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Monday After The Masters Attracts Big-Name Golfers, Celebrities to Grand Strand

The folks at Augusta National say The Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday.  People in Myrtle Beach know the ultimate post-tournament party doesn’t begin until the following day at the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After The Masters Celebrity Pro-Am.


Held each Monday following The Masters at Barefoot Golf Resort's Dye Course in North Myrtle Beach, the celebrity fund-raiser commemorates  its 25th year of bringing together some of the biggest names in sports, music, movies and TV for a great time and a worthy cause. Featuring PGA and LPGA players paired with celebrities and sponsors, the good-natured competition is open and available for the general public to laugh along with the stars and get autographs from some of your favorite celebrities.


Benefitting the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundations, the tournament has raised nearly $2 million dollars for South Carolina-based charities, including the Central Carolina Community Foundation, the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, and Hootie's Homegrown Roundup musical showcase. Although the big day, of course, comes the Monday after the Masters, the fundraiser is actually a three-day event (April 7-9) that includes a charity auction, Masters viewing party, practice round and a big closing concert.


The main event takes place on Monday, April 9, and patrons can purchase tournament-only passes or three-day VIP packages that include all the festivities. Ticketholders can make the drive to Barefoot Resort to park and catch a shuttle to the course for a full day of festivities. Arrive early to see the side-splittingly hilarious long drive contest before the star-studded foursomes hit the Dye Course layout.


Grab a good spot by the green and watch each group interact with the gallery, or find your favorite fivesome and follow them around the course. Most of the celebrities make themselves available to fans to take selfies or sign autographs, and the unscripted comedy that takes place between the ropes is funnier than most of scripted lines that made them famous. The largest galleries gather around regulars like golfer John Daly, quarterback Jim McMahon and comedian Ron White.


Although this year's list of celebrities and golfers has not yet been announced, there's always a bumper crop of talent in the field. Past participants include actors Samuel L. Jackson and Bill Murray, musicians Alice Cooper and Jason Mraz, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, baseball hall-of-famers Johnny Bench and George Brett, NFL greats Marcus Allen, John Elway, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and Michael Strahan, soccer stars Alexi Lalas and Mia Hamm,, NASCAR drivers Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip and Denny Hamlin, and pro wrestler Rick Flair.


Among the top golfers to participate in the event over the years are legends like Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Nancy Lopez. Other pros include Tommy Armour III, Rich Beem, Brandel Chamblee, Fred Couples, Chris DiMarco, David Duval, Lee Elder, Nick Faldo, David Faherty, Fred Funk, Jim Furyk, Tim Herron, JB Holmes, Tom Kite, Davis Love III, Scott McCarron, Andy North, Brett Quigley, Charlie Rymer, Scott Simpson, Craig Stadler and more.


Following a full day of fun on the links, the party moves across the bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway to the House of Blues at Barefoot Landing. The Hootie & the Blowfish and Friends Concert sees all the musicians (and even some who are not) take the stage at the HOB to jam with the band It’s the finale of a three-day party that allows invitees to rub elbows with some of the biggest names in entertainment. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.hootiegolf.com.

Myrtle Beach’s own Dustin Johnson Hosts World Junior Golf Championship on Grand Strand

PGA Tour professional Dustin Johnson has already achieved the status as the world's No. 1-ranked golfer. Now he's closing in on adding the top-ranked junior golf tournament.


The Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship, affectionately known as "The DJ," will be held at the award-winning TPC of Myrtle Beach on Feb. 23-25. The third annual event will feature many of the best junior golfers in the U.S. and world, as well as a strong contingent from the Carolinas, vying for the victory in the 54-hole tournament.


The field currently includes 20 American juniors ranked in the top 100, 13 boys and seven girls, according to either the ratings by Golfweek or the Junior Golf Scoreboard. Participating players hail from 22 different states, as well as Canada and New Zealand. A qualifier, scheduled for Feb. 10 at Wild Wing Avocet, will set the final field.


Many of those names will undoubtedly join Johnson on the PGA Tour someday, something the South Carolina native has wanted to help other achieve after his own rise through the ranks. Somewhat overlooked coming out of high school, Johnson played collegiately at his in-state school, Coastal Carolina University, putting the program on the map as a two-time All-American and by leading the Chanticleers to its first NCAA Championship tournament appearance.


Johnson still calls Myrtle Beach home and has gone the distance to help spread the word about the Golf Capital of the World. In addition to hosting his junior golf tournament in his adopted hometown, Johnson also opened his own golf school on the Grand Strand. The Dustin Johnson Golf School is operated by his former college coach, Allen Terrell. The Dustin Johnson Foundation is DJ's pet project to promote junior golf and provide more opportunities for young golfers to reach their goals.


The DJ World Junior is the most prominent path provided by the world's top-ranked golfer, giving youngsters a vehicle to compete at the top level and earn exposure to major college programs. The Feb. 10 qualifier provides up to 84 golfers the chance to earn a spot in the final field on the golf course. The top three boys and girls from the qualifier will win a spot in the main event, and the rest will be in line to fill an alternate spots that might come available.


The DJ World Junior is particularly helpful to players from Johnson's backyard. This year's tournament will feature nine of the top 10-ranked boys from the state of South Carolina, as well as seven of the top 10-ranked boys from North Carolina. Half of the top-10 ranked girls from both Carolinas are also in the field. The Grand Strand is also well represented, with two-time SCHSL girls state champion Smith Knaffle and defending SCHSL boys state champion Holden Grigg set to make a big splash on the national scene.


Johnson’s tournament is his latest effort to provide young golfers with the same opportunities to reach the top of the game by following in his footsteps. After enjoying a successful college career at CCU, Johnson turned pro in 2007 and almost immediately began turning heads. He has at least one win every year on tour since 2008, but his big breakthrough came with his first major victory at the 2016 U.S. Open. That win vaulted him atop the World Golf Rankings, and he backed it up with a career-best four wins in 2017. He’s already off to a hot start by winning the Sentry Champions of Golf title in January, and he still takes time out of his hectic schedule to host The DJ World Junior, which he hopes to attend again in 2018.

General Hackler Collegiate Golf Championship Attracts Top Teams, Stars to Myrtle Beach

One of the most prestigious college golf tournaments in the nation will be held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this spring as the 17th Annual General Hackler Collegiate Golf Championship comes to town. Some of the top-ranked college golfers and teams will tee it up at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club on March 10-11.


Two of the top-five-ranked teams in the country will lead the field of 15 college teams - No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 Georgia Tech - as well as SEC power programs No. 10 LSU and No. 19 Kentucky. East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Kent State, Liberty, North Carolina State, North Florida, Princeton, South Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech and host Coastal Carolina round out the talent-rich field, which also includes several of the top-ranked individuals.


North Carolina State's Stephen Franken, North Florida's Philip Knowles, Georgia Tech's Jacob Joiner, LSU's Jacob Bergeron and Florida's Gordon Neale, all of whom are ranked among the nation’s top 50 individual players, are participating in the tournament, according to GolfStat.com's final fall rankings. These players and Georgia Tech's Andy Ogletree, Tyler Strafaci and Noah Norton; Texas A&M's Andrew Paysse and Josh Gliege; Kentucky's Lukas Euler and Tyler McDaniel; LSU's Luis Gagne, Trey Winstead and Philip Barbaree; South Carolina's Scott Stevens; and Kent State's Ian Holt give the tournament field 17 of the top 100 golfers in the nation.


The General Hackler Collegiate Golf Championship not only offers the best college golfers the chance to compete against quality competition on one of Myrtle Beach's most recognized courses in The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, it also gives fans the opportunity to see some of the future stars of the PGA Tour in action before they become famous. Past participants include the current No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, former Coastal Carolina two-time All-American Dustin Johnson, and fellow PGA Tour members Bill Haas of Wake Forest, Brendon de Jonge of Virginia Tech, and Patrick Reed of Augusta State.


Last year's General Hackler Collegiate Golf Championship was one for the record books as Wake Forest's Will Zalatoris hit an incredible wedge shot on the 18th hole for birdie to give the Demon Deacons the team title and earn the then-junior his first medalist honor of the year. The two previous events also saw the overall medalists lead their respective teams to victory - South Carolina's Matthew NeSmith in 2016, and North Florida's Joey Petronio in 2015. In 2014, Coastal Carolina's Andrew Dorn held home course advantage for the individual title, becoming the only Chanticleer to win the home tournament.


The General Hackler Collegiate Golf Championship will once again be held at the prestigious Dunes Golf & Beach Club, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean on the north end of Myrtle Beach. The Robert Trent Jones layout has hosted several professional tour events since its 1949 opening. Recent renovations were performed by Robert’s son Rees Jones, who remained true to his father's original design. There's not a bad spot on the course to watch, although galleries tend to gravitate toward the double-dogleg No. 13 "Waterloo" that wraps around Lake Singleton and dares golfers to hit across the gator-filled water hazard.


The Dunes Golf & Beach Club course is one of more than 80 championship courses on the Grand Strand, and the General Hackler Collegiate Golf Championship provides a great opportunity to both play and watch some top-level golf. Book a spring golf package for the same time as the tournament so you can take turns between watching the best and brightest compete, and showing off some skills of your own by booking a Myrtle Beach golf package. Click on the Golf Packages tab at MyrtleBeachGolf.com for more information on the best rates available on greens fees and accommodations, and visit goccusports.com for more tourney info.

Catch a Direct Flight to Myrtle Beach and Make Your Tee Time in Record Time

Myrtle Beach International has had a recent $118 million renovation project that included the construction of a new terminal, "MYR" now offers vastly expanded service that includes direct flights to and from 35 North American cities, as well as connecting flights to virtually all domestic and international destinations.


That's great news for golfers, many of whom can now find themselves on the first tee in Myrtle Beach in less time than it takes to play nine holes back home. Golfers in the Northeast, on the Eastern Seaboard and in the Midwest are only a short flight away from playing the more than 75 courses on the Grand Strand.


Visitors can save time and money by packaging their air travel with their greens fees, accommodations, car rentals and more. MyrtleBeachGolf.com offers a long list of package plans that can make your dream golf getaway to the Grand Strand both affordable and convenient.


Package plans allow golfers to select their flight, lodging and the courses they want to play during their Myrtle Beach golf retreat. Purchase pre-planned packages that include group courses at drastically reduced rates, or build your own dream package by booking tee times at the layouts you want to play.


MyrtleBeachGolf.com guarantees you will receive the lowest rates available at more than 75 layouts along the Strand. Package perks include free rounds and replays, complimentary meals and drinks, and gift cards of $100 or $150, depending on the package. With deals like that, you can’t afford not to take a mini-vacation to play golf on the Grand Strand.


Featuring eight airlines providing direct service to and from Myrtle Beach, MYR has greatly expanded the number of routes offered and the areas with direct connections. Two airlines, Allegiant Air and Spirit, each offer more than a dozen direct destinations. The other six provide more limited service, but their routes to and from major hubs make it easier for golfers to find connecting flights, as well.


Here’s a list of direct-flight destinations available to and from MYR:


* American: Charlotte (NC), Chicago (IL), Dallas (TX), New York (NY), Philadelphia (PA), Washington (DC)


* Allegiant: Allentown (PA), Bellville (IL), Cincinnati (OH), Clarksburg (WV), Cleveland (OH), Columbus (OH), Dayton (OH), Fort Wayne (IN), Harrisburg (PA), Huntington (WV), Indianapolis (IN), Lexington (KY), Newburgh (NY), Pittsburgh (PA), Syracuse (NY)

* Delta: Atlanta (GA), Boston (MA), Detroit (MI), New York (NY)


* Spirit: Akron (OH), Atlantic City (NJ), Baltimore (MD), Boston (MA), Charleston (WV), Chicago (IL), Cleveland (OH), Columbus (OH), Dallas (TX), Detroit (MI), Fort Lauderdale (FL), Hartford (CT), Latrobe (PA), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MN), New York (NY), Niagara Falls (NY), Philadelphia (PA), Pittsburgh (PA), Plattsburg (NY)


* Porter: Toronto (ONT)


* Sun Country: Minneapolis/St. Paul (MN)


* United: Chicago (IL), Newark (NJ)


* WestJet: Toronto (ONT)


With so many direct flights taking off from and landing at MYR, it’s never been easier for golfers to escape the colder climes of their home courses for a thrilling experience in Golf Town USA. Check out our many package plans and other perks offered at MyrtleBeachGolf.com, and book your flight to the Grand Strand through www.flymyrtlebeach.com.

Beat the Wintertime Blues on the Greens of Grand Strand Golf Courses

The best place for golfers to beat the wintertime blues is on the greens of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While many of our neighbors to the north are forced to put away their clubs for the winter and wait out the cold, ice and snow, golfers on the Grand Strand are teeing it up at more than 75 courses under mild temperatures and playing conditions.


In fact, winter golf in Myrtle Beach is one of the best-kept secrets among snowbirds and regulars, who have discovered the many advantages of booking an off-season golf trip to Myrtle Beach. More affordable greens fees, more available tee times and a more agreeable climate are only a few of the reasons to take a Myrtle Beach golf getaway this winter. Consider all of these Grand Strand winter-golfing draws:


* Affordability: There's an old Southern expression about eggs being cheaper in the country. The same laws of supply and demand also hold true with golf balls on the Grand Strand. With smaller crowds in town and lighter traffic on the links, everything is more affordable when you come to Myrtle Beach in the winter, including accommodations, airfare, ground transportation and, of course, greens fees. In fact, even dining out is easier on the wallet. Several popular restaurants, such as Liberty Brewery & Grill, TBonz Gill & Grill, and other local hot spots, offer two-for-one dinners and other specials on select nights. A little pocket money goes a long way both on and off the course.


* Availability: The popularity of golf in Myrtle Beach the other nine months of the year can make it tough to get on your favorite courses, much less get the tee times you prefer. That's not much of an issue in the winter, when many of the courses can more easily cater to your wants and needs. Visiting golfers can build their dream package by booking their tee times in advance and guaranteeing their foursome a spot on the first tee at their reserved time. The smaller crowds also pay dividends off the course, as hotels and resorts, restaurants and bars, and shops and attractions offer easier access to all the fun things there are to do on the Grand Strand.


* Climate: All weather is relative, depending on what you are used to. But for folks from the Great White North, Myrtle Beach is a tropical paradise in the winter. You might not be able to sunbathe on the beach or take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean (even though highs in the 70s are no stranger to winter on the Strand), but the winter climate offers ideal golf conditions for those who prefer a slight chill in the air over heat and humidity. The average high temperature is 55 in January, 58 in February and 64 in March, and precipitation levels are below 4 inches per month. Myrtle Beach can still have its chillier moments, but the odds are in your favor for excellent playing conditions.


* Special Packages: Myrtle Beach area golf courses go the extra mile to attract golfers in the off-season, and special packages you won't find any other time of the year are offered during the winter. Golfers can book packages ranging from two to seven days or more and receive the guaranteed best rates available by booking through MyrtleBeachGolf.com, as well as discounts on accommodations and car rentals, and valuable perks that include free rounds and replays, $100 to $150 gift cards, and complimentary breakfasts, lunches and drinks. Check out our complete list of packages by clicking the “Golf Packages” tab at the top of the screen.


There’s no need to let your golf game go the way of the thermometer this winter. Visit MyrtleBeachGolf.com, take a much-needed Myrtle Beach golf getaway, and beat the wintertime blues by playing the best golf courses on the Grand Strand.

Take a tour of 6 of the premier golf courses on the Grand Strand

The stage is set for The Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic, a fun and exciting way to usher in a new year of great golf on the Grand Strand. Played during the last few days of January, the 54-hole golf tournament pits teams of two against each other and the challenging layouts of six signature Myrtle Beach courses. The tournament will feature three rounds — one each of “Best Ball,” “Modified Alternate Shot” and “Texas Scramble.” If that’s not enough to keep things interesting, throughout the tournament, players will participate in on-course contests along the way. Flight prizes and random drawings will also add to the excitement.

Now in its fourth year, the 2018 Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic is shaping up to be the best yet. Players from all across the country will get to experience the beauty of the coastal environment in an incredible atmosphere. Unfortunately, the Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic has already hit its registration cap of 100 players, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the action. Plan a trip to Myrtle Beach for January 28-31, 2018, to watch all the festivities. Or, book your own golf getaway at MyrtleBeachGolf.com and test yourself on these six phenomenal layouts featured in the tournament.

1. Burning Ridge Golf Club
Whether you’re a high-handicap golfer looking for an enjoyable round or a scratch golfer looking for a bona fide test, Burning Ridge is sure to be equal parts fun and challenging. On top of the great course play, the staff goes out of its way to make you feel comfortable and well taken care of.

2. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
Caledonia is constantly being recognized for its design and beauty, yet somehow remains a well-kept secret on the Grand Strand. From the entrance lined with centuries-old live oaks to the antebellum clubhouse, a round at this par-70 course will make a lasting impression on you.

3. Crow Creek Golf Club
Located in the charming fishing village of Calabash, NC, Crow Creek is an 18-hole public course designed by golf royalty Rick Robbins. The Carolina pines and the Caw Caw River that borders the property create a gorgeous backdrop for golf.

4. Lion’s Paw Golf Links
The skill of architect Willard Byrd is on full display at Lion’s Paw. Part wild and untamed, part rustic and tranquil, this stunning course features deep, sugar-sand bunkers and MiniVerde greens.

5. Tournament Players Club of Myrtle Beach
Test yourself against the golf legends who have made their mark on this complex, 18-hole, undulating par-72 course. Greats like Gary Player and Lee Trevino have taken on this Tour-caliber course, but it’s actually open to the public. Test yourself on Myrtle Beach’s version of a PGA layout.

6. The Wizard Golf Club
What do you get when you mix Southern flavor with a hint of Scottish flair? The Wizard features tricky elevation changes reminiscent of its cousins across the pond. The fairways are wide, but mounds and vegetation can impede your path to the large greens.

Brrrr-ing on the winter golf!

As we head deeper into the colder months, many courses in the northern regions start going into hibernation. The flagsticks come down, and the deer and geese move in. If your favorite fairways are now a food plot for Bambi, or if you need a respite from the frigid temps, text your crew and start planning a winter golf trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Book through MyrtleBeachGolf.com, and you’ll get access to more than 75 championship layouts, many of which have been designed by legendary architects like Pete Dye. Golf trips can get expensive, but with MyrtleBeachGolf.com, you’ll discover that you can get incredibly low rates – and can even take care of your lodging, too! So, rather than waiting for the ground to thaw in March or April, stay sharp playing multiple rounds on challenging courses in the midst of the Grand Strand’s beauty. Here are three area courses that earned rave reviews for winter golf, from visitors – so you don’t just have to take our word for it:

Grande Dunes Resort Club
Fairway Insider reviewer, Vickey, gave Grande Dunes 4 out of 5 stars and said, “This was our favorite course. The greens were running a 10, which was nice because I like fast greens. It was in great shape for playing in late November.”

Sitting high atop a bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, the award-winning course at Grande Dunes is the perfect jumping off point for your winter golf retreat. The 18 holes are links-style in design with wide-open Bermuda grass fairways. After you sink your last putt, head over to the clubhouse for an exquisite Mediterranean-style meal.

Legends Golf Resort – Moorland Course
After playing in mid-December, reviewer William gave Moorland 5 stars and had this to say: “If you appreciate amazing design and creativity in a golf course, then you must play here. Many blind approaches on the best-placed balls in the fairway. Supports the ‘thinking man's game’ quote. The course is in great shape from tee to green and all the other things that will creep up if you find your ball going astray.”

The Moorland Course is known as one of the toughest courses on the East Coast, and for good reason. The renowned architect, P.B. Dye, wasn’t messing around when he designed Moorland. It features sculpted terrain that rises to great heights and sinks down in the bunkers, so you will really have to judge the slope before you take your shot.

True Blue Golf Club
Moss, another reviewer, felt that True Blue was deserving of 5 stars and had this to say about the course: “It is unquestionably a deserving top ten selection by any criteria you choose.”

You might expect a comment like this to come in the month of May, but Moss left his review on January 8. So, instead of busting out your big puffer coat to stay warm on the course, head to True Blue in Pawleys Island. Located just a short drive from Myrtle Beach, it offers a serene escape from the bustling beach scene. True Blue leans into its Lowcountry landscape with twisted live oaks and towering pines, plus tidal creeks and salt marshes serve as the backdrop for designer Mike Stranz’s masterpiece.

This is just a taste of what you can experience on a winter golf trip to the Myrtle Beach area. On top of the beautiful scenery and only slightly cool temperatures, you can’t beat the prices offered by MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Plan your Myrtle Beach Golf Trip Around Super Bowl Weekend

It's too early to tell which NFL team will claim this season's Super Bowl title, but the big winners on the Grand Strand will be the golfers who spend that weekend focused on the greens, not the gridiron. While the world takes a timeout to watch the biggest sports event of the year, savvy golfers will head to Myrtle Beach to play their favorite game on the area’s famed links.


