up against when you play Parkland - a 380 yard par 4 with a wide forgiving contoured fairway, playable rough, 10 soft sand bunkers of all shapes and sizes, and a big elevated green with both slope and undulation. What makes this course fun is that it throws a little bit of everything at you - forced carries, deep and steep bunkers and plenty of them, natural areas, risk reward opportunities, trees, and water on 12 holes.
The bunkers as well as the greens are what made Parkland very challenging for us Texas flat landers. The greens are large, hold the ball well, and in very good condition, but they have plenty of ridges, slope, and undulation, are fast, and for us two and three putts were common. Some of the greens are a real roller coaster ride.
Make sure you make every effort to avoid the 112 bunkers. They range in size from small pot bunkers to huge, very steep, and deep bus sized bunkers. In fact, you may want to carry a ladder and some snacks, water, or a lunch each time you go into one of the steep ones - you may be there awhile. I was in them quite frequently and occasionally I would escape from one only to land in it's next door neighbor. I'm still shaking sand from my pockets, shoes, and hair!
The fairways are forgiving unless you spray the ball and encounter the bunkers, huge mounds, or berms. The fairways were lush and thick so we didn't get the roll like you do on your flat and dry Texas fairways. This was the first course of 10 that we played and we found that the dense thick ocean air and the lack of roll forced us to club up one or two clubs on each shot - we were easily losing 30 to 40 yards per shot.
Parkland At The Legends has some very fun holes like the 200 yard par 3 #5 with a carry over water to a green with water around the back and sides of the green and two big bunkers protecting the front; #9 gives you a good risk reward shot if you want to try to shorten this dog leg right that follows a creek along the right side to a green that requires a precise landing; and #11 that has a forced carry over a natural area to a small landing zone guarded by four bunkers and then a target shot to the green with water across the front and 5 bunkers around the rest of it. And the finishing hole is going to make you want to come back to master this 18.
The Legends is also home to Ted Frick Classic Swing Golf School and custom club fitting. After our round, I was ready to sign up for a bunker lesson.
Rates: $84.00 to $135.00
The clubhouse is unbelievable, the pro shop is very well stocked, the practice facilities are excellent, and the food is good.
Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating
The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this: links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses!
All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course. In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40. We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.