Super Bowl LII is set for Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis, Minn., but Myrtle Beach is the place to be for people who prefer to chase the little white ball rather than watch the oblong brown one. Book your golf getaway for that same weekend to enjoy a secluded time on the links and a wild time at one of the many Super Bowl parties on the Grand Strand.


The big game doesn't kick off ’til after 6 p.m., a good hour after darkness pulls the plug on your golf round. That's plenty of time to find the closest 19th hole or local watering hole to catch all the football action. Here's a list of some of the best combinations of golf courses and sports bars where you can experience a truly Super Sunday in Myrtle Beach:


* Barefoot Golf Resort: Play one of the four Barefoot masterpieces, and you are in prime position to catch the Super Bowl at one of Barefoot Landing's popular hangouts, such as Bully's Pub & Grill, Dick's Last Resort, the House of Blues or Wild Wing Cafe. If the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the big game, head a bit deeper into North Myrtle Beach to Steelers' hot spot Oscar's.


* Grande Dunes Golf Resort: Located across the Intracoastal Waterway from the Myrtle Beach mainland, the Grande Dunes is just across the bridge from a couple of unique venues for watching the Super Bowl. The Anchor Cafe is situated over the Waterway for great views of the waterway and the big-screen TVs, and the Backyard Sports Bar and Grill has cornhole boards and other games to enjoy while watching football.


* Legends Golf Resort: If you find yourself out in the Carolina Forest area to play one of the three Legends courses there, you don't have to travel far to find a great place to watch the Super Bowl. The on-site Ailsa Pub is a cozy Irish lounge, and nearby Handley's Pub & Grub throws a big bash to celebrate the occasion.


* Myrtlewood Golf Club: The Palmetto and PineHills courses at this classic Myrtle Beach tract are conveniently located just across the Highway 17 Bypass from Broadway at the Beach, the unofficial headquarters for local Super Bowl parties. Sports bars like Broadway Louie's, Carolina Ale House, Dave & Buster’s and Tilted Kilt will be kicking long after the final whistle.


* Pine Lakes Country Club: "The Granddaddy" is not only a great course to play, but Myrtle Beach's first golf course is also close to several local neighborhood bars. Enjoy a couple of post-round drinks at the on-site Robert White Pub, then head a few doors down to Foster's Café & Bar, Jimmagan's or Pine Lakes Tavern to catch the game with a lot of locals.


* Prestwick Country Club: The South Strand is home to several great courses and watering holes. Play Prestwick and check out the Super Bowl at Spencerz Sports Bar or the Sundown Sports Pub.


* Waccamaw Golf Trial: On the extreme south end of the Strand, the Waccamaw Golf Trail features a dozen championship courses and some of the best in the South, like Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and sister course True Blue Golf Club. Cap a great round by catching the Super Bowl at Pawleys Island Tavern or Island Bar & Grill.


No matter how the big game turns out, you and your foursome are sure to have a super time spending Super Bowl weekend on the golf courses and in the sports bars of the Myrtle Beach area.

Legends vs. Glens: A Tale of the Tape

One of the best tips for planning a Myrtle Beach golf getaway is to check out the "group" packages. We're not talking about your foursome (or 20-some, or however large your golfing crew in Myrtle Beach), but rather the golf groups that operate several courses under one umbrella and offer big savings for playing their layouts.


Two of the more prominent groups on the Grand Strand are the Legends and Glens golf groups, which both feature "Play 3, Get the Fourth Free" deals, as well as other perks. For instance, the Legends package provides free breakfast, lunch and two beers per round, while the Glens group allows free pre-book replays for each round.


But the biggest difference between the two groups are the courses, of course. Offering a wide variety of amenities, styles and degrees of difficulty, the Legends and the Glens give golfers great opportunities to play some of the best layouts on the Grand Strand. Here's a head-to-head comparison between two of the top groups in town:


Glens Golf Group
* This unique group of courses gives golfers a nice mix of styles and landscapes. The recent closing of Heather Glen leaves the group with only three layouts, but they offer a diverse experience and competitive rates. The centerpiece is Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links, a Scottish-style links course in Little River, South Carolina. Located near the headwaters of the Intracoastal Waterway, Glen Dornoch offers scenic waterfront views and three of the toughest finishing holes on the Grand Strand. The clubhouse is modeled after a Scottish castle where you and your crew can enjoy a few cold ones and recount your round from the pub.


Farther inland in Conway, South Carolina, Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club takes golfers back to the roots of the game with long, open fairways and elevated greens. The course boasts an English manor-style clubhouse with pro shop, restaurant, bar and the Myrtle Beach Golf School for those looking to take a few lessons.
The third layout, Possum Trot Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach, is known as the "Friendliest Course on the Strand." Regulars and local characters congregate in the clubhouse to swap stories from their rounds on the open, spacious setup.


Legends Golf Group
* The name says it all for this five-course group, whose layouts were designed by some of the biggest names in golf and have their own unique identities. The Moorland course, the handiwork of legendary architect P.B. Dye, uses elevation changes, sculpted terrain and large bunkers to create a real challenge. The Parkland course is inspired by a pair of masters and their masterpieces — Alister MacKenzie (Augusta National) and George Thomas (Riviera Country Club) — and incorporates the natural beauty of the native woodlands and wetlands to create a challenging but beautiful atmosphere. The Tom Doak-designed Heathland course incorporates a distinct British feel in its layout and rounds out the trio of courses found at the Legends Golf Group's massive Myrtle Beach complex, which also features a plantation-style clubhouse, driving ranges and putting greens, a pro shop, and the famed Ailsa's Pub for great post-round food and drinks.


The other two area Legends properties were designed by Dan Maples and are located on extreme opposite ends of the Grand Strand — The Heritage Club in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, on the south end and Oyster Bay Golf Links just over the border in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. The 60-mile difference provides play in the scenic South Carolina Lowcountry and the lovely North Carolina Sandhills.


The good news for golfers trying to decide between a Glens or Legends golf getaway is that there really is no wrong answer. Both offer quality courses with affordable packages and lots of perks, so you and your group can find the golf group that fits your needs. For more information, check out the available packages at these and other Grand Strand golf courses.

Enter the Golf School Giveaway to Win a Free Myrtle Beach Golf Getaway


For golfers looking to step up their game and have a great time on the links in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Learn to Play Like a Pro Golf School Giveaway also allows the winner to bring along three golfing buddies for some serious instruction and some not-so-serious foursome fun both on and off the course.


The grand-prize winner receives a trip to the popular golf destination of Myrtle Beach, three morning rounds of golf at a trio of award-winning courses, and afternoon golf lessons from noted player and teacher Hugh Royer III of Hugh Royer Golf Instruction. By the end of the visit, you and your foursome will be swinging like kings.


The winner gets more than free golf and instruction. After a busy day on the course and in class, be our guests for dinner for four at Travinia Italian Kitchen in The Market Common. Enjoy a good time out on the town with friends and get some well-deserved rest with three nights of accommodations provided by Myrtle Beach Golf.


The lucky foursome will start their days with 18 holes at Arcadian Shores Golf Club, Blackmoor Golf Club and Tidewater Golf Club, where you can try to incorporate the lessons you've learned from Royer in real golfing scenarios. After a lunch break, let Royer break down your swing mechanics and teach you how to correct flaws.


Royer is one of the best in the business at helping golfers find the magic touch. Following in the footsteps of his famous father and namesake, who worked with some of the biggest names in golf during his illustrious career, Royer will show you and your partners how to play like the pros, even if you're only average Joes.


Royer earned his PGA Tour card in 1995 and had four top-10 finishes before a shoulder injury cut his playing career short. Having grown up under his famous father's guidance, Royer knew exactly what he wanted to do in his post-playing career, using his unique teaching philosophy to help the next generation of the sport’s students.


Royer spent three years at the International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head Island, SC, where he trained some of the world's top juniors and college players. He took his teaching to the next level in 2007 on the Grand Strand, opening his own school where he began working with everyone from scratch golfers to high-handicappers.


After picking up some tricks of the trade from Royer, the winning foursome can put them into practice on three iconic Myrtle Beach courses. Arcadian Shores is a Rees Jones design on the north end of Myrtle Beach that boasts a brand new clubhouse; Blackmoor is a Gary Player layout in the scenic Lowcountry setting of Murrells Inlet.


The highlight of the golf experience arguably comes at Tidewater Golf Club in the Cherry Grove section of North Myrtle Beach, where the inlets and wetlands present a scenic and challenging round of golf. Known as "the Pebble Beach of the East Coast," this Ken Tomlinson design will put your newfound skills to a difficult but enjoyable test.


The winning foursome will carry home a memorable golf experience and a new arsenal of skills to use on the course upon returning home. Perhaps you will be the one taking other golfers to school with the knowledge you gained from Hugh Royer Golf Instruction, along with the application of those skills on three Myrtle Beach courses.


It’s easy and free to enter by filling out the online form at myrtlebeachgolf.com/golf-school-giveaway. The drawing will be held in February 2018. Good luck in the contest and in your game!

Historic Pine Lakes Turns 80…and Looks Forward to Bright Future


Opened in 1927 as part of the former Ocean Forest Hotel development, Pine Lakes is the course that started it all for the local golf industry and helped put Myrtle Beach on the map as a major golf destination. Under new ownership and after undergoing major renovations a decade ago, Pine Lakes remains a staple of the Myrtle Beach golf market and a hit with those who have an appreciation for the past.


Pine Lakes is much more than a golf course - it's a living museum to the sport's impact on the Grand Strand and beyond. Not only does the historic clubhouse house the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to all the people who played a part in turning the Grand Strand into a golf mecca, but there's also a plaque commemorating the founding of the iconic magazine Sports Illustrated, which was started by Time Inc. executives on a golf getaway here in 1954. Late Pine Lakes founders and figures like former owner Sandy Miles and golf director Jimmy D'Angelo are also enshrined, as well as other prominent figures who helped transform Myrtle Beach into Golf Town USA.


Their legacy lives on in the 18-hole layout that underwent a major redesign starting in 2007. Originally built by noted Scottish architect Robert White, who left influences from his homeland on the links, Pine Lakes' front nine was redesigned by Craig Schreiner to provide much-needed updates and upgrades. Now measuring at 6,675 yards, the semi-private par-70 plays a bit short compared to many of the new layouts that have landed on the Grand Strand over the years since Pine Lakes first opened. But the unique design of The Granddaddy makes it a must-play for those with an interest in local golf history.


The straightforward layout doesn't throw golfers any curveballs or require any blind trick shots, but it does reward solid shots in the middle of the fairways on the new SeaDwarf Paspalum surface. With only two par-5s on the course, the long ball is not required but can lead to some birdie opportunities. There are relatively few bunkers, sand traps and water hazards to contend with, making this a great course for golfers who can hit it straight but not necessarily far. The new greens are fair and not so fast that you can't finish those birdie tries.


After your round, make a beeline for the clubhouse and the Robert White Pub for a post-round drink and a heavy dose of history. The walls are lined with blasts from the past, including images from famous tournaments and other memorable moments. Pine Lakes hosted the Carolinas Net Amateur Championship in 2016 and has a long history of holding top tournaments - including national, regional and local. The stately clubhouse is also home to weddings and other private functions, and it includes a swimming pool, the Snug Pub, the Hall of Fame Garden and other unique features to explore.


Perhaps the best part of playing Pine Lakes is the indefinable quality of the Southern charm and hospitality that exudes from the course, clubhouse and employees. Guests are treated like royalty, served special treats like chowder and mimosas, and generally made to feel like a member, even if they are only playing for one day. The tradition continues as the club looks to remain a centerpiece of the Myrtle Beach golf scene for years to come.

Come to the Grand Strand for the golf, stay for the sports bars

Planning a golf getaway to the Grand Strand? Don’t forget to secure your tee times through MyrtleBeachGolf.com. You’ll get prime access to more than 75 stunning courses and clubs from just across the state line in Bolivia, North Carolina, south to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. Many of these layouts have earned national acclaim from publications like Golfweek — and for good reason. Celebrity architects like Mike Stranz and P.B. Dye found incredible ways to weave challenging holes between the natural beauty of coastal South Carolina. And the best part is, with MyrtleBeachGolf.com, you’ll find incredible rates on tee times and exceptional lodging.

One of the great features of a golf trip in Myrtle Beach is that you can mix multiple sports into an outing. After a round of 18, you can catch the game at one of these awesome local sports bars that have a ton of character, great food and drinks, and plenty of TVs:

Dead Dog Saloon
When you’re craving seafood and want to eat it from a spot where you can actually see where it was caught, head to Dead Dog. Situated on the tidal marshes and creeks of Murrells Inlet, just 20 minutes south of Myrtle Beach, this place serves up awesome meals with a view. Despite the slightly morbid name, this MarshWalk spot comes alive at kickoff and tip-off.

Overtime Sports Cafe
Swap your polo for your jersey and head to Overtime Sports Cafe in North Myrtle Beach. The national sports bar/wing joint chains ain’t got nothing on Overtime. With more than 150 TVs, plus a 12-foot video wall and four 10-foot-wide projection screens, you’ll always have a clear view of every touchdown or turnover.

Broadway Louie’s
After finding solace on the fairways, come back to the center of the action at Broadway Louie’s, located at the popular shopping/dining/entertainment complex Broadway at the Beach. You can split a New York-style pizza and a 44 oz. pitcher of their famous Pigskin Punch.

Dave & Buster's
Victory over bitter rivals tastes better at Dave & Buster’s. On Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, Dave & Buster’s has an awesome lineup of game-day deals like $5 appetizers. You can wash it all down with more than two dozen beers to choose from.

Dagwood’s Deli and Sports Bar
Sometimes, all you need is a giant sub sandwich, loaded with huge amounts of turkey, ham or roast beef and all your favorite toppings. Dagwood’s Deli serves up amazing subs – the kind that take two hands to grip. They also have a wide selection of domestic and craft beers to sip on while you watch the game.

King Street Grille
If loser is buying, open a tab at King String Grille. Their made-from-scratch menu features memorable dishes like Sweet Tea Fried Chicken and 5 Herb Salmon. But before you get to the entrees, you’ve got to go through their impressive appetizers, like pimento cheese balls and certified Angus beef sliders. Get comfortable and enjoy all four quarters at their Myrtle Beach or Murrells Inlet location.

Come to the Grand Strand hungry for great golf and equally great food, at a quality eatery where you can watch all the weekend games live. Just be sure to book through MyrtleBeachGolf.com sooner rather than later to get the lowest rates.

Play Your Way Down the Intracoastal Waterway at These Top Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

When many golfers think of Myrtle Beach, courses on the Atlantic Ocean first spring to mind. But there's another body of water flowing through the Grand Strand, the Intracoastal Waterway, which can hold its own when it comes to world-class golf on the waterfront.


Running from the Carolina state border to the port city of Georgetown, SC, the local leg of the Intracoastal Waterway parallels the coast from Little River to the Lowcountry, merging with the Waccamaw River and other tributaries en route to Winyah Bay. Along this scenic stretch of water, several award-winning golf courses have been built to take advantage of the unique landscape and incredible views.


Golfers can enjoy championship golf while witnessing such spectacular sights as birds of prey diving for dinner, amazing sunset views from the high-above river bluffs, and yachts sailing up and down the Waterway. Imagine if you could trade in your golf cart for a water taxi and take a tour of the top five layouts on Intracoastal Waterway (listed from north to south):


* Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links: This Donald Ross and Clyde Johnston collaboration winds along a half-mile stretch of the northernmost point of the Intracoastal Waterway, offering wonderful views of the wetlands and woodlands in the small fishing village of Little River. Glen Dornoch gives golfers a trans-Atlantic taste of Scotland with a links-style layout that spans 6,890 yards from the back tees. Glen Dornoch is known for having some of the toughest finishing holes on the Grand Strand, which makes the visit to the castle-like clubhouse for post-round drinks overlooking the Waterway even more rewarding.


* Barefoot Resort & Golf: Sail a little south to North Myrtle Beach to one of the most impressive golf complexes on the Grand Strand. Barefoot Resort & Golf features four courses designed by some of the best players and architects in the game with layouts that bear their names – Dye, Love, Fazio and Norman. The Dye Course, named for famed golf course designer Pete Dye, features natural white sand along the Carolina Bays and challenging fairways that border the Waterway within in the 7,343-yard layout. The Norman Course, the handiwork of legendary golfer/designer Greg Norman, sees seven holes that sit along the Waterway and plays at approximately 7,000 yards.


* Grande Dunes Resort Club: A spectacular bridge crosses the Intracoastal Waterway to the prestigious Grande Dunes clubhouse and layout, which was named National Golf Course of the Year in 2009 by the NGCOA. This award-winning, links-style layout continues to draw rave reviews from vacation golfers and club members alike. Designed by the Roger Rulewich Group, Grande Dunes features elevated bluffs that overlook the Waterway, which diverts to create some unique water hazards. Covering 7,618 yards of scenic waterfront property, the Grande Dunes offers golfers a unique experience that includes views of boats sailing in and out of the adjacent Grande Dunes Marina and the luxurious clubhouse.


* Myrtlewood Golf Course: Two of the most popular courses on the Grand Strand sit just downstream from Grande Dunes. Featuring 36 holes spanning the Palmetto and PineHills layouts, Myrtlewood provides a fun environment and an affordable experience. While the PineHills  Course also cuts through woodlands and wetlands, the Palmetto Course runs along the Intracoastal Waterway and is considered one of the most commonly replayed layouts in Myrtle Beach.


* Arrowhead Country Club: Located on the southern side of the Strand, Arrowhead offers 27 holes of championship golf with spectacular views of the Waterway.  This collaboration between Raymond Floyd and Tom Jackson yielded three nine-hole gems – The Cypress, The Lakes and The Waterway. The latter, of course, features the best views of the Intracoastal, but each one presents a unique challenge. If 18 holes aren’t enough and 36 are too many, Arrowhead is a great place to play 27 without duplication.


Be sure to check out these top Intracoastal Waterway courses during your Myrtle Beach golf getaway, or build your customized package to hit them all. The only thing missing is the floating golf cart.

Can’t-Miss Holiday Gifts for the Golfer in Your Life

 

Looking for the perfect holiday present for the special golfer in your life? Excellent gift ideas can be found on this can't-miss shopping list of all things golf, from the hottest new clubs on the market to the coolest golf gadgets and toys. Rather than settling for an ugly golf sweater or a loud pair of plaid pants, check out these popular golf items that are making their way onto many wish lists this holiday season:


New-Age Putters
* Indianapolis Toulon Putter: At first glance, this uniquely shaped putter might look more like a gardening tool than something used to strike a golf ball, but this T-shaped putter is actually the result of the latest scientific advances in club-making. With a designed inspired by the nosecone on an Indy car racecar, the Indianapolis Toulon Putter makes it easier to line up a putt with precise center-of-gravity positioning for increased stability and roll. For more details, visit odysseygolf.com.


* Bradley Putter Company: This outfit has only been in business for a little over a year, but it has already claimed a strong share of the putter market thanks to the innovative construction and design of its putters. After choosing burl wood for its natural hardness and low-density properties, and then using a process to remove the air in the wood and replace it with a hardening substance, Bradley Putters then saws and sands its putters by hand and puts all the pieces together on a drill press. See a full list of holiday specials at bradleyputters.com.


High-Tech Toys
* Setup Eye: Many golfers struggle to retool their swing whenever they hit a slump, but often the issues are the result of poor alignment as opposed to poor mechanics. This hand-held device helps golfers lock in on the target and deliver the appropriate swing. Featuring a viewfinder that allows golfers to aim at their target and lock in its location, the Setup Eye is as easy as point, press, place ... and hopefully ace. This high-tech hardware is available at setupeye.com.


* StrackaLine: "Never misread another putt" (or so the ad promises) – a lofty claim for golfers who are tired of trying to eyeball the subtle breaks and slopes that can turn birdies into bogeys. Using patented 3D laser technology, the StrackaLine app provides real-time green readings that include the current pin placement. The only downside is there are no more excuses for missing those pesky 5-footers.


GPS Gadgets
* GPS Rangefinders: Global Position System (GPS) technology has made its way to the golf industry, with virtually every course now offering on-course assistance through various GPS gadgets. The advancement has many players fumbling with their cell phones, but the GoGolf GPS hands-free device offers top advice while clipped to your belt, hat or shirt. Use Bluetooth technology to get precise distances to the center of the green through the voice-activated program. Pick one up at gogolfgps.com. Golfers also love the Bushnell Excel GPS Watch, which offers the same features from the convenience of your wrist. For more info, visit bushnellgolf.com. The Precision Pro NX7 Rangefinders provide a handy tool that helps golfers find the right line every time. See all the models at precisionprogolf.com.


Perfect Christmas “Packages”
* Myrtle Beach Golf Package: The ultimate gift for every golf lover involves a trip to the Grand Strand to play a few rounds in Golf Town USA. Myrtle Beach Golf offers the best deals on a wide variety of golf packages, from single rounds to week-long packages at some of the premier courses in the Myrtle Beach area. Packages also offer discounts on accommodations, food, drinks and, of course, tee times. Visit MyrtleBeachGolf.com to see all the available options for a Grand Strand golf getaway.


Happy holiday shopping – and for once may the golfer in your life be excited to reach under a tree.

Plan your Myrtle Beach golf getaway early for more choices, bigger savings

Few are happier to see the spring arrive than avid golfers. While we all hear the birds start chirping as spring rolls in, golfers seem more focused on the birdies that start dropping. And while we all notice that the greenery around us is brightening up, golfers seem more interested that the greens are seeing more action.

Well, here’s good news for those golfers with an eye on the calendar - while we may all have to wait a while for spring’s official arrival, it’s never too early to start planning a spring golf getaway to Myrtle Beach. In fact, in many ways, the early golfer gets the worm when it comes to choices and deals. Consider these benefits to booking your golf trip early at MyrtleBeachGolf.com:

Tee Times: When you book your tee time at MyrtleBeachGolf.com, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best deal - thanks to our Best Price Guarantee. You’ve also got flexible booking options, as our booking service allows you to reserve your round for today, tomorrow, spring, summer or fall. All of our rates include your greens and cart fees, and special 9 Hole Pricing is available seasonally for abbreviated rounds. You can also save even more with our Multi Round Deals.

Course Choices: As the official site for Myrtle Beach golf, we offer access to over 75 championship designs on the Grand Strand. From Carolina National on the Strand’s northern end to the Founders Club on the Strand’s southern end - and covering the nearly 80-mile stretch of great courses in between - our collection of links spans into two states and includes some of the nation’s best. Among the highly ranked courses at your fingertips are Pawleys Plantation, TPC of Myrtle Beach, Pine Lake Country Club and Grande Dunes Resort Club, just to name a few.

Group Rates: We know you like to bring your golfing buddies along for the ride, and our booking system makes it easy to accommodate your whole crew. Plus, you’ll save even more money over our typical low rates when you book using our group rates.

Great Accommodations: With many luxurious resort properties to choose from, MyrtleBeachGolf.com can put you right in the center of not only all the golfing action, but also within easy reach of all the other great activities the Grand Strand has to offer. From relaxing on the tanning lawn at one of our oceanfront properties to enjoying the shopping, dining and entertainment options at one of the area’s retail complexes such as The Market Common, Barefoot Landing and Broadway at the Beach, MyrtleBeachGolf.com can put you in a spot with easy access to the best that the Grand Strand has to offer.

Packages: With our Stay & Play packages, you can save even more - and simplify the booking process - when you book your golf outings and your lodging at the same time. We’ve negotiated some great rates with some of the best golf courses and resorts on the Grand Strand, and you can reap the benefits. Have any questions? Our golf-package experts, available via either phone call or online chat, can answer them and help you book the perfect Myrtle Beach area golf getaway.

With nearly 6 million rounds booked, MyrtleBeachGolf.com is your ticket to easily booking your spring 2018 golf getaway. Book your next trip at MyrtleBeachGolf.com today to put a bright spot on your winter horizon - and to save time and money while doing it!

North Beach Plantation Is to Dye for

Whether you prefer the laid-back vibe of a front porch or a balcony overlooking the beach, North Beach Plantation is sure to provide you with a memorable place to stay on a trip to the Grand Strand. In addition to its world-class accommodations, this picturesque resort is close to numerous restaurants and entertainment options. Of course, Myrtle Beach is known as the Golf Capital of the World, and North Beach Plantation is your ticket to one of the premier courses in the area.


Legendary course designer Pete Dye carved out a magnificent challenge for golfers at Barefoot Resort. Bordering the beautiful white sands of the Carolina coast, this course is appreciated both for its stunning visuals and unique challenges. While the par-72 course features all the infamous pitfalls for wayward shots that have become synonymous with the Pete Dye name, it can also be incredibly rewarding for golfers who string together a few good shots. Stay at North Beach Plantation on your next trip to the Grand Strand, and you can roll out of bed and be on the Dye Course in minutes. It’s just across the Intracoastal Waterway from the resort!


If you enjoy variety, there are plenty of other great courses in the area to choose from, and all are relatively close North Beach Plantation. To the north, you’ve got Azalea Sands Golf Club, Beachwood Golf Club and the Possum Trot Golf Course. A couple minutes to the south, you can play a round at either the Arcadian Shores Golf Club or Dunes Golf and Beach Club.

 

When you’ve had your fill of great golf, you get to return to the incredible accommodations at North Beach Plantation. Just seeing the entrance alone, you immediately get the feeling that this place is special. The drive is lined with palm trees that lead into an archway connecting the resort’s two impressive towers. Welcome to paradise! North Beach Plantation has just about anything you could ever want out of a vacation. During your stay, you can relax in one of the many pools and enjoy a drink from the swim-up bar. After you dry off, you can hit 21 Main, the resort’s own steakhouse and sushi bar, for a truly exquisite meal.


In addition to these and many other offerings found on the resort property, there’s all kinds of action happening nearby. Just down the street is Barefoot Landing, a unique shopping, dining and entertainment complex with plenty of fun ways to spend a day. You can walk on the wild side at Alligator Adventure or take a ride on the Barefoot Princess Riverboat. When you get hungry, just take your pick between options like Greg Norman Australian Grille, Joe’s Crab Shack and more. Round out your outing with a show at the Alabama Theatre or the House of Blues.


They don’t call Myrtle Beach the Golf Capital of the World for nothing, and the northern region of the community is a great place to set up shop. Take in the relaxing accommodations at North Beach Plantation, and you’ll appreciate the close proximity to so many fantastic courses. Because on your golf getaway, you want to spend less time driving – and more time driving.

A Golfer’s Guide to 48 Hours in Myrtle Beach

For years, Myrtle Beach has maintained its reputation as the top family vacation destination on the Carolina coast. There is Broadway at the Beach, the epicenter of entertainment, with popular restaurants, shopping, a movie theater and its very one lake – which you can actually zip-line across. But golfers are more interested in navigating around other water hazards.

Myrtle Beach is also known to many as the Golf Capital of the World – and for good reason. It’s home to a slew of courses designed by legends like Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye and Arnold Palmer. When visitors come here to play, they too can feel like pros with the top-level accommodations and amenities provided by the clubs. The hardest part of your trip will be trying to fit as much as you can into a few days. Here are our top recommendations for the courses and hot spots you should definitely hit.

Friday
Kick your shoes off and make yourself right at home at Barefoot Resort & Golf and the Dye Course – figuratively speaking, of course. The Dye Course boasts a relaxing atmosphere but offers several challenges to keep you from getting too comfortable. Whether you’re simply swinging away stress or dead set on birdie, be sure and bring your A-game. After you switch from spikes to sandals, head over to Barefoot Landing, a popular nearby entertainment district, and enjoy a waterfront dinner at Flying Fish Public Market & Grill.

Saturday Morning
Instead of sleeping in, make a morning tee time at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island. Draped in Spanish moss and bordered by reed patches, the course will make you want to stop in between holes to snap a few pics. This picturesque Southern course is a Mike Strantz masterpiece that even non-golfers can appreciate as special. Sink your putt on the Par 4 18th, then unwind on the porch with lunch at Caledonia’s Grillroom.

Saturday Afternoon/Evening
While you’re in the neighborhood, you may as well stop in at Caledonia’s sister course, True Blue Golf Club. With enormous fairways framed by waste bunkers equally as challenging as they are scenic, all bets are off on this expansive course. So make some friendly wagers with your friends and see who’s buying dinner after. If you lose out, take the group up Highway 17 to Habaneros Mexican Cantina. You can’t go wrong with the carnitas. If you’re not picking up the check, convince everyone to go to Bistro 217 and have a glass of wine or two.

Sunday Morning
Rise and shine, and make the most of your last day in golfing paradise. You started the trip with a Pete Dye layout, so why not end it with another course created in the Dye tradition? With its significant undulation and multi-tiered greens, the P.B. Dye-designed Moorland Course at Legends Golf Resort will put your putting skills to the test. But thanks to a 35-acre practice facility, there’s plenty of room to warm up first. After you’ve played up an appetite, it’s time to start thinking about brunch. You might consider stopping in at Tupelo Honey for a Bloody Mary and some signature Southern comfort food. Another solid option is Croissants Bistro & Bakery. They have lighter grab-and-go options like muffins and pastries, but the Bananas Foster French Toast is worth grabbing a table for.

The Myrtle Beach area is packed with possibilities for vacationing golfers. Discover a new love for the game on well-designed golf courses against a backdrop of beautiful Carolina scenery.

TopGolf Bringing An Exciting New Attraction to Myrtle Beach

 

The last decade has seen the golf industry endure its share of struggles, as hundreds of golf courses have closed while a fraction fewer have opened. But out of struggle comes opportunity, and one bright spot in the industry involves an innovative re-imagination of what a “golf experience” can be.

That new form of the game is TopGolf, a chain of upscale, casual outlets that has introduced a more social avenue for people to become familiar with golf.

TopGolf consists of a driving range-type space with bays that groups of up to six people can rent by the hour. The range balls served up to guests are implanted with special computer chips that track the movements of the ball across the field of play, which itself features multiple target areas. TopGolf has developed a number of games guests can play involving these targets.

In addition, TopGolf serves food and drinks, including alcohol, helping increase its appeal not just among the coveted Millennial demographic, but among those for whom the normal entry points into the game of golf seem somewhat formal and intimidating.

Key to TopGolf’s success, though, is the fact that avid golfers also enjoy its fun and relaxed atmosphere, especially because TopGolf locations stay open well into the evening, hours past the closing times of traditional golf courses. This enables true golf junkies to extend their window for hitting golf balls.

The concept has caught on in many metro areas across the United States, from Texas to New Jersey to Florida and many places in between.

And now, TopGolf is coming to the Grand Strand.

Back in July, TopGolf – which generally does not franchise out its locations but rather expands at a pace and in places as directed by its corporate base – announced plans to break ground on a location on the Grand Strand. TopGolf Myrtle Beach will be located off 29th Avenue just across the street from Broadway at the Beach in central Myrtle Beach.

Given Myrtle Beach’s strong base of golfers – both year-round residents and scores of thousands of annual visitors – it seems inevitable that TopGolf’s foray into one of the world’s foremost golf destinations will be a hit.

Myrtle Beach Fairway Insider: Top 5 Rated Courses From Fall 2017

 

Since our last check-in, the top four remains the same:

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club (4.5 Rating)

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club (4.4)

Thistle Golf Club (4.4)

Arrowhead Country Club (4.2)

Here are the next five top-rated Myrtle Beach-area golf courses according to recent visitors:

Legends Golf Resort – Moorland Course (4.2)
This P.B. Dye layout has earned kudos as a “great overall course” by revent visitors. The putting surfaces’ “significant undulation and small separate tiers” provide a stern challenge, but luckily it’s easy to prepare for the round by using the resort’s “great facilities,” which include a more than 35-acre practice facility.  And even if you don’t play well, you should get a lot out of the “picturesque layout and design,” which is full of railroad tie-fringed water hazards and deep pot bunkers.

Tiger’s Eye Golf Links (4.2)
This Tim Cate design at Ocean Ridge Plantation has been regarded as one of the northern Grand Strand’s best layouts ever since it opened. In addition to the superlative layout, the service here has eaned high marks from visiting golfers. One recent player writes, “I accidentally made a tee time for a different day, but they went out of their way to accommodate us.” Another writes, “Clubhouse and staff were outstanding. Pro shop had an excellent selection.”

Willbrook Plantation Golf Club (4.2)
This Dan Maples design in Litchfield Beach is one of the southern Grand Strand’s most popular layouts. Its biggest fans praise the “good variety of holes” and “immaculate,” “tour caliber” greens, which are medium-sized with some good undulation. One recent visitor writes, “It’s not the longest course on the Strand, but it is going to make you think your way around it.” Perhaps this is why many golvers will choose to play Willbrook year after year on their Myrtle Beach golf trips.

Myrtle Beach National – King’s North (4.1)
One important part of Myrtle Beach’s allure is its eye-catching attractions. This attention-grabbing nature extends to its golf courses, which serve up eye candy in their own way. This is particularly true at King’s North, with a number of memorable, photogenic holes, like the “Gambler” par-5 sixth with its island fairway, or the “Bullseye” par-4 18th, with more than 30 bunkers lining the entire hole. Recent players have appreciated the “great shape” in which the course is kept, adding that it is “always a must play.”

Barefoot Resort – Dye Club (4.1)
Pete Dye turns 92 years old later this year, and one of his many acclaimed layouts is the Dye Club at Barefoot Resort. Recent reactions to this “top notch course” “with lots of bunkers” note that, in addition to the course’s high quality, “the clubhouse staff were very knowledgeable and friendly.

After your next trip to Myrtle Beach, don’t forget to pass the good advice on to your fellow visitors by leaving a Fairway Insider review. 

Deal Alert: MyrtleBeachGolf.com’s New Clubhouse Pass

It’s called the Clubhouse Pass, and it enables golfers to kick off autumn in style by choosing four rounds from 14 of the area’s greatest golf courses - and pairing their itinerary with any of a long list of great area hotels and resorts.

Once summer turns to fall, the Clubhouse Pass package takes effect. On three-night stays from September 21st through October 22nd, you can book four rounds of golf with your stay starting from $317. Three-night, four-round packages from October 23rd through November 19th start from $321.

Here are just a few of the courses you can book through the Clubhouse Pass:

Arcadian Shores Golf Club - This Rees Jones design - the first solo effort by the “Open Doctor” - came online in 1974, and for more than 40 years has been a favorite course of visitors and locals alike. The tree-lined fairways reward confident swings off the tee, and the undulating putting surfaces favor players with steady short games. In short, it’s a course where everyone will enjoy the challenge.

Prestwick Country Club - This Pete Dye-designed course, developed in collaboration with his son P.B., is memorable for the expressive mounding and bunkering that comes into play on every hole, a hallmark of the Dye family’s work. Nowhere is this more true than on the 9th and 18th holes, which work around opposite sides of a lake en route to greens set at the foot of Prestwick’s stately clubhouse.

The Witch Golf Links - Dan Maples is one of the more prolific golf course architects in the Myrtle Beach area, and The Witch might be his most distinctive design. It is a tale of two nines. The front side is carved out of a cypress swamp, with thousands of feet of wooden bridges transporting golfers from tee to fairway to green on many holes. Nevertheless, this side is playable for all, as Maples endeavored to make individual hole corridors as wide as possible. The back nine is somewhat shorter and more intimate, but with plenty of risk-reward chances to keep the golfer on his or her toes.

For more information on these and the other courses available through this package and to book your Clubhouse Pass golf vacation, contact the experts here at MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Greg Norman’s Influence on Myrtle Beach Goes Beyond Golf

Norman may have let a few big opportunities slip on the course during his playing days, but his two major championship wins - in the 1986 and 1993 Open Championships - are looked back on as dominating performances. He won by five shots in 1986 at Turnberry and shot a final-round 64 to win by two in 1993 at Royal St. George’s.

But where Norman really stands out is in the business world, where he has built an empire since his playing days wound down. A robust course-design firm, an apparel line and a winery comprise just a modest fraction of his total business interests, from which he has made many times more money than he ever made on the golf course.

This is evident in many places, but particularly in Myrtle Beach. One of Greg Norman Golf Course Design’s more than 100 courses worldwide is found at Barefoot Resort. The layout features wide fairways and very little grass rough, with Norman and his associates instead opting to lay sandy waste areas along the borders of many holes. The three-hole stretch culminating at the 10th, a long par-3 by the Intracoastal Waterway, is one of the best trios in Myrtle Beach.

And if you're looking to up your game during your golf vacation with some inspired learning from Norman himself, you can enroll in 1 to 3 day golf schools at the Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy.

Just across the Waterway from the aforementioned 10th hole at the Norman Course lies Barefoot Landing and another one of the Shark’s Myrtle Beach interests: Greg Norman’s Australian Grille, an Australian-influenced steakhouse that is known as one of the area’s best upscale restaurants. Naturally, Greg Norman Estates wines are featured prominently alongside dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood and other specialties of the house.


Barefoot Landing

Norman is also associated with one of Myrtle Beach’s newest off-course attractions: the Shark Wake Park in North Myrtle Beach, founded by Greg Norman, Jr. For anyone who has wanted to try wakeboarding, or even for avid and accomplished wakeboarders, the Shark Wake Park makes for an excellent outing on the water in a contained environment.

To book your tee time at Barefoot Resort’s Norman Course and dozens of other area layouts, visit our courses page.

How to Plan Your Fall Golf Vacation at MyrtleBeachGolf.com

 

Summer may still be going strong where you are, but before you know it, leaves will be changing, the days will be getting noticeably shorter (they already are!) and temperatures will be plummeting.

But chances are you won’t be ready to store your golf clubs away for another fall and winter. What do you do?

We may be a little biased, but our answer? Go online and start planning an autumn golf getaway to Myrtle Beach!

And by far, the best place to do it is on MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Not only is it incredibly simple to use the site to assess your options and ultimately book your golf and accommodations, you’ll be able to save money on both and potentially score some great discounts on dining and non-golf activities, as well.

Here are some specific ways to make MyrtleBeachGolf.com work for you while planning your vacation:

Live Chat
More and more visitors to the site use this function every month, discovering just how easy it is to coordinate the finer points of a golf vacation in real time, rather than over a potentially spotty phone connection or having to wait on returned emails. MyrtleBeachGolf.com’s brain trust is at the ready to answer any questions you may have about lodging, golf or the area in general, and they’re more than happy to walk you through the process of booking your trip, as well. You won't be chatting with faceless customer service representatives, but our real team of local golfers who know what is really happening at all the courses. So while spending time browsing courses or packages you might include on your next golf vacation, you can always click the Agent Online button in the top right corner of our page and our experts are available right at your fingertips.


Thinking of playing the North Strand during your trip? Our
online chat representatives can steer you towards some
of the best northern courses, like Oyster Bay.

The Fairway Insider - Thousands of reviews from your fellow discerning golfers
With dozens of golf courses available to play in Myrtle Beach, the biggest challenge in the trip-planning process can be assembling the golf portion of your itinerary. Luckily, if you find yourself debating between two or three courses, you can find tons of reviews of each one right on the site with The Fairway Insider, Myrtle Beach's single largest repository for course reviews. Not only can you rely on the expertise of the MyrtleBeachGolf.com staff, you can lean on your fellow links travelers for guidance, as well. This will help you make an informed decision, and you can pay it forward by leaving reviews of the courses you end up playing!


Caledonia Golf & Fish Club consistently ranks as one
of the top courses by Fairway Insider reviewers.

The Specials
Courses and resorts in Myrtle Beach are always looking to earn your business by offering sweet discounts and added-value deals. If you want to pack your trip with maximum value (and let’s be honest — who doesn’t?), you’ll want to keep a close eye on MyrtleBeachGolf.com throughout the trip-planning process. Can't looking through page after page of randomly listed specials get a little tedious? How do you know how they stack up? Thankfully, exclusive to MyrtleBeachGolf.com, we have the golf package comparison tool where you can see all of our finely negotiated packages and contract everything from value, to added offerings, course availability and Stay & Play pricing.

Go for the Clubhouse Pass
We're saving our best for last as you're planning your Fall Golf Vacation - new for this year's season, MyrtleBeachGolf.com has rolled out the exclusive Clubhouse Pass. As the best ticket to best deals for Myrtle Beach Golf, golfers can save nearly $200 on 4 rounds at the top and most exclusive courses in Myrtle Beach. All 14 courses included in the Clubhouse Pass feature unique designs, consistent national rankings on such prominent lists as Golf Digest's "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" or Golf Advisor's "Best in South Carolina", and all rank 4 stars or higher on the Fairway Insider - the best collection of reviews by golfers for golfers right here on MyrtleBeach.com. With the new Clubhouse Pass, you can easily book and save all in one place for your set of rounds at courses like Caledonia, Barefoot Resort - Norman, Blackmoor, True Blue, Tidewater, and many more.

  
Caledonia, Prestwick and Blackmoor are just 3 of the 14 award winning courses available with the new, exclusive Clubhouse Pass.

These are just a few of the features here on MyrtleBeachGolf.com that will help you plan the perfect Myrtle Beach golf getaway. If you discover another particularly useful feature of the site, be sure and share your experience with us!

Eagle Watch Golf Brings a New Form of Drama to Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

As wonderful as golf is, one criticism that tends to come up during wide-ranging discussions of the game is over a perceived lack of innovation at times. Part of that is by design - the traditions of golf are a crucial aspect of its long-term success, and are often what attracts people to the game in the first place.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any room for new ideas and technologies to make the game - especially while on vacation - even more fun.

One company has figured that out. It’s called Eagle Watch Golf, and its new golf technology can make your next vacation round fun and potentially very profitable.

What’s more, the company is operating at a number of Myrtle Beach courses.

You know how golf outings will tend to have a designated par 3 where a hole-in-one can earn a lucky golfer a pile of cash? PGA Tour golfer Jason Bohn famously kick-started his career when he won a million dollars for an ace in one of these situations.

The only logistical drawback to this: Someone has to sit at that hole all day to serve as an authentic witness to the miracle shot.

Eagle Watch serves as that witness at normal, everyday golf courses by mounting a sophisticated, always-rolling video camera behind the green of a par 3. If you want a chance to win the company’s ever-escalating jackpot, simply download its free app and enter the contest, which costs either $5 or $10, depending on your level of participation. If you make an ace, the camera will capture and verify it, and you’ll win the jackpot. (Visit eaglewatchgolf.com to learn more.)

Eagle Watch Golf is currently active at more than 30 courses, mostly in major golf destination areas. Four of those courses are in the Myrtle Beach area: Blackmoor Golf Club, Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club, Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Golf Club. All four of these courses can be booked through MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Want to pay for your next golf trip (potentially many times over) with one swing? Make sure to add these Myrtle Beach golf courses to your next golf trip itinerary!

Long Bay Resort Is High on Many Myrtle Beach Visitors’ Lists

One of the biggest challenges about planning a Myrtle Beach vacation is determining where to stay. There are a ton of options, and given the level of competition in the market, standards for hospitality are extremely high.

But a few select resorts tend to rise above the rest in the estimations of longtime Myrtle Beach visitors, and one of them is Long Bay Resort.

Located along a popular stretch of North Ocean Boulevard, Long Bay is a favorite of visitors who prefer the high-energy central portion of the Grand Strand’s oceanfront splendor. Its accommodations come in a wide variety of layouts, from single-bedroom efficiencies to 3-bedroom condo units that sleep up to 8 guests. That means that couples, golf-loving buddy groups and large families will feel equally comfortable in their oceanfront lodgings.

Speaking of families (and anyone else who loves splashing around), Long Bay Resort’s indoor and outdoor pool complexes, as well as a 250-foot lazy river, are great spots to catch some sun and cool down from the summer heat.

Long Bay Resort also has some of the best on-site food and beverage offerings of any oceanfront resort in Myrtle Beach. Its dining scene is headlined by the upscale Martin’s Restaurant, which has long been regarded a one of the best overall restaurants in the area. The175-seat eatery is overseen by legendary chef Martin Dobr, who has more than 40 years’ experience in the restaurant business, and who started his restaurant at Long Bay in 1994. His menu features a number of classic and continental European offerings, including delicacies like escargot and frog legs as well as entrées like Chicken Francese, Lobster Thermidor and Shrimp Scampi. Martin’s Wienerschnitzel is regarded as the best for miles around, too. The dessert menu features highlights such as Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee.

Long Bay Resort is one of the highest-rated places to stay in all of South Carolina, but its overseers endeavor to make sure staying on-site is as affordable as possible. As a result, visitors can take advantage of special savings and offers throughout the year. Currently, there is an end-of-summer offer that can knock as much as 40 percent off normal room rates. And as always, active-duty military members, veterans, AARP members and AAA members can all access exclusive rates, as well. The biggest question becomes: When will you visit?

Whenever you do decide to enjoy a getaway at Long Bay Resort, be sure to book your stay through MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Legends Resort Offers 3 Excellent Myrtle Beach Golf Experiences

The Myrtle Beach area’s nearly 100 golf courses are arrayed like emeralds up and down the Grand Strand’s 60-mile stretch of South and North Carolina coastline. Sometimes they come in clusters, with two, three or even four courses grouped close together.

One of those clusters is found at Legends Resort, which offers 54 holes in the heart of Myrtle Beach, just off the main east-west Highway 501. Stylistically, it offers a different look and feel than most other Myrtle Beach courses, such that many visitors – especially those who come to the area year after year – believe its three courses to be the most underrated around.

The Legends story begins with Heathland, the first course to open at the resort. It has particular architectural significance, as it is one of the earliest designs in the career of Tom Doak, now regarded as one of the greatest living golf course architects. Opened in 1991, Heathland draws direct inspiration from many of the great courses of the British Isles and places its links in a charming Carolinas setting. The open landscape lends itself to a course on a grand scale, with huge, undulating greens guarded by a variety of styles of bunkers, including tiny pots. The short par-5 sixth hole is inspired by the famous Road Hole at St. Andrews, nasty greenside hazards and all.

The second course to open at Legends was the Moorland layout, a P.B. Dye design. Of the three courses at the resort, it is currently the highest ranked, coming in at #9 on Golfweek’s list of the top publicly-accessible courses in the state of South Carolina. It occupies similarly open, rolling land as Heathland, but the trademark Dye shaping is a bit more muscular, giving it a more modern feel. And there are plenty of railroad ties, too, often ringing the water hazards that come into play on most holes.

The third golf course built at Legends Resort at Parkland begun by Tom Doak and finished by developer Larry Young. True to its name, it is the Legends layout where trees most come into play, although not so often as to make the golfer feel uncomfortable. Bold bunkering and green contouring here causes a number of holes to stick out in the player’s mind. One of these is number six, a par-3 whose green slopes dramatically from front to back, with a pond guarding the right and rear sides of the putting surface.

You can book rounds at all three Legends layouts and dozens more Myrtle Beach area golf courses through MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Myrtle Beach’s Top Oceanfront Resorts

Myrtle Beach is one of the world’s greatest golf destinations. And as an all-you-can-play-type destination, sometimes golfers can come to town and focus so much on tees, greens and fairways that they may overlook another key feature of the region: the beach.

As many golfers as Myrtle Beach draws, it attracts tons of other visitors each year, especially in the summer, to its many oceanfront resorts. A room with a view of the Atlantic can require that guests pay heavy premiums in most beach destinations, but due to the volume of such accommodations in Myrtle Beach, prices tend to stay much more reasonable. As a result, these resorts make great bases for golf trips, as well as beach-focused trips.

With that in mind, here are four oceanfront resorts that golfers would enjoy staying at:

Breakers Resort

Veteran travelers to Myrtle Beach have probably heard of Breakers Resort, and for good reason. Now in its tenth decade of existence, it’s a fine-wine of a hotel that keeps improving, out of respect to the thousands of golfers and beachgoers who visit year after year. To that end, a rigorous program of periodic renovations keeps the huge oceanfront hotel up with the times, and it remains one of the iconic resorts of the Grand Strand.

In addition to its impressive list of amenities that compliments its excellent guestrooms, The Breakers hosts several regular and special events throughout the year that add further value and enjoyment to the experience of staying on-site, be it for a night or two weeks. If you’re looking to stay somewhere that captures the spirit of Myrtle Beach, the Breakers is ideal.

Caribbean Resort & Villas

It’s always nice to have options on vacation. Myrtle Beach offers them with an incredible wealth of things to do, even beyond its nearly 100 golf courses. In similar fashion, Caribbean Resort & Villas offers a range of options aimed at giving its guests—from couples to families to large golf buddy groups—the opportunity to get the most out of their Myrtle Beach vacation. Its central location in Myrtle Beach means that golfers can combine easy access to dozens of area courses with the opportunity to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic each morning from a 1-, 2-, 3- or 4-bedroom villa.

Caribbean Resort & Villas also offers myriad options on the amenities front. For dining options, guests can choose from Caribbean’s on-site eateries or numerous restaurants within walking distance, including the award-winning Sea Captain’s House, known as one of Myrtle Beach’s best spots for seafood. And with a stunning 14 pools on site, there are plenty of ways to cool down after a warm day on the course.

Compass Cove Resort

Compass Cove Resort is one of the Myrtle Beach area’s most sought-after places to enjoy a beach and golf vacation. The hotel boasts 720 feet of beach frontage, with an impressive 530 one-, two- and three-bedroom guest units. This makes Compass Cove perfect for couples, families and—oh yes—golf groups.

In addition to well-appointed, varied guest rooms, Compass Cove has a phenomenal list of amenities. With 22 total pool features, the resort offers a waterpark-like experience year round, due to not just a wonderful outdoor pool complex, but numerous indoor pools and lazy rivers as well. Two waterslides—the Schooner Screamer and the Compass Cruiser—are especially popular among the resort’s clientele.

North Beach Plantation Resort

If you’re looking for an absolute top-notch lodging experience to compliment your golf in Myrtle Beach, North Beach Plantation is a perfect place to stay. Located on a 7 1/2-acre finger of land between the waves of the Atlantic Ocean and the parshes of Whitepoint Swash, it occupies one of the more striking settings of any oceanfront resort in Myrtle Beach. And with a comprehensive list of upscale amenities, it’s no wonder why it has become one of Myrtle Beach’s premier places to stay.

Two of North Beach’s features stand out in particular. The first is 21 Main, the resort’s on-site steakhouse and sushi bar, voted one of the top restaurants along the Grand Strand from the moment it opened. The other is Cinzia Spa, a great place to relax, unwind and recharge, whether you’re coming from a day on the beach or on the course.

The most important feature these four resorts have in common? You can arrange your golf trip accommodations at all of them through MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

A Tour Of Myrtle Beach’s “Perfect Round”

Accompanying the latter type of list this year: a secondary, Grand Strand-specific list called “Myrtle Beach’s Perfect Round.” As the name suggests, the list comprises a dozen and a half of the area’s holes that stand out as particularly strong or memorable (all on the South Carolina side of the region, of course).

The panel also compiled their list to mimic a regulation golf course, by choosing four par threes, ten par fours and four par fives. The list contains a good mix of Myrtle Beach’s perennial “signature” holes as well as a few choice, under-the-radar gems.

With those two categories in mind, here’s our rundown of the list:

Par 3s

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, hole #11
Status: Signature
This hole leaves an impression with its long, angled, undulating green fronted by a winding creek.

Dunes Golf & Beach Club, hole #12
Status: Under-the-radar
With a tiny tee box that can make this hole play 245 yards, all carry, over marsh, it may be one of the toughest par threes in the world when the wind is blowing.

Grande Dunes Resort Club, hole #14
Status: Signature
Of Grande Dunes’ half dozen holes that overlook and/or play along the Intracoastal Waterway, this is the most scenic, with the narrow, angled putting surface seemingly creeping up to the canal’s edge.

Tidewater Plantation, hole #12
Status: Signature
Tidewater’s unique location is such that it boasts holes with both east- and west-facing marsh views, with this par three facing east toward Cherry Grove Beach and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

Par 4s

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, hole #18
Status: Signature
This medium-length hole requires a brave approach over water to a large but tricky green, with other golfers usually looking on from the back porch of the clubhouse.

Dunes Golf & Beach Club, hole #11
Status: Under-the-radar
The two succeeding holes tend to overshadow the 11th a little bit, but this challenging two-shotter brings the golfer to the marsh expanse that characterizes this part of the course.

Tidewater Plantation, hole #4
Status: Under-the-radar
The fact that this hole comes so early in the round sometimes works against its fame, but it is a lovely hole with long-range views across to Cherry Grove Beach.

TPC Myrtle Beach, hole #3
Status: Under-the-radar
This long par four plays slightly uphill and requires a confident swing off the tee, as the forced carry over marsh to the fairway can measure more than 200 yards.

Heritage Club, hole #14
Status: Under-the-radar
Navigating this hole is all about confident ball-striking: with water down the left, it sets up for a right-to-left ball off the tee, followed by a left-to-right shot into the green.

Barefoot Resort (Dye Club), hole #9
Status: Under-the-radar
This behemoth has tees that stretch it past 490 yards, and if that’s not enough, a lake laps at the entire right side of the green.

Willbrook Plantation Golf Club, hole #1
Status: Under-the-radar
It’s unusual for a course’s opening hole to stand out, but Willbrook’s is no “gentle handshake,” but an intriguing challenge where a par is well earned.

Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, hole #18
Status: Signature
Framed by marsh on the left and live oaks on the right, this long par four at this Jack Nicklaus Signature course offers one last, stern test before players reach the clubhouse.

Prestwick Golf & Country Club, hole #18
Status: Signature
Pete Dye-designed courses tend to finish with a bang, and this effort by Pete and son P.B. is no exception, as a lake lurks to the right side of the entire hole.

True Blue Golf Club, hole #18
Status: Signature
Like its sister course Caledonia, this spectacular Mike Strantz closing hole requires the golfer avoid water on the approach, all while the clubhouse looms just beyond the large, sloping green.

Par 5s

Dunes Golf # Beach Club, hole #13
Status: Signature
Possibly the most famous single hole in Myrtle Beach, “Waterloo” is a massive three-shot test that curls clockwise the entire way around a lake.

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, hole #10
Status: Under-the-radar
Every visitor to Caledonia enjoys a slow, reverse introduction to this reachable three-shotter as they make their way down the course’s live oak-lined entryway.

Prestwick Golf & Country Club, hole #9
Status: Signature
This risk-reward hole with a fascinating green complex plays along the opposite side of a lake as the distinctive 18th.

TPC Myrtle Beach, hole #18
Status: Signature
Tom Fazio and Lanny Wadkins saved their best for last here: a gambler’s-delight of a hole where scores from eagle to X are possible to close the round.

Remember: you can play all of these courses and their standout holes by booking your tee times at MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

North-of-the-Border Best: The Top Myrtle Beach-area Golf Courses in the Tar Heel State

About a quarter of the area’s complement of courses sits on the northern side of the border, and some of them are among the best you can play:

Thistle Golf Club
Thistle Golf Club was built to be home to one of the premier golf experiences in the Myrtle Beach area. With 27 holes and a distinctive, Scottish-style clubhouse that is regarded as one of the best places for a post-round drink in the region, Thistle manages to stand out a bit from the mainstream. Its Cameron, MacKay and Stewart nines can be played as three different 18-hole configurations, but many visitors find themselves eager to play all 27 holes when they come to Thistle. It’s understandable – each nine is distinct, but architect Tim Cate managed to produce a coherent overall style that makes the course an enjoyable one to play, no matter the order in which one plays it.

Leopard’s Chase Golf Links
The newest of the “Big Cat” courses at Ocean Ridge Plantation, Leopard’s Chase opened in 2007 and, like Thistle, is a Tim Cate design. It was a tall task to follow up his highly acclaimed Tiger’s Eye layout on property, but Cate managed to turn Leopard’s Chase into a worthy companion, to the point where golfers are hard-pressed to name the superior. We appreciate Leopard’s Chase in particular because, even though it is located relatively close to the coast, it showcases a good bit of elevation change. This is especially apparent at the par-5 14th hole, which plays up a ridge and whose green drops away considerably in the back.

River’s Edge Golf Club
In the wake of the 2016 passing of Arnold Palmer, an outpouring of love and appreciation has come forth from all corners of the golf world. One particular way in which people have chosen to honor The King’s memory is to play one of the courses he and his design firm laid out. Located in Shallotte, NC, River’s Edge Golf Club is one of the best places to do just that. It opened in 1999 and is particularly popular among local players as well as vacation visitors. Its scenery is some of the most spectacular on the East Coast, with a number of holes overlooking the Shallotte River and its outlying wetlands. As a result, the wildlife that can be seen at River’s Edge is among the most diverse anywhere on the Grand Strand.

You can book rounds at these North Carolina golf gems right here at MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Myrtle Beach Locals’ Favorite Golf Courses

But just as big cities tend to have their hidden-gem, locals-only bars and restaurants, Myrtle Beach also has a number of courses that visitors may tend to overlook, but longtime vacationers and residents call their own.

If you want to get a bit more of a local flavor into your Myrtle Beach golf trip, visit these courses:

Litchfield Country Club
One of the Myrtle Beach area’s oldest golf courses, this Willard Byrd-designed course opened in 1966. That means it was one of Myrtle Beach’s main golf attractions from an early date. But over the years, the dozens of new courses that have sprung up around it have stolen some of Litchfield’s thunder. No matter – the traditional-style layout with pitched greens and tree-lined fairways has become known for its quiet, serene feel and friendly atmosphere. Pace of play also tends to move along better here, as there are fewer opportunities for lost balls than at some of the more contemporary layouts.

Whispering Pines Golf Course
Whispering Pines is the first golf course many Myrtle Beach visitors see when they arrive, if they’re coming to the area via Myrtle Beach International Airport. This is Myrtle Beach’s municipal course, and as such, many visitors dismiss it as a “goat track.” But that is far from the truth; this recently renovated layout is in good shape and has some of the area’s most underrated holes, like the par-3 17th, which has a backdrop no other area hole can claim: the sparkling airport terminal located a few hundred yards behind the green.

Long Bay Club
When your course has a strong membership, it relieves some of the pressure to maximize outside play. This is the case at Long Bay, one of the Myrtle Beach area’s two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses. Long Bay is a residential community unto itself, set just north and west of North Myrtle Beach off Highway 9 in Longs. It does get its share of visitor play, but on a given day, you are likely to find yourself chatting up one of its members, many of whom live on-site and have their own golf carts. The course is a challenging one, which lends itself to multiple rounds. Here, you’ll feel like you’ve accessed an upscale private club, which adds to the experience.

You can book your vacation rounds at these three and dozens more Myrtle Beach-area golf courses through us here MyrtleBeachGolf.com. 

Myrtle Beach’s Most Popular Courses This Spring, According to Fairway Insider

MyrtleBeachGolf.com houses thousands of these user reviews on its Fairway Insider platform, and with the prime spring season finishing up, the reviews are in. Here are the top four courses in the area, according to your fellow visiting golfers:

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
A perennial nominee for “Best Course in the Myrtle Beach area,” this Mike Strantz masterpiece continues to serve up one of the very best golf experiences in the South. The Spanish moss-laden live oaks that line the entryway to the course set a tone of pure Lowcountry beauty, as does the presence of thousands of annual flowers that accent the 18 splendid golf holes Strantz laid out. The most famous of these is the 18th, a par-4 with its green tucked between the plantation manor-style clubhouse and the outlying wetlands of the Waccamaw River.

Here’s what recent visitors have said about Caledonia:

“Although this was my first time [at] Caledonia, I felt like a frequent client. The course was fantastic, and so I really enjoyed my time. I look forward to my next trip down.”

“This is the nicest golf course in the Myrtle Beach area. Absolutely pristine from tee to green. Staff is very friendly. Pace of play was great. Even with the high price tag, it's worth every penny.”

“Having heard for years that Caledonia was one of the best courses on the Grand Strand, we had high expectations. We were not disappointed. The course was all that I expected and then some. Can't wait to go back.”

Thistle Golf Club
One of a handful of Grand Strand courses designed by Tim Cate, Thistle has been one of the Myrtle Beach area’s most popular layouts ever since it opened in 1999. With three nines — the Cameron, Stewart and MacKay routings — the course can play differently one day to the next. It is mostly an open layout, with wide fairways bordered by extensive mounding and bunkering. Water comes into play throughout the layout, as well. Finally, Thistle has one of the region’s most distinctive clubhouses, evoking the old hunting estate lodges of Scotland.

Here’s what recent visitors have said about Thistle:

“Beautiful course, everything was first class!”

“Great course in super condition. Very fast greens. Very helpful staff. Would play again”

“Just finished up a round of 18 at the Thistle Golf Club in Sunset Beach, NC. If you are anywhere near the Wilmington/Myrtle Beach area, you owe it to yourself to play a round here. ‘Perfection’ is the only word I can use to describe the whole experience. The course was in immaculate condition and was manicured to a T. In 20 years of playing, this is the nicest course I have ever played. Greens, tee boxes, sand traps and fairways were in perfect condition. The clubhouse and the memorabilia in it were breathtaking, and the customer service was second to none. This customer service was demonstrated from everyone from the bag drop, to starter, to the General Manager. The tee times were spaced apart, as we did not see more than one foursome at any hole. Even the ice towels given to the customers to keep cool were scented to enhance the customer experience. I will definitely play this course again and will recommend it to anyone I talk golf with. The Thistle Golf Club today demonstrated perfection.”

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
Ever since it opened in 1949, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club has been one of the exceptional golf courses in all of South Carolina. It was instrumental in helping establish Myrtle Beach as a serious golf destination, and it continues to thrive nearly 70 years later. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and recently renovated by his son Rees Jones, The Dunes is a classic test of one’s golfing abilities, with deep bunkering, elevated greens and water coming into play a number of times throughout the round, especially on the par-5 13th, “Waterloo,” which measures more than 600 yards and curls clockwise around part of a lake.

Here’s what recent visitors have said about the Dunes:

“For it being mid March, the course was in great shape. Fast greens, tough pins and lush fairways. The staff was superb, and if I'm ever back to Myrtle Beach, I will be going back.”

“Great layout, some undulations in fairway and greens. Greens were running around 11. Course well maintained.”

“First time at Dunes Golf & Beach Club, and it was a great experience. Course in great shape and good pace of play. Very challenging. Some bunkers had very hard sand, but staff likely was not caught up treating them from the storm the night before. Staff was amazing. I would highly recommend and will be back.”

Sea Trail Plantation – Byrd Course
This is a perfect example of the depth of great golf in Myrtle Beach, and the way in which courses can fly under the radar. The Byrd Course at the 54-hole Sea Trail complex has long been considered a middle-range option: solid golf, typically in good shape, and offering a good bang for one’s golfing buck. But things have been going particularly well at this North Carolina-side layout, and it might just be the dark-horse star of your next trip.

Here’s what recent visitors have said about the Byrd Course:

“Challenging course layout but very enjoyable. Excellent quality for the cost!”

“The fairways were excellent, and only the unseeded areas were wet, which was amazing considering the rain. Greens were large and in perfect shape.”

Be sure to read these and hundreds more Fairway Insider reviews right here at MyrtleBeachGolf.com to get the best intel before you book your next amazing golf vacation in Myrtle Beach.

The Best Things About Summer Golf In Myrtle Beach

 

So with summer coming up, we thought we’d have a little fun and make the case for June, July and August as the best time to take a golf trip to the Grand Strand.

Amazing Weather

We’re not going to lie – it can get pretty toasty in Myrtle Beach in the summer months. But many folks like the heat, and as long as you apply sunscreen every couple hours while outdoors during daylight hours, the prospect of a sunburn is usually practically nil. Plus, the breezes that come with being close to the ocean help to moderate temperatures. And the long daylight hours mean time for 36 holes (or more) every day.

Also worth noting: summer weather in Myrtle Beach is also the easiest to pack for. You know it’s going to be warm, so you can pack just some golf shirts, shorts, a t-shirt or two, golf socks, flip-flops and you’re pretty much good to go. No need for a massive suitcase overflowing with clothes you don’t need. At other times of the year, you may need to hedge a little bit to account for unpredictable weather, but from about June 10 through September 10, you can pretty much bet the farm on the golf outfit you’ll need.

Great For The Family

What makes Myrtle Beach so popular is that while it is one of the world’s foremost golf destinations, it’s a great place to vacation if you’re a non-golfer, too. This is why it is so wildly popular with families, especially in the summer. The aforementioned long daylight hours help, too, as an early-morning round can get you back to the hotel to hang out with the family by lunch time. From there, the possibilities are endless: the beach, shopping and Myrtle Beach’s myriad attractions are just minutes away.

Awesome Value

Summer golf in Myrtle Beach is one of the best-value propositions in the game. You can play numerous world-class courses for as little as $25, meaning your summer rounds can cost pennies on the dollar relative to the more “prime-time” spring and fall golf seasons. In addition, courses are less crowded, meaning you can blaze around in three hours or less. When you plan your trip itinerary, you might just do a double-take at the price – you will not believe how low it is.

Have we convinced you to at least investigate the prospect of a summer golf trip to Myrtle Beach? Just visit MyrtleBeachGolf.com to get started and let the experienced, friendly professionals there take care of the rest.

The Veterans Golf Classic: One Of Myrtle Beach’s Best Events

 

So every early June, hundreds of avid golfers who have served their country gather in the world’s biggest golf destination, Myrtle Beach, for three days of golf, camaraderie and storytelling: the Veterans Golf Classic. This year’s edition of this awesome event takes place from June 5 to June 7.

Now in its 18th year, the Veterans Golf Classic is a two-person team event hosted on nine courses up and down the Myrtle Beach “Grand Strand,” which encompasses some 100 golf courses across 60 miles of North and South Carolina coastline. This year, the premier courses include the Norman Course at Barefoot Resort, Prestwick Country Club and Thistle Golf Club, all ranked in the upper tier of Myrtle Beach-area courses.

Because hundreds of teams sign up for this event each year, the field is flighted by team handicap, so that teams of similar handicaps compete against one another on the same rotation of courses.

At $260 per person, the Veterans Golf Classic is, quite simply, one of the best values in golf. Not only does the entry fee cover each player’s green fees for the three days of the tournament, it includes a gift bag, tickets to the welcoming cocktail party and a spot at the awards dinner.

Not only is the entry fee to the Veterans Golf Classic an incredible bargain, so too is lodging in the area for the event. That’s because the organizers of the Veterans Golf Classic have made special arrangements with MyrtleBeachGolf.com to offer special, low rates on rom nights for participants in the tournament. The list of resorts where you can enjoy these discounts is long, but it includes the likes of Breakers Resort, Compass Cove Resort, Long Bay Resort and Ocean Reef Resort, among others.

The tournament is coming up, but the organizers are still taking entries, so visit VeteransGolfClassic.com for more info. And if you’re looking for lodging, be sure and visit MyrtleBeachGolf.com to arrange it!

A Foursome Of Awesome Free Golf Apps

Let's be honest, a lot of these apps stink, and it’s hard to find the good ones out there amidst the mediocre. So here are our nominations for the most helpful free ones:

gottaGolf
It’s far from a given that the #1-ranked golf app would really be great, but it is the case with gottaGolf. This free app seeks to bring into golf all the energy and fun that social media has brought to other walks of life (while leaving behind some of the less pleasant aspects of that medium). If you love shooting videos of your and your partners’ shots, gottaGolf offers the opportunity to add shot tracers to the flight of the ball, simulating a Tour telecast experience for the rest of us. The app also has some slick functionality to help you coordinate your next round of golf with your buddies.

Hole19
Golf GPS apps have gotten fairly sophisticated – and fairly expensive – in recent years, which makes the fact that Hole19 is free stand out big-time. Like its competitors, it delivers real-time information about a golfer’s distance to the front, middle and back edge of a green by using high-definition aerial views of the hole the golfer is currently playing.

You can also use Hole19 to measure the distance to an important feature on the hole that is not the green. Just hone in on, say, a nasty fairway bunker, and Hole19 will serve you the yardage to that feature, informing your club selection.

18 Birdies
This free app also has GPS capabilities, but the centerpiece is the social element. They have developed a Facebook-like feed specifically for sharing on-course exploits with friends and fellow golfers everywhere, which extends to the ability to create and manage a multi-group match or tournament if you choose.

The Masters
Yes, the year’s first major championship may be in the books, but we’d be remiss not to mention the portal app for all things Masters, which is absolutely fantastic. It offers multiple video feeds of key holes throughout every day of the tournament, to compensate for the relatively short TV coverage window, the leaderboard is always easy to access, and the video runs better and smoother than anything. Oh, and it’s totally free. We’re already counting down the days until the 2018 Masters app is available. 

Arcadian Shores Honors Its History By Moving Forward

 

One of these layouts is Arcadian Shores, which opened in 1974. In addition to being one of the area’s oldest courses, it carries an interesting distinction among golf course architecture buffs: it was the first solo course design in the career of Rees Jones, who has gone on to a storied career that includes work at many major championship venues, including Torrey Pines’ South Course and Bethpage Black, both U.S. Open hosts.

As they age, golf courses require special attention from time to time in order to keep them both looking and playing their best. Recently at Arcadian Shores, this has included some tree removal that has opened up corridors on many holes, peeling back layers of encroachment brought on by natural tree growth. And in 2016, construction began on a new clubhouse that will open this spring, replacing an original structure that had begun to show its age.

The commitment to making sure Arcadian Shores’ next 43 years are as successful (if not more so) than its first will take another step this summer, as the course will close for a couple months to receive new grass on its greens. This is a key step in the golf-course-updating process. Over the years, even the most conscientious mowers of greens will neglect to mow a fraction of an inch around the perimeter of a putting surface each time, meaning that the edges of the greens will creep inward, shrinking them. But with Arcadian Shores new greens – which will start being installed in May and should reopen in mid-August – those original perimeters will return, as will some recaptured hole locations, on many greens.

If you’re planning on coming to the Myrtle Beach area later this year, be sure and reserve your tee time to be one of the first to play the new-look Arcadian Shores Golf Club. It’s one of dozens of courses you can book through MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

The Myrtle Beach Golf Directors’ Favorite Par 3s on the Grand Strand

Par 3s are so often the heart and soul of great golf courses. Because the golfer is meant (ideally) to go from tee to green in a single swing, they are often the most photogenic holes on a given course. The seventh at Pebble Beach, the 12th at Augusta National and the 17th at TPC Sawgrass are all iconic one-shot holes because they’ve graced pages of magazines and coffee-table books ever since they were built.

Myrtle Beach has its own iconic one-shotters, which most every veteran visitor can identify by sight. In addition, these golfers probably have a story of glory or failure on one of these holes.

Here are some of our favorite area par 3s, as chosen by the Myrtle Beach Golf Directors:

Grande Dunes Resort Club, hole 14, 244 yards
One great thing about par 3s is their variety. There are great ones that measure barely 100 yards, and others that approach and even top 250 yards. Grande Dunes’ famous 14th is of the latter sort, requiring a long iron or fairway wood from those who take it on from the tips. From there — and from most of the other tee boxes — the player faces a shot across a ravine to a narrow, long green angled from front-left to back-right. Mercifully, there is some room to bail out to the left of the putting surface, but for the golfer who isn’t satisfied making a “routine” bogey, there’s a yawning bunker protecting the front and right sides of the green, and the Intracoastal Waterway swallowing golf balls that venture a little farther right. The hole mixes challenge and intimidation with just enough playability to be fair and fun for all.


Grande Dunes, #14

Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, hole 13, 150 yards
Jack Nicklaus, who designed Pawleys Plantation in the late 1980s, built a great deal of his remarkable career around his uncanny ability to hit high iron shots that landed incredibly softly even on the firmest of greens. That’s exactly what you need at the 13th, as little less than a precise, high short iron to the green, nearly completely surrounded by marsh, will do. Had the Golden Bear had his way, the green complex would have been three times as large as it currently is. But it may well have been less memorable, and certainly less controversial. No matter: Just muster up your courage and take your best swing — and you could find yourself putting for birdie while your comrades suffer through a double-bogey on this iconic hole.


Pawleys Plantation, #13

Long Bay Club, hole 13, 156 yards
Ever since his wife Alice suggested Pete Dye build an island green at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course, it has been a template hole for courses looking to gain notoriety and glossy magazine-cover love. Jack Nicklaus built one of his own at Long Bay, a few miles north and west of North Myrtle Beach, at one of the Grand Strand’s most underrated courses. This one offers somewhat more room than its famous antecedent, which fits the slightly greater length. The subtle undulations of the green can be used by experienced players to work the ball closer to the hole, somewhat diminishing the need to take on the water that guards the right edge of the green so closely. That little bit of breathing room makes this hole much more than the gimmick so many island greens end up becoming.


Long Bay Club, #13

The best thing about each of these iconic Myrtle Beach par 3s? You can book your dates with them quickly, easily and inexpensively right here at MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Score Tons of Added Value When You Book a Golf Package at MyrtleBeachGolf.com

Looking for the perfect late-spring golf getaway? Myrtle Beach has so much to offer that it’s hard to go wrong when deciding where to stay and play on the Grand Strand.

That said, there are ways to supercharge your experience in order to wring the maximum possible bang out of each buck you invest in your Myrtle Beach golf adventure. To do that, head to MyrtleBeachGolf.com and check out one of these awesome current offers packed with added value:

East Coast 4-, 5- and 6-Round Specials
East Coast Golf Management owns more than 15 golf courses in the Grand Strand area, and they offer multi-course specials whose added-value propositions increase as you play more golf. Four-night, four-round packages start from $437 per golfer and include a $100 gift card that can be used toward food and beverages at the course restaurant, merchandise in the pro shop or even same-day replay rounds of golf. For five-night/five-round packages (from $474), the gift card value rises to $150, and if you book a six-night/six-round package, your gift card will be worth $200. Courses available from East Coast Golf Group include Carolina National, Cape Fear National, Crow Creek, Farmstead and more of the northern Grand Strand’s best.

Prime Times Rewards Package
The 22 Prime Times Signature Courses are among Myrtle Beach’s best-respected, best-maintained and most popular. These layouts include Pawleys Plantation, Myrtle Beach National’s King’s North, Pine Lakes, Grande Dunes Resort Club and more. Book a four-round package (starting from $309 per golfer), and you’ll receive a $100 Rewards card that can be use for food, beverages and merchandise at any Prime Times Signature Course facility.

Even More Added Value if You Book Through MyrtleBeachGolf.com
The benefits of packaging your rounds of golf are well-documented, and truth be told, many packagers in the Myrtle Beach area can offer nice deals on multi-round golf excursions. But where MyrtleBeachGolf.com stands apart from the rest is in the added value that comes from staying at one of the site’s exclusive partner resorts. First, all stay-and-play golf travel includes complimentary breakfast each morning, which will save you not just money but considerable time, especially prior to early tee times. Add complimentary valet parking, 25% off spa services (you know, to work the kinks out after your rounds) and discounts on dining throughout Myrtle Beach, and this is the site for getting the most value in your golf vacation.

Any questions? Consult the experienced, knowledgeable local golf professionals at MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

 

 

 

Myrtle Beach’s Best Off-Course 19th Hole Options

After a few hours of hard play on the golf course, there are few things better than sitting down with a drink and shooting the breeze about the day’s trials and triumphs. Normally, the place to do that is in the bar at the clubhouse of the course you’ve just played.

But it’s not the only place, especially for visiting golfers who fancy themselves not only connoisseurs of the links, but also of an area’s local beers, wines and spirits. For such folks, Myrtle Beach holds some pleasant surprises. To wit:

New South Brewing Company
In recent years, it seems that no locale is worth putting on a map unless there’s a hot new local craft brewery in town. Myrtle Beach is not exempt, and so New South Brewing Co. is the brewery of choice not just for beer-mad visitors but for locals as well. Located on Campbell Street in the heart of Myrtle Beach’s ever-improving downtown area, the brewery offers tours (reserved in advance; $7 per person), beer tastings and special events throughout the year. New South offers a full range of traditional brews, from a crisp and refreshing lager up to a dark, rich stout. Seasonal specialties rotate in and out throughout the year. You can also find New South’s offerings in many area restaurants and liquor stores.

Duplin Winery
“The Carolinas” and “wine’ might not seem compatible terms, and yet as you explore North Myrtle Beach, you will likely come upon one of two outposts of Duplin Winery (the other being in Rose Hill, North Carolina). The North Myrtle Beach location is a full-service tasting and retail facility, offering a broad variety of wines. Duplin’s biggest seller and signature varietal is their “Hatteras Red,” a sweet red muscadine wine ($7.99), a favorite of North and, now, South Carolina’s visitors and residents. Converts who must reluctantly return home eventually can join Duplin’s Wine Club and receive quarterly shipments of wines, including new releases before they are available to the general public.

The term “moonshine” often conjures mixed feelings among some drinkers, as in many cases (and per reality television) it is a nasty, home-distilled spirit. Palmetto Moonshine is much more popular and desirable, as visitors to its 3,000-square-foot Myrtle Beach retail outpost can attest. Their shines come in five varieties, with the fruit-flavored ones coming in at 44 or 45 proof, while their White Lightning clear un-aged corn whiskey is 105 proof (52.5% ABV). Palmetto Distillery also makes its own blended brown whiskey.

 

Where to Enjoy the Masters in Myrtle Beach

After what always seems like an endless wait, the year’s first major championship is nearly upon us. Even in years when unseasonably warm weather visits usually frigid parts of the country in February and March, the annual invitational gathering of the world’s best golfers always feels like the “official” start of spring.

Will you be in the Myrtle Beach area during the Masters? Our recommendation: Take in the tournament from a perch in one of the Grand Strand’s most convivial clubhouse bars.

As a rule, other than the comfort of your living room, the most fun places to watch big sporting events are those where like-minded fans are gathered around. In Myrtle Beach, the 19th Hole is the place to be during coverage of any big-time golf event.

If you’re going to be around during the tournament, especially on Masters Sunday, it’s best to seek out one of the clubhouses at the Grand Strand’s largest golf facilities, even if you don’t happen to have played golf there that day. With that in mind, our shortlist includes the common areas at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club, Legends Golf Resort and Barefoot Resort.

Of these, the bar at Legends is the largest and, given the impressive business the resort sees through the high season, should have a great crowd of golf fans and great energy on hand. Plus, the way the seating fans out from the bar ensures great sight lines to the televisions.

If you want a more intimate viewing setting, the bar at Heritage Club in Pawleys Island exudes cozy Lowcountry charm, just like the golf course. And if you’re betting on local hero Dustin Johnson to continue his amazing recent run of play and slip on a green jacket, you might want to hunker down at the bar at TPC Myrtle Beach, DJ’s home course.

To arrange your rounds during the Masters at these and more than 60 other awesome Myrtle Beach-area courses, consult the golf trip experts at MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

 

 

Myrtle Beach’s Best Courses for Spring Scenery

Spring has arrived, and if you’re going to be in Myrtle Beach, that means a few things. Great weather is definitely #1, but it’s not the only source of delight during the season of renewal.

If you regard golf courses as places not just of challenge and recreation but also of beauty, you’re going to love springtime along the Grand Strand. If you’d like to enjoy some wonderful spring scenery while you’re playing golf here, these are the courses you should target in particular:

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Located in Pawleys Island, just minutes south of Myrtle Beach proper, Caledonia has the dual distinction of being one of the region’s overall best courses and “the best-smelling golf course in the world,” according to Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella. This second claim to fame is due to the thousands of flowers and ornamental plants that cohabitate the grounds with a splendid Mike Strantz course. The first tee box is accented by a hedge pruned such that it spells out “CALEDONIA,” setting a perfect tone for the day.

Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club

Pawleys Plantation, another one of the distinguished layouts along the southern Grand Strand, is one of the Myrtle Beach area’s two courses designed by Jack Nicklaus. The Golden Bear, who won a record six Masters in his incomparable career, routed the course through coastal forest on the front nine, with a number of holes enjoying expansive marsh frontage on the inward half. Though the less-spectacular scenery causes some of the early holes to be overlooked, they shine in springtime, as azalea bushes dot the inland part of the Pawleys Plantation property, adding a pop of color to the scene at this time of year.

Pine Lakes Country Club

The first course built in the Myrtle Beach area, Pine Lakes has been a favorite for locals and visitors alike for nearly a century. This 1927 Robert White design comes complete with one of Myrtle Beach’s most beautiful clubhouses, as well as beautiful gardens that serve as a perfect place to take a short, mind-clearing pre-round stroll. Stop and smell the flowers here, and it just might put you at ease to make a couple more birdies than usual.

To book your rounds at these and dozens of other wonderful Myrtle Beach-area golf courses, visit MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

 

Monday After the Masters: A Myrtle Beach Tradition Like No Other

Before breaking out as a solo country music star, Darius Rucker was the front man for one of the most recognizable rock groups of the late 1990s and early 2000s: Hootie and the Blowfish. Once the band, which came together in the late 1980s at the University of South Carolina, had become a household name, Rucker and his bandmates Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld began hosting an annual charity golf tournament in 1994. During the first few years, the event took place in Columbia, South Carolina, but as it grew and began attracting professional golfers and celebrities, the band decided to move the fun tournament down to Myrtle Beach. The Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation was established in 2000 and has remained the beneficiary of Monday After the Masters ever since. This year’s tournament will be played at the Dye Club at Barefoot Resort.

With more than two decades of history, the event is one of the top gatherings on an increasingly busy celebrity golf schedule. The 2017 event will take place on April 10 and promises to bring one of the strongest fields in its history. A great mix of current PGA Tour players, PGA Tour Champions stars and others will descend on the Grand Strand this year. Planned participants include professionals Billy Horschel, Troy Merritt, Will Wilcox, Ken Duke, Chesson Hadley, John Daly, Woody Austin, Charlie Rymer, Nancy Lopez, Chris DiMarco, and South Carolina-born pros DJ Trahan and Kyle Thompson.

The celebrity portion of the field is full of well-known names in its own right. In addition to the Hootie and the Blowfish regulars, Colt Ford, Joey Fatone, Edwin McCain and Cole Swindell will be representing the music industry. Well-known athletes will be in attendance as well — NFL greats such as Jim McMahon, Sterling Sharpe and Bruce Smith will appear, as will former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne and Grant Fuhr, one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history. Beloved personalities like weatherman Jim Cantore, actor/comedian Jackie Flynn, actor Kevin Sorbo and TV personality Dan Patrick help round out the field, with others. And as in past years, ESPN radio host Mike Golic will be on hand.

This entertaining pro-celebrity-am event comprises more than 30 teams, each consisting of four amateur participants, one pro golfer and one celebrity in a scramble format. It will be far less competitive than the major championship it follows; rather, the focus is on camaraderie, philanthropy and interaction with the thousands of fans who come out to see their favorite golfers and celebrities up close and in an informal setting.

The driving force behind the event is the Hootie and The Blowfish Foundation, which supports education initiatives in the state of South Carolina. In addition, some proceeds from the event will go to the South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation, administered by the South Carolina Golf Association.

For more information about the 2017 Hootie and the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Pro-Am, visit. To book a round at the host Dye Club at Barefoot Resort and dozens of other great area courses, visit www.MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

 

The Wizard Golf Course: Playable Fun From Mystical Golf

Open since 1996, The Wizard Golf Course is one of three golf courses under the Mystical Golf umbrella - along with The Witch and Man O’ War - in the Myrtle Beach area. Dan Maples designed the course, as he did the other two. Maples and his design-and-construction team moved more than a million cubic feet of land to create The Wizard, sculpting a windswept landscape meant to remind visiting golfers of the links of Scotland. As a result, the course is an engaging one, though not overly taxing. It has served Grand Strand locals and frequent visitors alike for more than two decades now.

The Wizard derives a great deal of its appeal from its playability for all levels of golfers. It offers four well-spaced sets of tees, from the 6,721-yard Championship set (with a Rating of 71.7 and a Slope of 129) down to the 4,972-yard Ladies tees (71.2/121). Unlike many area courses, where golfers are relieved to escape most holes with pars or bogeys, the Wizard will regularly yield a few birdies after well-played shots, especially given the normally excellent condition of the course’s bentgrass greens. There are few forced carries, and when they are present, they tend to be short.

That’s not to say The Wizard is a complete pushover, however, as the course closes with consecutive island greens. However, in both cases, there is a good amount of room to miss on either side, which gives many players the opportunity to complete the round with the same ball they started with. The other main water hazard on the course comes in the form of a stream that meanders through the property and provides some strategic

concern. In addition, some renovations a few years ago accomplished the goal of freshening the course’s look, as the project helped install a number of sod-walled pot bunkers, calling to mind many of the hazards that make many of Great Britain and Ireland’s golf courses famous.

Finally, The Wizard’s clubhouse is one of the most distinctive you are likely to encounter in your travels, as it resembles a rugged Scottish castle. It’s a perfect reminder of the fun vibe The Wizard’s overseers have brought to Myrtle Beach golf with this facility.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Myrtle Beach’s Best-Value Golf Courses

Given the vastness of the Myrtle Beach area’s golf offerings, there is quite a spectrum of courses on offer. They vary by age, architectural style and, most importantly for many golfers, price. It is understandable to believe the most expensive courses to be the “best” courses — and in many cases, this is true.

But there are exceptions. And in this way, the Grand Strand is home to some of the best-value golf courses you are likely to find anywhere. Here are five of our nominations for this value-oriented category:

Heathland Course at Legends Resort
Tom Doak, one of the most influential golf-course architects of the 21st century, left his mark in Myrtle Beach in the form of the Heathland Course at Legends 

Resort before he ascended to wide acclaim. This layout brings many of the aesthetic and strategic sensibilities of England’s best inland courses to the Southeastern United States. The course’s standout holes include the par-5 seventh hole, which pays tribute to the Road Hole at St. Andrews, and the big, long par-4 16th, whose fairway is split by a stream that dictates strategy off the tee.

Avocet Course at Wild Wing Plantation 

While Doak’s effort at Legends’ Heathland Course hews to the more minimalistic, Wild Wing’s Avocet Course, designed by three-time major champion Larry Nelson and past American Society of Golf Course Architects president Jeff Brauer, has a very different look. Inventive shaping and mounding at Avocet sets it apart from other courses, making some of its holes memorably artistic in look. Two par-4s in the middle of the round steal the show here: The split-fairway ninth and the drivable 14th, one of Myrtle Beach’s very best single holes.

The Witch Golf Course
Dan Maples is one of the Myrtle Beach area’s most prolific designers, with courses up and down the Grand Strand. His most distinctive course is The Witch, located a bit off the main US-17 corridor but well worth the detour to play. Its tee markers were sourced directly from the inland wetlands that come into play throughout the course’s front nine: painted cypress “knees” that stick up out of the swamp water and serve as an extension of the trees’ root systems. In contrast to the front side, the back nine is more intimate and closer together, while nonetheless maintaining the adventuresome overall vibe of the golf course.

Founders Club at Pawleys Island
Though it occupies land on which golf has been played since 1969, Founders is technically the “newest” golf course in the Myrtle Beach area, having undergone a complete renovation in 2008 by Thomas Walker. Walker’s effort stripped away acres of long Bermuda rough from the perimeters of most holes, replacing them with sandy scrub. The course really gets going on the back nine, with holes 11 through 17 representing one of the strongest stretches in the region.

Arcadian Shores Golf Club
Rees Jones’ first solo design effort is one of Myrtle Beach’s most interesting courses for budget-conscious golfers. In addition to modest greens fees, it comes complete with two of the area’s most famous golf holes: the tough-as-nails par-2 second, and the downhill, curling par-4 14th. Both holes require mid- to long-iron approaches over ponds, making a par feel like an accomplishment.

All five of these courses are available for booking right here at MyrtleBeachGolf.com, where you can extract even more value out of your rounds.

Myrtle Beach’s Most Scenic Golf Courses

With some 100 golf courses arrayed across more than 60 miles of Carolina coastline, there are a number of Grand Strand layouts that enjoy some spectacular scenery. Here are four notable ones:

Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club
This Jack Nicklaus Signature course — one of two in the greater Myrtle Beach area — tests players with tree-lined fairways, small greens and water hazards that come into play on a dozen holes. On the back nine, the course bursts out into the marshes that separate Pawleys Island proper from the mainland. This creates some long-range marsh views on holes 13, 14, 16 and 17 in particular, with the first and last of these holes representing two of the Grand Strand’s most memorable par threes.

Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club

 

Tidewater Golf Club
About an hour north of Pawleys Plantation, Tidewater’s Ken Tomlinson-designed course boasts similarly spectacular views. At Tidewater, however, the marsh comes into play on both nines: at holes three, four, eight and nine, as well as on 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18. Big bodies of water border both sides of the Tidewater property; sometimes it’s the Intracoastal Waterway in view, and sometimes it’s Cherry Grove Inlet and Cherry Grove Beach beyond.

Tidewater Golf Club

 

Dunes Golf & Beach Club
Myrtle Beach’s most famous single course is not just a stern strategic test (which architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. saw to when he laid out the course in the late 1940s), but an aesthetic delight as well. The best views emerge once the player reaches the par-3 ninth hole and glimpses the Atlantic Ocean (the only such opportunity on the Grand Strand). Holes 10 through 13 are no slouch, either, playing along and around marsh and lake.

Dunes Golf & Beach Club

 

Grande Dunes Resort Club
While the Atlantic Ocean is Myrtle Beach’s main defining body of water from a pure geographical perspective, the most important big water hazard to Grand Strand local and visiting golfers is the Intracoastal Waterway. At Grande Dunes Resort Club, an impressive Roger Rulewich design, a full half-dozen holes look out on the Waterway, with the par-3 14th confronting it most directly. Any miss to the right of the green on this long one-shotter risks tumbling down a bluff and into the I.W.

Grand Dunes Resort Club

 

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
One of the more well-known courses along the southern stretch of the Grand Strand, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is annually ranked for its quality of play by raters from the likes Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golfweek. But up there with the course's quality of play is the quality scenery experienced across all 18 holes. Built on an old rice plantation, you're immediately immersed in quintessential Carolina Lowcountry when you enter the course through rows of twisted live oaks with hanging Spanish moss and come up to the Old South-style clubhouse. Play through a scenic round and you end back at the clubhouse as a beautiful Lowcountry marsh wraps around the 18th green and clubhouse.

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

 

Willbrook Plantation
Designer Dan Maples ofter referred to Willbrook Plantation as one of his 'best' courses ever designed. Like Caledonia, Willbrook is carved from the site of two old Carolina plantations and offers a blend of tranquil golf and nature made even more stunning by the Champion Bermuda greens. Winding through a centuries-old oak forest, Willbrook plays into the Lowcoutnry setting with many natural challenges like wetlands, waterways and the forest itself. And spring is the perfect time to play as you tee off from the first hole providing marsh views and azaleas in bloom.

Willbrook Plantation

 

Rivers Edge Golf Club
The course name itself should indicate the scenery you should expect as you play Rivers Edge. With a design crafted by the legend himself, Arnold Palmer, you know you're in for treat as you play on this pristine property built along the bluffs and banks of the Shallotte River. Six holes especially provide breathtaking views as they overlook the river from high on the bluffs. The natural changes in elevation combined with the diverse terrain provided by the river and accompanying marshes are sure to provide a unique round.

Rivers Edge

 

Carolina National
Nature is in the name at Carolina National, with three unique nin-hole layouts designed by Fred Couples and named after native waterfowl - Egret, Heron, and Ibis. Golfers can play any 18-hole combination of the three courses designed in a Lowcoutnry terrain that features wetlands and maritime forests alike. Plus, with a design that is suited for all skill levels, you can play nine or all 27 and you won't be dissappointed.

Carolina National

 

Myrtlewood Palmetto
The Palmetto course at Myrtlewood Golf Club may be located in the heart of Myrtle Beach, but it is one of the club's two championship layouts that provides multiple scenic views as it stretches through pine forests and then along the Intracoastal Waterway. Gently sloping fairways and a spread of water hazards, waterway included, has made this course a popular choice for over twenty years. The course provides a scenic escape from the hustle and bustle of the beach, but close enough for a quick round getaway from your beachfront resort.

Myrtlewood Palmetto

 

Heritage Club
Like many of the South Strand courses, Heritage Club in Pawleys Island is built on an old rice plantation providing a natural landscape surrounded by ancient oak trees, pine forests, and beautifully blooming magnolias. A scattering of water hazards that include fresh-water lakes and salt-marsh swamps provide as much of a challenge as they provide beautiful landscape views. And the scenery and tranquility don't end after a round on the challenging Par 71 course as many golfers choose to take in the views of the Waccamaw River and unwind after their round on the porch of the Southern-style Colonial Clubhouse.

Heritage Club

These and other delightfully scenic courses can be booked right here with us at MyrtleBeachGolf.com. Come visit them soon!

Planning a Myrtle Beach Golf Trip? Here’s How to Make MyrtleBeachGolf.com Work for You

With some 100 golf courses spread out across a roughly 60-mile stretch of beautiful North and South Carolina coastal areas, the Grand Strand is one of the top golf destinations in the world. As such, it can be a little challenging to just dive in and plan a trip if you’ve never visited before.

That’s where MyrtleBeachGolf.com comes in. As the easiest and most comprehensive online provider of area golf packages, it is the perfect trip-planning resource for prospective newcomers to the Grand Strand and seasoned veterans alike. With over 5 million rounds booked and counting, we know a thing or two about building the perfect golf vacation. 

Here’s how to get the most out of the site as you plan your Myrtle Beach golf excursion:

Instant Quotes (and Free Golf)
MyrtleBeachGolf.com’s most popular mechanism is its quoting function. The site is able to interface with more than 70 courses and 20 places to stay, meaning an itinerary for any budget or group size is at your fingertips. Simply enter your information and your preferred dates, and you’re on your way to building the perfect slate of courses for your trip. And, of course, getting a quick quote through MyrtleBeachGolf.com is completely free, with no obligations.

Best of all, with every quote the golf vacation experts at MyrtleBeachGolf.com provide comes a free round on us that you can add to your trip. 

Golf Course Reviews
In the age of popular websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, it is increasingly important for travel-related sites to enable visitors to access tons of reviews written by fellow travelers. MyrtleBeachGolf.com’s administrators understand this, so that's why we created the Fairway Insider, the largest local collection of course reviews written by golfers for golfers. 

Agonizing over two or three courses as candidates for the last round of your trip? You can put your trust in your fellow golfer and get the most recent Fairway Insider reviews of each layout. And, of course, after your trip, you can leave reviews of the courses you play, lending a hand to fellow Myrtle Beach-bound golfers.

Ask the Experts - Live
Shopping around and not sure where to pull the trigger? Well it's a good thing that MyrtleBeachGolf.com provides live advice to all of your questions through our chat service. By either clicking the floating chat window going across your screen or clicking the "Agent Online" button in the top corner of the site, you're immediately connected to one of our golf experts who can help answer your questions and help you find the best deals as you're planning your rounds in Myrtle Beach.

Only Settle for a Guarantee
Trying to piece together a golf trip can be a stressful undertaking, especially when your group grows in numbers. With MyrtleBeachGolf.com, though, you can have confidence that you're getting the best rates, guaranteed, for your enitre group. Thanks to our years' experience in the golf packaging biz and finding the best golf package opportunities for every type of golf group, you'll know that the quote you get for your next golf vacation through us will be the best, no matter where else you look.

Other Resources
There’s more to MyrtleBeachGolf.com than just booking tee times and room nights. It’s a one-stop source for all kinds of information you’ll need to round out your trip. Looking for restaurant recommendations? You’ll find them on the site, along with some huge savings and other package bonuses to supplement your trip like gift cards worth up to $200 toward dining, merchandise and same day replays. The site also serves as a portal to Myrtle Beach’s famous off-course attractions, such as shopping, music and theater outings. If it’s worth checking out on your next Grand Strand excursion, you can read about it at MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

If you lean heavily on the resources available here at MyrtleBeachGolf.com, you’ll find yourself armed with all the information and expertise necessary to ensure that your Myrtle Beach Golf vacation is a memorable one!

Planning a Spring Golf Trip? Here’s Why Myrtle Beach Is a Perfect Destination

Even when golf season technically begins where you live, though, conditions likely won’t be terribly pleasant for the first month or so. Sure, there’ll be grass on the fairways, but they’ll probably be muddy. And the greens will be OK, but they’ll be slow and bumpy until they get a few solid, warm days to get ready to start growing again.

So why not mark the end of the off-season with a trip to one of the best golf destinations in the world?

Our thoughts exactly. Here’s why you should start planning a spring golf vacation to Myrtle Beach as soon as possible:

The Gang’s All Here … for Good Reason
There is nothing like spring golf in Myrtle Beach. While we would argue there’s no “bad” time” to visit, it’s hard to deny that the stretch from about March 1 through May is particularly spectacular. Average daily highs for those months are 64, 72 and 79 degrees, respectively. Furthermore, April and May are the second- and third-driest months of the year, minimizing the threat of rainouts.

The popularity of Myrtle Beach in the fall means that there’s an incredible buzz and energy to be found throughout the area’s scores of great golf courses. Clubhouse bars are lively scenes, perfect for watching college basketball or baseball and bantering about the day’s round. Your group will undoubtedly strike up conversations with others, too. Buddy groups have been known to merge in Myrtle Beach in the spirit of camaraderie that makes golf so special.

This camaraderie extends beyond the golf facilities themselves, too. Go out to practically any restaurant, and you will find them to be extensions of the 19th-hole atmosphere you found in the clubhouse: golfers laughing about their rounds, debating the superiority of the courses they’re playing and looking forward to the next round and the next trip. When you’re in Myrtle Beach, you feel like a part of the wider golf community. It’s a special sensation.

Closer Than Ever
A key part of Myrtle Beach’s success as a golf destination is its relative proximity to practically the entire eastern United States and its millions of golfers. Visitors come by car from all over — even as far as Canada — to stay and play the Grand Strand’s great courses.

The Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) has long been another front door to the region, and over the last few years it has become even easier to fly into and out of. In just the last couple weeks, Spirit Airlines announced it would be expanding its direct-to-Myrtle-Beach offerings, with flights beginning from Hartford, Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) starting in late April. And in early March, WestJet will be offering flights between Myrtle Beach and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) three times a week.

These and many more reasons should help you decide to book a spring Myrtle Beach golf trip. We can’t wait to see you soon!

Litchfield Country Club: A Throwback Classic on the Southern Strand

Because of the depth of the field of golf courses in the area, some courses get overlooked. Particularly among less-experienced Myrtle Beach golf travelers, Litchfield Country Club is one of them. Here’s why you should put it on your next southern Grand Strand golf itinerary:

History
Opened in 1966 and designed by Willard Byrd, Litchfield Country Club is one of the Grand Strand’s venerable places for a round of golf. Set amid pine forests only a couple miles from the ocean in Litchfield Beach, South Carolina, it sports a classic look while benefiting from modern technology, making it one of the best-conditioned courses in the area.

Challenge and Charm
It does not play very long — only 6,692 yards from the back blue tees, par 72 — but with its tree-lined fairways and smallish, sloping greens, Litchfield offers up an engaging challenge for all levels of golfers without being overly punishing. When choosing which set of tees to play, look at the lengths of the par 3s, as they give the course a lot of its potential bite.

One stretch of holes that epitomizes the character of Litchfield Country Club is the excellent one-two punch of the 12th and 13th holes. The former is a bruiser of a par 3 that, at 219 yards from the tips, requires a long iron, hybrid or fairway wood from most players. A bunker guards most of the front of the green, demanding an aerial approach. Two more bunkers on the left side of the green will further complicate attempts to sneak the ball onto the green or bail out. Oh, and the green is tricky to read.

Whatever pain the 12th extracts, the 13th can potentially give back to players who execute good shots. A 520-yard par 5, it usually plays downwind, bringing the green into reach in two blows from many golfers. That green is open in front, allowing for run-up shots that may yield an eagle opportunity. Complicating matters, though, is a water hazard that runs up the entire left side of the hole. It is an excellent example of risk-reward golf course design.

With its classic Southern charm, Litchfield Country Club’s clubhouse is a wonderful place to relax before or after one’s round. The intimate, well-stocked pro shop contains all one needs to stock up for a round, and the practice facility — including a grass driving range, putting green and chipping green — is ideal for preparing for your round or working on your game afterward.

Best of all, Litchfield Country Club is one of dozens of Myrtle Beach area golf courses you can access through MyrtleBeachGolf.com. Once you’ve visited, you’ll likely be planning your return.

PGA Tour Action Set to Heat Up

So, to most, the PGA Tour season begins in January, with two stops in Hawaii before heading for the mainland U.S. It begins on the island of Maui with the SBS Tournament of Champions, where the winners of all PGA Tour events from 2016 are invited to partake in a pretty big purse for such a small field. Last year, South Africa’s Branden Grace finished in last place, a full 23 shots behind winner Justin Thomas. Still, Grace took home $61,000 for his efforts.

Things get harder from there, though, as the Tour hits its stride with a phenomenal run of tournaments leading up to the Masters in April. Month by month, here are the events to circle on the calendar if you’re a golf fan:

January
The last event of this month, the Farmers Insurance Open (Jan. 26-29) at Torrey Pines Golf Course outside San Diego, is sure to be its most talked-about. Why? Because that’s where Tiger Woods will be making his debut in an official PGA Tour event for the first time in nearly a year and a half. His appearance at December’s Hero World Challenge - an event he hosts, with an elite but only 18-player field - was encouraging, if not particularly spectacular. But given Woods’ upbeat comments in its wake, he seems to have regained a great deal of his trademark competitive fire along with his health. He has won a whopping eight Tour events at Torrey Pines (including the 2008 U.S. Open, his last major championship), so it’s a place with plenty of good memories for him. While a win might be beyond reasonable expectations, a top-30 finish would show the golf world that Woods may be ready to be a factor on golf’s biggest stages again.

February
As the Tour finishes up the “West Coast Swing” and heads east, each of February’s four tournaments will be compelling. But the one I’m looking forward to most is the Genesis Open (Feb. 16-19). OK, OK … yes, this happens to be another event where Tiger Woods will be teeing it up. However, this event is special not because of any one player, but because of the venue: Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. Riviera is one of America’s greatest golf courses, and it is home to one of the most fascinating single holes in the world: the short par-4 10th. This complicated, controversial little hole yields its share of birdies and even an eagle or two, but it also bites back at numerous players, who make bogeys and double bogeys in much higher numbers than on most 310-yard holes. This is because of the hole’s narrow, angled green, which slopes off on three sides toward nasty bunkers and kikuyu (similar to Bermuda) rough. Many of the best golfers in the world leave the green shaking their heads and muttering to themselves. For this reason, you should carve out some time to watch this tournament.

March
March is jam-packed with golf, in large part because there’s one week with two official PGA Tour events happening simultaneously. That week’s main event, the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play Championship (March 22-26) will be the most compelling event of the month. Two main factors are at play here. First is the format: match play, which pits two golfers against one another rather than the entire field. The Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup are match-play affairs, and it’s no coincidence that they provide some of the greatest drama during the year in golf. Second is the venue: Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas, a city with rich golf DNA that embraced last year’s event in its first playing in its new home. Austin Country Club is a scenic and exciting Pete Dye design with a number of holes that can produce wide swings in fortunes between players - perfect for match play.

April
The choice for April is obvious: The Masters (April 6-9). The playing of the year’s first major heralds the return of spring and the beginning of prime golf season for much of the Northern Hemisphere. That, combined with the greatness of Augusta National, makes for a special week, whether you’re fortunate enough to attend the tournament in person or just watching at home.

With the meat of the PGA Tour season underway, it’s time to get serious about enjoying the best golfers in the world gracing our TV (and computer, and smartphone, and tablet) screens weekly. I, for one, can’t wait.

TPC Myrtle Beach: Play Where the Pros Play on the Grand Strand

Comprising both high-end public and excellent private facilities, the TPC network is now more than 30 courses strong, with outposts as far-flung as Cartagena, Colombia, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Designed by noted architect Tom Fazio in consultation with major champion and Ryder Cup hero Lanny Wadkins, a TPC course came to Myrtle Beach in 1999. In 2000, it hosted the Senior Tour Championship, won by Tom Watson. Nowadays, it is known as PGA Tour superstar Dustin Johnson’s home course when he is in Myrtle Beach, and it also plays host to the prestigious junior golf tournament that bears his name each February.

Don’t let TPC Myrtle Beach’s Tour-caliber pedigree intimidate you into skipping it on your next trip, though. Fazio and Wadkins built the course not just for the best golfers in the world, but the rest of us, too. The fairways are generous, and the greens, though undulating, are pretty large. Smart golfers will have the advantage here over their reckless buddies, who may get snared by the challenging bunkers and water hazards that come into play on some holes.

Like many of its siblings, TPC Myrtle Beach builds to a climax with its last three holes: a par four, par three and par five. Number 16 is a mid-length two-shotter to an elevated, shallow green. The penultimate test is a longish par three to a large, tiered green that juts out into a lake. Hole locations on the right side of the putting surface are especially intimidating, although if you miss to the left, you may catch one of the nastiest bunkers in all of Myrtle Beach golf. Muster all your confidence and make your best long-iron swing of the day, and you might just escape with a par.

TPC Myrtle Beach’s closing hole brings the drama up another notch. A tee shot through a chute of trees leads to a fairway whose right edge is guarded by a winding stream. Just beyond the landing area, that stream crosses the fairway and empties into a lake that runs the remainder of the left side of the hole. If you can string together a big drive and a heroic fairway wood, you might be able to reach the green in two and bring a whopper of a golf story home to your buddies. If your ball finds a watery grave, take solace in the fact that you’re hardly alone. Risk-reward is the essence of compelling golf, and TPC Myrtle Beach supplies many chances. Especially if you’re staying on the southern half of the Grand Strand, TPC should be high on your list of places to play.

Wild Wing Plantation: One of Myrtle Beach Golf’s Hidden Gems

Wild Wing Plantation is tucked away in a quiet forest off Highway 501 just west of Myrtle Beach in Conway. It is home to 27 holes of golf that may strike some as off-the-beaten-path relative to some of the area’s other layouts, but once you visit, you’ll realize that the extra few minutes you may spend getting there are well worth it.

The centerpiece of the property is the 18-hole Avocet Course, designed by former American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) president Jeff Brauer, who worked closely on the course design with three-time PGA Tour major champion Larry Nelson. The Avocet Course opened in 1991 and has a fun, modern design full of risk-reward opportunities, as well as a number of holes and features you will not find anywhere else in the region.

My favorite hole at the Avocet, and one of my favorites in all of Myrtle Beach, is the potentially drivable par-four 14th, nicknamed “Double Dare.” A split fairway greets players, as does a rectangular green with a series of mounds running front-to-back across the middle. Keep in mind that attempting to drive the green may not be the wisest play, nor the best one for you. But that’s all right, because there are a half dozen different ways to play the hole, ranging from two safe mid-irons played up the left-hand fairway, to a drive and a pitch from the right-side fairway, to the aforementioned mighty swing at the green itself, plus some variations in between. Much of the strategy of the hole is dictated by the pin position, which means the hole will play differently each time — making the Avocet a course you might do well to consider playing multiple times on your trip. This is especially true since the course is well-known for its excellent conditioning and fast greens, which you will enjoy putting on.

The Avocet is not Wild Wing’s only golf attraction, however. There is also the Hummingbird Nine — which, by contrast, is geared for the enjoyment of beginners and time-constrained golfers alike. It is also perfect for a fun nine-hole game after you’ve taken on the Avocet Course. At just over 3,000 yards from the longest set of tees with a par of 34, the Willard Byrd design adopts the modern orientation toward fun and fast play for those looking for an affordable extra nine-hole round.

With one of Myrtle Beach’s most underrated 18-hole golf courses and a bonus fun nine-hole loop, Wild Wing Plantation should be near the top of your wish list for golf stops on any Myrtle Beach vacation.

He’s Back: Tiger Woods Is Healthy and Ready to Get Back to Golf

It was a long wait, but it finally came to an end last month.

At long last, Tiger Woods is officially back on the golf course in a competitive capacity.

There was something of a false start back in the fall, when Woods, who had previously indicated his intention to play in October’s PGA Tour season-opening Safeway Open, ultimately passed on playing. But a few weeks later, he committed to play in December’s star-studded, 18-player Hero World Challenge, the event for which he serves as host.

When Woods teed it up on Dec. 1, it marked the end of a 15-month layoff from professional golf — and the end of 15 months of intense speculation about his ability to continue to play quality golf at the world’s highest level at the age of 40 and after multiple microdiscectomy surgeries. Fans and media alike had been divided into two camps — those who believe he’s capable of winning on Tour and perhaps adding to his career total of 14 majors, and those who feel his best days are decidedly behind him and that he’s going to be reduced to a more or less ceremonial role in the game for the rest of his playing days.

So which Tiger Woods showed up to Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas? It depends on your point of view, but on balance there seemed to be a lot more reason for optimism about Woods’ game than many expected, with the acknowledgment that there’s some rust still to knock off his golf game.

Woods started with a very promising first nine; at one point he was briefly tied for the lead at four under par. He would struggle on the inward nine, ultimately shooting a one-over-par 73, which gave fans plenty of hope about the state of Woods’ game.

The former longtime best golfer on the planet put a real charge into the golf world in his second round, when he shot a seven-under-par 65, the third-lowest score of the day. A third-round 70 was solid if unspectacular, but Woods backtracked a bit on Sunday, shooting a 76 to finish 15th at four-under-par 284. All in all, it was an encouraging first outing, one where Woods put himself in position to succeed while playing a relatively easy and familiar course.

Woods’ next start in a professional golf tournament is somewhat unclear, but he has committed to play in February’s Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, where he made his first-ever PGA Tour start a quarter-century ago in the 1992 L.A. Open. He has traditionally started his season at the late-January Farmers Insurance Open at his beloved Torrey Pines, but he has yet to commit.

Whenever Woods tees it up next, you can bet it will be a major happening in golf. I can’t wait.

How to Book a Spring Golfing-Group Trip to Myrtle Beach

If you’re reading this, chances are the golf lover in you is a little bummed out by the cold weather that’s descended on us as we embark on 2017.

We may be biased, but here in Myrtle Beach, we consider this the perfect time to start planning a golf trip to the Grand Strand to experience some of the nearly 100 courses in the region. And chances are, if you’re starting to get antsy to embark on a winter or spring golf escape, your best golfing pals are probably having similar ideas.


Here’s how to plan such a trip in a way that works well for everyone:


Strength in (Round) Numbers
To the extent possible, having agreement over the amount of golf to be played each day will make your trip most successful. Are your buddies all-out golf junkies? Then by all means, play 36 holes a day! If they’re more about quality than quantity (and prefer not to get up super-early), 18 holes a day should be plenty, perhaps with an option to tack on a just-for-fun extra nine holes here or there. Regardless, since you’ll be playing multiple rounds, your best bet for both crafting the perfect golf itinerary and saving a bunch in the process is to take advantage of the sweet multi-round discounts – and other perks – MyrtleBeachGolf.com offers. For example, if you book a four-round, golf-only Rewards Package, not only will you receive a substantial discount on the sum of the courses’ individual greens fees, MyrtleBeachGolf.com will give you a $100 gift card to be used for food, beverages, merchandise or same-day replay golf. These 4-round packages start as low as $208, including that $100 gift card. In short, you won’t find better-value golf anywhere else.

Save On Golf, Save On Lodging…Save (up to 40%!) On Everything
The long-tended relationships forged by MyrtleBeachGolf.com’s overseers result in hundreds of dollars in savings for thousands of visiting Grand Strand golfers every year. After all, as the birthplace of the golf package, Myrtle Beach’s golf industry professionals love to save visitors money, and MyrtleBeachGolf.com’s staff are some of the best in the business at it. For example, your typical beach vacationer might be able to come and stay at one of the area’s fine beachside resorts for 3-nights at the best available discounted rate totaling over $600. As a golfer booking the same accommodations with our experts at MyrtleBeachGolf.com, you’re looking at the Players Choice lodging rate totally $551 for the same 3 nights AND getting a free breakfast buffet each morning to boot. That’s nearly 40% in savings on your accommodations during your next golf vacation simply because you’re a golfer…and booked with MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Trust the Experts
Again, we’re biased, but here at MyrtleBeachGolf.com, you’ll find all the resources you could possibly need to arrange golf and lodging for a group of any size. The Myrtle Beach area is bigger than many first-time visitors think, so confining your golf and accommodations to a specific subsection of the region can save a lot of time. Our experienced trip consultants, being avid golfers themselves, know the area as well as anyone. This means they can steer you in the direction not just of the right accommodations and golf courses, but the best restaurants and off-course activities, should your group desire them. They are happy to be as hands-on as you want in the planning process.

Or if you're the type who wants to take all the planning into your own hands, you still have the valuable resource of fellow golfers advice and feedback. MyrtleBeachGolf.com features the largest collection of golf course reviews with over 5,000 posted through the Fairway Insider - course reviews for golfers, by golfers.


Over the better part of the last century, golfers like you have helped build Myrtle Beach into one of the premier golf destinations in the world. MyrtleBeachGolf.com would not exist without that loyalty, which is why we work as hard as possible to make sure every golfer we serve has the best golf vacation experience possible here on the Grand Strand. So are you ready for Spring Golf? Because we cannot wait.

Golf Courses Up and Down the Grand Strand Earn Awards

In an area with such a large volume of golf courses as Myrtle Beach, there are bound to be some awards earned for the “best of the best” layouts from time to time. And indeed, every year, a number of Grand Strand layouts earn recognition from various golf and travel publications.

But the recent round of awards to be handed out among Myrtle Beach’s premier golf courses indicates that the state of the area golf industry has never been better. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest recent wins.

Perhaps the single biggest distinction earned by any Myrtle Beach-area golf facility came at Barefoot Resort, which was named North American Golf Resort of the Year by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO). Dave Genevro, Barefoot’s general manager, accepted the award at a conference held by IAGTO in Mallorca, Spain.

In addition to the honor bestowed on Barefoot, a number of other Myrtle Beach-area courses earned spots in Golfweek’s prestigious “Best Resort Courses” rankings. The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Golf Club respectively earned the 24th, 27th and 63rd positions on the list, cementing their reputations as not just the some of best courses on the Grand Strand, but some of the best golf experiences in America.

Six other area golf courses made Golfweek’s “Next 100 Resort Courses” list: the Moorland Course at Legends Resort (#116), King’s North at Myrtle Beach National (#120), the Dye Club at Barefoot Resort (#142), Grande Dunes Resort Club (#149), the Love Course at Barefoot Resort (#193) and the Fazio Course at Barefoot Resort (#194).

The fun thing about rankings is that they’re subjective. While all golfers agree that these courses deserve a high level of distinction, if you were to poll 100 highly experienced, avid golfers among Myrtle Beach visitors and residents, you’d probably hear about a dozen or more other courses that they believe deserve to make these lists — including courses like Leopard’s Chase and Tiger’s Eye all the way on the northern end of the Grand Strand, down to TPC Myrtle Beach, Prestwick, Heritage Club and Pawleys Plantation on the south end. That’s what brings golfers back to Myrtle Beach year after year: seemingly endless possibilities for a great golf vacation.

Bringing The Kids To Play Golf In Myrtle Beach? Here’s Why That’s An Awesome Idea

Myrtle Beach is one of the world’s best golf destinations because it’s great for all types of visiting golfers – younger, older, large groups, couples and especially families. In fact, Myrtle Beach is home to some of the most family-friendly fairways on the planet. This might be a bold statement, but we’re prepared to back it up.

Incredible Value
The presence of a hundred-odd golf courses in the greater Myrtle Beach area means a wealth of opportunities for golfing families that cater to every age and skill level. Young, true beginners will have fun at Myrtle Beach’s par-3 courses, while more experienced junior players can sharpen their game from the shorter tees at the rest of the area’s golf offerings.

Even more important than the variety golf offerings in Myrtle Beach is the incredible value. Many courses in the area offer deeply reduced rates for juniors playing alongside their parents. In fact, kids can play for free during specified times of day at a number of area courses, depending on the season. In a time when seemingly everyone in golf is trying to figure out how to grow the game, Myrtle Beach has long practiced a policy that makes the game accessible for both parents and kids.

The most popular time to bring the family to Myrtle Beach also happens to be one of the less busy golf seasons – summertime. Slightly warmer temperatures mean fewer crowds and lower rates. Countless young golfers have cherished memories of playing 18 holes during golden hour. You can tee off with your young players around 4 or 5 o’clock in the evening and finish just as the sun sets.

Competitive Spirit
In addition to low rates for junior golfers at area courses, Myrtle Beach is home to a number of major competitive junior golf events every year. There’s the George Holliday Memorial Junior Tournament, held every November at the three courses at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club. In April of 2017, Caledonia and True Blue, two of Myrtle Beach’s most pristine course, play host to the Palmetto High School Golf Championship. And there’s the newest area junior golf tournament, the Dustin Johnson World Junior. This prestigious event will be held at the end of February at TPC Myrtle Beach. This just happens to be Johnson’s home course on the Grand Strand.

Variety, affordability and a competitive atmosphere are just some of the qualities that make Myrtle Beach such a sought after place for junior golfers and families of all skill levels. Here’s hoping that other great golf destinations continue to see it as a model and a beacon for growing the game.

Golfer on Your Gift List? Here Are 3 Great Stocking-Stuffer Ideas for Christmas

Christmas will be here before you know it, so it’s not too early to start making a list, checking it twice and taking care of the items on it.

One great way to make a dent in your gift list is with stocking stuffers, which, though small, can pack a memorable punch. If you have a golfer on your list (or want to start dropping gift hints for yourself), here are some great stocking-stuffer ideas:

Head Covers
One popular item of “swag” that golfers are adding to their bags is a snazzy head cover … or two … or three. And it turns out that a couple new head covers could make great replacements for a stocking altogether. Seamus Golf makes some of my favorite head covers — their Pacific Northwest-inspired vibe is fun without being too overstated, and they offer a mind-numbing assortment of designs and patterns. They’re a little pricey starting at just under $60, but they’re made to last, and they’re made in the U.S.A. Alternatively, some nice leather head covers from your favorite golfer’s favorite course might do nicely, as well.

Donuts?!
Some golfers seem to be satisfied using a regular coin to mark their balls on greens, but I love a unique ball marker, and I’ve got my eye on one of Tyson Lamb’s donut-shaped ball markers, milled out of the same type of steel he uses for his custom putters. If you haven’t heard of Tyson Lamb, you will: He’s being called “the next Scotty Cameron.”

Golf Balls
Sure, it’s probably the least-sexy golf gift imaginable, but no true golfer is going to turn down the primary piece of equipment that is required for the game. Since stockings tend to be a place for experimentation and chance (random snacks and lottery tickets are always popular non-golf stuffers), you can extend that concept into the golf realm by slipping in a sleeve or two of the Kirkland-branded golf balls from Costco that have the whole golf world talking. At $15 a dozen, you can buy some for yourself as well as your favorite golfer, and test them out against the mainstream big brands.

Stocking-stuffers can sometimes upstage the “main event” on Christmas morning. If there’s a golfer on your list who’s been particularly nice, any or all three of these suggestions can go a long way toward making sure their 2017 golf season is the best ever.

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Golfers

It’s hard to believe, but Halloween is in the rear-view mirror and November is already here. Just around the corner: Thanksgiving, Christmas and the turning of the calendar to 2017.

For golfers in most of the Northern Hemisphere, this is a bummer, because the traditional golf season is either winding down or over altogether. Temperatures are plummeting, leaves are jumping off trees, and snow and ice are either falling or on the way in short order.

And as we get ready to welcome a new year soon, here are a few “New Year’s Resolutions” golfers should make … and stick to for a change:

Play More Golf!
This is the easiest resolution to make, and probably the hardest to keep. But it’s possible, even if you can’t quite take it to the extreme of Barry Gibbons, the Ridgefield, Connecticut, resident who is on pace to play more than 800 rounds in 2016. But if you played 20 times this year, shoot for 24 next year — that works out to twice a month, or four times per month in the prime golf season. If you played 40 rounds, shoot for 50, and so on. Even if it’s just one more round per month, that will make a difference.

Become a Better Golfer (for Real This Time)
It’s funny (in a depressing way) to watch golfers who play all the time and buy new clubs seemingly every few months shoot the same disappointing scores over and over again. Most of it comes to the way golfers practice - when they do practice. The average amateur golfer’s pre-round warm-up consists of maybe 10 full swings, most of them with the driver. I would always recommend allowing at least 20 to 30 minutes for practice before a round, but if that’s a nonstarter, you should at least consider forsaking those half-hearted range swings for some brief but intense chipping practice. Get a feel for the greens, and if you’re really feeling ambitious, hit a few chip and pitch shots.

Track Your Stats
You may not be able to benefit from the same hyper-detailed statistical tracking that PGA Tour players use, but if you’ve never been that technologically inclined, you might be surprised just how close you can get through a variety of apps and devices aimed at giving you a more complete picture of your golf game. Arccos and GAME GOLF are two of the more-expensive apps and services, but even if you just keep track of your fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts per round, you can get a pretty decent idea of the parts of your game that need the most work. (Hint: It’s probably your putting.)

There are other, more granular resolutions that golfers can have, but if you can put these three on your list - and stick to them - you will become both a better and happier golfer.

3 Reasons to Make DICK’S Sporting Goods Your Golf-Equipment Source

Many of you have complimented our recent rundowns on two golf-specific Myrtle Beach retailers: PGA TOUR Superstore and Golfsmith.

Unfortunately, you may have heard the news recently that Golfsmith filed for bankruptcy and will be closing a number of its retail outlets. One of these casualties is the Golfsmith Xtreme location across from North Myrtle Beach’s PGA TOUR Superstore (longtime area visitors know the spot as a former Golf Dimensions). That said, Myrtle Beach’s main Golfsmith store will remain open, but ultimately will be run by the company that recently acquired Golfsmith: DICK’S Sporting Goods.

It turns out that DICK’S already has a Myrtle Beach location, at Coastal Grand Mall. If you find yourself hanging around in that area, here are three reasons to stop in:

The essentials (especially if you’re short on time)
Whereas the likes of Myrtle Beach’s PGA TOUR Superstore, and even the smaller Golfsmith, are so big that they’re easy to get lost in, DICK’S golf section is modest while still making available pretty much anything you need for golf on an everyday basis. Need to stock up on golf balls, or maybe pick up a new glove? DICK’S is the perfect venue for that. Looking to get your putter re-gripped quickly? The golf specialists at DICK’S are equipped to do that for you. Plus, you can browse their selection of the major golf items — clubs, bags, shoes, clothing and accessories — while you wait.

A perfect location
Myrtle Beach’s DICK’S Sporting Goods outpost sits at one end of the huge, well-appointed Coastal Grand Mall. That means it can provide a nice golf-shopping oasis while in the midst of a family outing. In this kind of situation, it’s a great alternative to PGA TOUR Superstore and Golfsmith because those other locations are stand-alone structures. But at DICK’S, while you get your golf fix, you can let the family wander into one of dozens of other shops on the premises. Or not, because …

More than just golf
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth noting that DICK’S Sporting Goods itself is an incredibly varied store. Sure, the PGA TOUR Superstore has a small tennis section, but DICK’S has it all. This is especially true of apparel: Their selection of shoes, workout clothing and other athletic wear is awesome, especially in and around the golf department. Finally, the wider scope at DICK’S can facilitate better deals than you might find anywhere else, especially if you enroll in their rewards program.

All in all, DICK’S Sporting Goods in Myrtle Beach represents a great source for golf goods, along with a ton of other stuff.

Want to Keep Winter Cabin Fever Away? Plan a Myrtle Beach Golf Trip

It’s 20 degrees outside. The wind is whistling around the corners of your house and through the shutters on your windows. If you want to go to the store, you first have to spend five minutes scraping frost off your windshield. You haven’t seen the grass on your lawn in weeks, maybe months.

That does it. It’s time to head south for a winter-relief golf trip.

Yes, there are a lot of potential destinations for such a vacation. But here are three big reasons why Myrtle Beach golf should be at the top of your list:

Variety
To put it simply, there are no golf destinations on Earth that supply both the quantity and quality of golf courses on offer in the Myrtle Beach area. From Pawleys Island, South Carolina, north to Shallotte, North Carolina, there are some 100 courses to choose from, many of which are above average or better golf experiences. There are big-name courses that will deliver unforgettable, premium golf experiences. There are “hidden gems” that you will want to return to again and again. There are courses offering off-the-charts value with their low greens fees. At any given time, a group enjoying the courses in and around Pawleys Island is having as good a time as one making its way through the “Big Cats” courses at Ocean Ridge Plantation some 60 miles north. There is something for every golfer in Myrtle Beach.

Value (Especially in the Winter)
We would be lying if we guaranteed that you will get the same weather in Myrtle Beach in the winter as you would in, say, Miami. Yes, you may need a sweater and a long-sleeved turtleneck some days, but more often than not, and especially if you’re visiting from the Northeast or Midwest in the dead of winter, you’ll be relieved at just how mild the temperatures are. Many golfers visiting in the winter like to wear shorts, even on brisk days. But the winter brings its fair share of 60- and even 70-degree days, too. As a hedge against potential weather uncertainty, area golf courses and hotels drop their rates, opening the door to some of the very best golf-package deals you will find anywhere, at any time.

Peace and Quiet
Concerns about the weather in Myrtle Beach in the winter keep many golfers at home, which means that if you’re wise enough to visit during this time, you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself. Tee times will be easy to come by. Pace of play will be faster. There will be less traffic on your way to and from the golf course, hotel, airport, you name it. In essence, even though Myrtle Beach is world famous, in the winter, it’s a well-kept secret.

Shopping for a Golfer (or Yourself) This Holiday Season? Consider These 4 Awesome Gifts

It’s fall, and you know what that means: The holiday season is just around the corner. If you have any golfers on your list — or want to start dropping hints to others for gift ideas for yourself — here are four ideas that run the gamut from the super-practical to the magically absurd:

Orange Whip Swing Trainer
If you’re not careful, all the gains you made during a busy golf season can be undone by a golf-free off-season. That’s why, especially if you struggle with a too-quick or generally inconsistent tempo in your swing, the Orange Whip Trainer ($109) can be a godsend. With its whippy shaft, heavy orange rubber ball where the clubhead would be and counterweight behind the grip, it is a great aid to swing a few dozen times per day in your garage to help keep your golf muscles engaged until your next round.

Under Armour Match Play Golf Shorts
Under Armour’s sports apparel seems to get better and better every year, and its golf clothing is no exception, as the familiar superimposed “UA” logo seems to show up at golf courses everywhere, every day. But it’s Under Armour’s golf shorts that have us really impressed. Yes, they cost $65 to $70 per pair, but they’re worth it — durable, slightly stretchy and so comfortable, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re wearing your favorite, well-worn pair of gym shorts on the course.

YETI Rambler Tumbler
YETI has made its name and fame primarily with high-end drink coolers. It’s only natural that the company has expanded its offerings to include smaller products, including a 30-ounce, stainless steel cup that golfers are buying left and right. Though the recipient of this gift will be appreciative of it in the winter, you’re bound to get a really excited call next summer as he or she raves about the fact that the Rambler will keep drinks ice cold — even on a hot day — for more than 12 hours. At about $40, it’s not a cheap stocking stuffer, but it is a high-quality one.

The Parsons Xtreme Golf Xperience
GoDaddy.com founder and billionaire Bob Parsons has made a huge impression on the golf industry over the last couple years with his fledgling golf equipment company, Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG). Their spare-no-expense approach and brash marketing style have attracted thousands of fanatical golfers, who plunk down as much as $5,000 for a set of the PXG’s intricately tuned and custom-fitted clubs. As if that didn’t establish enough of a sense of excess, PXG offers a VIP “Xperience” that brings two golfers to the company’s headquarters at the exclusive, Parsons-owned Scottsdale National Golf Club for a three-day, well, experience. Participants get a full-bag fitting, a stay at either the Four Seasons or W Hotel and three rounds at Scottsdale National with a company rep. The experience starts at just under $13,000. If you want to charter a private jet and go all out, it’s $99,000. If money is no object, we are hard-pressed to come up with a more ridiculously awesome holiday golf gift.

United States Breaks Ryder Cup Losing Streak; Myrtle Beach’s Own Dustin Johnson Helps the Cause

After two years of hand-wringing over the potential effectiveness of Davis Love III’s second Ryder Cup captaincy — during a period that saw the creation and mobilization of a much-discussed and much-derided “Ryder Cup Task Force” as a way to turn around team fortunes — the American side claimed a decisive 17-11 victory over the European team on U.S. soil at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota’s Twin Cities area.

The Yanks set the tone early, roaring out to a 4-0 lead after the Friday-morning Foursomes session. Though the alternate-shot format has recently been a weakness for the American team, it won five-and-a-half out of a possible eight points from those sessions on Friday and Saturday mornings.

After splitting the afternoon best-ball sessions overall, the Americans carried a three-point lead into Sunday’s dozen decisive Singles matches. While that margin may have seemed safe, to assume so would ignore the calamity of the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago, when the U.S. team lost a four-point lead at the beginning of the Singles round in Davis Love III’s first go-around as captain.

No such let-down was in the cards this year, as the American side set the tone for victory from the very first match, a thrilling throwdown between spark plugs Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy. Reed, riding a week-long adrenaline high, defeated the No. 3 player in the world, giving his team and the partisan (at times excessively so) fans a boost that carried the day. The six-point margin of victory was the largest for an American team since 1981.

Captain Love put a little pressure on the team early in the week of the event, opining that his might be the best team of professional golfers ever assembled. But they proved him right with a mix of power players like Brooks Koepka, short-game specialists like Brandt Snedeker, and solid all-around talents like Jordan Spieth and Reed, who went 2-1-1 in the team sessions.

The American team also included Myrtle Beach’s favorite pro golfer: Dustin Johnson. Johnson went 2-2-0 for the weekend, capping it off with a victory over British pro Chris Wood, which secured the home team’s 17th overall point.

Now, the United States team will look to retain the Ryder Cup in two years’ time, at Le Golf National outside of Paris, France.

Looking for Some Competition? Play in the Myrtle Beach Fall Classic

You may already know that one of Myrtle Beach’s many close associations with the game of golf is the Myrtle Beach World Amateur, which welcomes more than 3,000 amateur golfers from all over the world to the Grand Strand every year.

But did you know that the “World Am” is just one of many competitive golf events held in Myrtle Beach each year?

One of the area's most successful events outside the World Am is the Myrtle Beach Fall Classic, which is heading into its second year. This year’s event will take place Nov. 14-17 at a collection of renowned courses throughout the Grand Strand. Mid-fall is an underrated time for golf in the Myrtle Beach area, as temperatures tend to be perfect and precipitation is generally less of a threat than in the damper spring high season.

If the success of the tournament’s first year is any indication, the Myrtle Beach Fall Classic might well become for two-person teams what the World Am has become for individuals. Year 1 was a huge success, as some 160 teams ventured to the Grand Strand in 2015 to play 72 holes in four different formats — one for each day of competition. The tournament gets off to a traditional start with a Best-Ball round, followed by a Texas Scramble, Combined Team Net and, finally, a Team Scramble on the fourth and final day of competition.

In order to draw the best possible field, the Fall Classic is played over nothing but the very top tier of Myrtle Beach golf courses. Here is the tentative lineup for this year’s event (different flights will play different courses on these days):

Day 1: Prestwick Country Club, Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, True Blue Golf Club
Day 2: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Barefoot Resort (Fazio Course), Myrtle Beach National (King’s North)
Day 3: Thistle Golf Club, Long Bay Club, Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links
Day 4: Grande Dunes Resort Club, Tidewater Golf Club and Plantation, Barefoot Resort (Norman Course)

As you can see, Myrtle Beach is rolling out the red carpet for the 160 two-person teams who enter (at a cost of $425 per player) the second annual Myrtle Beach Fall Classic. Registration for this year's classic ends on October 30, so there is still plenty of time to set your team and set your sights on playing these premier Myrtle Beach courses. Get your team registered today.

And once you've registered, remember that you'll need as much rest and relaxation as possible between rounds. You can rest easy with the golf vacation experts at MyrtleBeachGolf.com helping you find the best rates at some of the leading oceanfront resorts in the area. Check out our Lodgings Page where you can explore our featured resort properties and book directly, or just let one of our experts do all the work and get a quote for your group's stay during the Myrtle Beach Fall Classic.

Looking to Improve Your Game in Myrtle Beach? Visit These 3 Top Golf Teachers

As you probably know, the Myrtle Beach area is one of the world’s foremost golf destinations, with some 100 golf courses located along the Grand Strand, a region featuring a 60-mile stretch of Atlantic coastline.

And what does most every golf course have? That’s right: at least one (and sometimes more than one) teaching pro on hand, ready and willing to work with golfers of all ages and abilities.

Dozens of golf courses means dozens of pros with centuries of collective experience taking uncertain golfers and giving them the tools to shave valuable strokes off their handicaps. Here are three instructors based in the Myrtle Beach area who get our highest recommendation.

Brad Redding
A PGA Master Professional, Brad Redding is based out of International Club in Murrells Inlet. Both an excellent observer of the most minute details of a player’s swing and a terrific communicator, he was named PGA Teacher of the Year six times in Tennessee before moving to Myrtle Beach. He has appeared on Golf Channel a number of times throughout the years, on its “Golf Academy Live” and “Your Game Night” programs. This renown, coupled with his legion of loyal pupils, has helped him become a fixture on GOLF Magazine’s “Top 100 Teachers” list.

Steve Dresser/Steve Dresser Golf School
The Pawleys Island area of the Grand Strand is home to some of the best golf courses in South Carolina. One of our favorites is True Blue Golf Club, a Mike Strantz-designed gem. The course’s excellent facilities are the domain of Steve Dresser and the Steve Dresser Golf School. Dresser and his seven staff members give both individual and group lessons on the back side of True Blue’s huge, meandering practice facility. With multiple greens in range of the main tee area, as well as a comprehensive short-game practice area, students can work on shots of any length and shape as they seek lower scores. For groups, the Steve Dresser Golf School ensures a student-to-instructor ratio of 3-to-1 or better.

Alasdair Dyer/Dyer Golf Academy
Barefoot Resort is one of Myrtle Beach’s top golf facilities, with four highly-ranked courses by Tom Fazio, Greg Norman, Davis Love III and Pete Dye. Alasdair Dyer has been at Barefoot for nearly a decade, hailing originally from Sussex, England. He is an accomplished player in his own right, so he knows what it takes to play golf at the highest possible levels. He and three other staff members pride themselves on giving personal attention to students ranging from beginners to PGA, LPGA and European Tour players.

Bottom line: Myrtle Beach has so much more than great golf courses — it is home to a number of men and women who devote their lives to helping you become the best golfer you can be.

Four Myrtle Beach Golf Courses Honored by Golf Magazine

It only makes sense that golfers like to keep track of things beyond just their score for a given round. Truly avid players live to collect great experiences and play great courses, which is what brings so many thousands of them to Myrtle Beach every year. The surrounding Grand Strand is home to some 100 golf courses, with a surprising number of first-rate layouts that garner national attention year after year.

Golf Magazine’s biennial “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” rankings give golfers an idea of the absolute best courses they can (and should) visit. Naturally, Myrtle Beach is home to four of them: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club (#29), The Dunes Golf & Beach Club (#39), True Blue Golf Club (#77) and the Love Course at Barefoot Resort (#85). Even better news for golfers looking to experience some of the best public and resort golf in the country: Rounds at all four courses can be booked through www.MyrtleBeachGolf.com.


Caledonia ranked #29 in this year's Top 100

Caledonia and True Blue go together like peanut butter and jelly. Both masterpiece designs by late architect Mike Strantz, they sit side by side in Pawleys Island, making for one of the best 36-hole days in the golf world. “Our courses are listed among others that get international attention and have hosted huge tournaments such as the U.S. Open,” said Bob Seganti, PGA Director of Golf Operation for both course. “It’s very exciting to see our names beside theirs.”


True Blue ranked #77 in this year's Top 100

Our suggestion: Start things off at True Blue, with its wide, rolling fairways and huge greens guarded by sandy waste areas and water hazards at every turn. Visually, True Blue blurs the line between golf course design and land sculpture to the point where you will remember every single hole. After lunch overlooking the course, your afternoon round at Caledonia will stay in your mind as well. The wonder will begin as you creep down the course’s entrance road through a centuries-old avenue of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. These majestic trees also affect strategy on the course, whose 18 holes form an engaging and gorgeous journey through a pure Lowcountry setting. The 18th, a par-4 with an approach over water and incredible views out toward the Waccamaw River, will become one of your favorite finishing holes. Adding to the fun, you can expect other golfers to be looking on as you play, as the clubhouse and porch are just steps over the back of the green.



The Dunes Club ranked #39 in this year's Top 100

Situated farther north in Myrtle Beach, the Dunes is perhaps the area’s most iconic golf course. Built in 1948 by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., the course is simply one of the best and most famous in the South — public, private or otherwise. Its signature hole is the long par-5 13th, called “Waterloo,” which bends hard to the right around a lake in a C-shape before rising to the green. The Dunes is also the Myrtle Beach golf venue with the greatest tournament pedigree, having hosted multiple Southern Amateurs, finals of PGA Tour Qualifying and the PGA Professional National Championship, among many other prestigious events. Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s son Rees, an acclaimed architect in his own right, recently made some subtle updates to the course, keeping it in league with the country’s best.


The Love Course at Barefoot ranked #85 in this year's Top 100

The Love Course is just one of four layouts at Barefoot Resort, joining efforts by Tom Fazio, Greg Norman and Pete Dye. A 19th-hole debate rages about which of these courses is the best, which is an indication that you should try to play all of them on your next Myrtle Beach golf trip. But it is understandable that the Love course would be singled out, as it is Barefoot’s most visually intriguing layout. This visual interest comes from a stand of man-made ruins imitating those of an old plantation house, which actually come into play on both the fourth and sixth holes. The former of these might be Myrtle Beach’s best par-4. Playing slightly uphill, it is drivable from the tee, and the powerful player may get to see his tee shot carom off the ruins behind the green to set up a trip-making eagle putt. The rest of the course gets high marks for its playability, particularly through Love’s use of extensive fairway-length chipping areas around the greens, which provide options galore for players of all skill levels.

Since so many golfers enjoy experiencing “top-100” courses, MyrtleBeachGolf.com provides a number of packages where you can check these top tier courses off your must-play list. Easily compare multi-round packages with our custom comparison tool or even design your own Top 100 package by submitting a free quick quote for our golf vacation experts to build your perfect Myrtle Beach golf vacation.

Perfect for your Post-Round: Myrtle Beach’s Best Clubhouses

We spend a lot of time on this site talking about Myrtle Beach’s great golf offerings. And for good reason: Together, the area’s golf courses constitute one of the world’s greatest collections.

But a truly outstanding golf experience is not just about the courses. A welcoming, comfortable, well-appointed clubhouse can tie the entire day together. These are three of our favorite Myrtle Beach-area clubhouses: one each in the South, Central and North regions of the Grand Strand.

South: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
In addition to having one of the very best golf courses on the Grand Strand, Caledonia’s clubhouse is iconic in its own right. This starts with its perfect setting: at the edge of the Waccamaw River wetlands, with a plantation-style wraparound porch — complete with rocking chairs — overlooking the 18th green. As you prepare to play your approach shot, you should expect people on the porch to be betting on its outcome. If your round at Caledonia is scheduled for the morning, be sure to leave time to have lunch afterward. Their shrimp bisque is a favorite of many, and their sandwiches are hard to beat.

Central: The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
Once again, it should come as no surprise that one of the Myrtle Beach area’s best courses is also home to one of its most luxurious clubhouses. The Dunes, being primarily a club for members, is more reminiscent of a private club clubhouse than that of a public or resort course. In this case, that means a phenomenal locker room, one that boasts majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Once again, the food served inside is not to be missed, either — especially the salad bar.

North: Thistle Golf Club
Thistle’s 27 Tim Cate-designed holes constitute one of the very best golf courses on the North Carolina side of the Grand Strand. It affects a Scottish flair, which is anchored by its clubhouse, an imperious stone structure reminiscent of James Bond’s home of Skyfall (one of the best Bond movies). The theme abides inside as well, with many artifacts salvaged from throughout the British Isles and greater Europe. The attention to detail helps the building feel cozy and welcoming. It’s very easy to pass the time before or after your round in the bar.

To book your outing and experience the clubhouses at these three golf courses and many more on the Grand Strand, visit our courses page here.

3 Reasons the PGA Tour Superstore Should Be Your Myrtle Beach Golf Equipment Hub

The Myrtle Beach area is an all-golf, all-the-time type of place. Yes, it’s home to some 100 golf courses, and it’s also the mini-golf capital of the world. Finally, there are a number of massive golf stores that attract thousands of visitors and locals annually. After all, if you’ve just three-putted six greens, it might be time to buy a new putter, right?

Two of the Grand Strand’s very best golf stores are outposts of the legendary PGA Tour Superstore franchise. With locations across from Broadway at the Beach and in North Myrtle Beach, the PGA Tour Superstore is the best place for your golf equipment needs and desires. Its list of advantages is as long as Dustin Johnson’s tee shots, but for brevity’s sake, we’ve narrowed it down to three:

Massive Scale
The first thing that grabs the attention of the first-time PGA Tour Superstore visitor is the store’s sheer size. Both Myrtle Beach locations are more than 100,000 square feet in size, which gives the golfer excited heart palpitations and the confidence that if (s)he’s looking for it, it can be found. A sensible layout (golf balls are at the front, so a quick in-and-out pit stop is very doable if necessary) and friendly staff make everything easy to find.

Clubs, balls, apparel, accessories … an incredible variety of each is on offer at the PGA Tour Superstore. Looking to score the new TaylorMade M1 driver? They’ve got a bunch. Hoping to compare a couple models of the latest Scotty Cameron putter line? It’s more than doable. Need a new glove? You’ll have an incredible selection to choose from. The same goes for golf balls, pants, shorts, shirts, socks and more.

Last but not least, not to jinx you, but if you find yourself rained out of golf one day, there’s no better place to kill some time than the PGA Tour Superstore, wandering the aisles in search of that game-changing club or device.

Reasonable Prices
The huge-scale operation that is the PGA Tour Superstore — which has dozens of locations across the country — is such that they are able to negotiate for the most competitive prices on their wares. Whereas pro shops are selling Titleist Pro V1s or other top-end golf balls for $60 or more per dozen, the PGA Tour Superstore sells them for less than $50, which is as low as you’re going to find anywhere. Furthermore, the sheer amount of product they need to move on an annual basis is such that amazing deals can be uncovered. Clearance racks can be a gold mine, and so can the used club racks. One of my friends bought a putter for $100 at the PGA Tour Superstore, only to find that it was worth upwards of $300.

Awesome Amenities
The PGA Tour Superstore is a truly immersive experience in golf-equipment shopping. In an age when custom fitting has become more and more important to the equipment selection and purchasing process, the PGA Tour Superstore has modernized to match the times. Multiple hitting bays with sophisticated launch monitors await the serious equipment geek and tinkerer alike, providing all the statistics necessary to determine which club-shaft-grip combos are going to help you take your game to the next level. That high-tech equipment isn’t just for testing, either: PGA Tour Superstores have staff on hand who can give lessons and swing advice with the help of high-speed camera systems. You can cure your slice and find your next driver, all at the same place.

Both Myrtle Beach-area locations also have expansive putting greens, where you can compare putters until you’ve found your new gamer. Again, if you can’t find it at the PGA Tour Superstore, it probably doesn’t exist.

The PGA Tour Superstore is one of many reasons to make Myrtle Beach your next golf destination.

Had a Bad Front Nine? Here’s How to Turn It Around on the Back

So, you may have made a few more bogeys or double-bogeys than usual on the opening nine of your round. We’ve all been there. Lucky for you, there’s a lot of golf left to play and a lot of chances to redeem yourself and salvage a decent score for the round.

Whether you’re playing your home course or are on a Myrtle Beach golf adventure (with your rounds booked at www.MyrtleBeachGolf.com, of course!), here are three tips for turning things around at the turn.

Take a break and fuel up
A frustrating first nine holes can fill a golfer’s head with all kinds of negative thoughts. The worst thing you can do in these situations is to speed on past the clubhouse (assuming the ninth hole of the course you’re playing returns to the clubhouse) and directly to the tenth tee to immediately resume the torture.

Instead, treat your stop at the clubhouse as a five-minute mini-vacation. Take a deep breath, rinse your face, and get a snack — a banana, peanuts, heck, even a hot dog … or maybe even a beer if you feel like it might help you get the mojo back on your side. It doesn’t much matter what you do as long as you’re taking a little break to refocus. That way, there’s a much better chance that your second nine will feel like a brand new round.

Spice things up by raising the stakes (without going crazy)
A lot of golfers, especially when on vacation and playing an unfamiliar course, don’t seem to like to put anything on the line when they play. In my experience, that’s a great way to ensure that you’ll never improve. If there are no consequences for bad shots, bad holes or bad rounds, it’s easy to let them pile up. I’m not saying you should play for mortgage payments or anything, but a $2 Nassau bet (i.e. $2 for the front nine, $2 for the back nine and $2 for the entire 18) seems to be just enough to keep all players interested. If you don’t want to put any money on the line, fine: Loser has to clean the winner’s clubs. Never underestimate the positive effect a little competitiveness can have on your golf game, and never overestimate the unhelpfulness of not caring about the shots you’re hitting.

Tee it forward
Most golfers who go on golf vacations tend to play from too long a set of tees at unfamiliar courses. If you feel like the golf course is beating you up, no one’s stopping you from making it a little bit shorter. If you put up a really crooked number on the front, move up a set of tees and adopt the mindset that you’re about to set an all-time personal-best back-nine turnaround. I’ve seen golfers shoot 51 on the front nine and 36 on the back simply by taking a little pressure off themselves.

If you find yourself struggling at the turn of your next round, try one or more of these strategies to turn your day completely around. In the meantime, come on down to the Grand Strand. Book your golf by visiting www.MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Litchfield Country Club Named Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year

With some 100 golf courses spread out along the Grand Strand, golfers visiting the Myrtle Beach area are treated to a veritable tour through the history of golf-course design dating all the way back to the 1920s, which gave rise to the first area golf course – Pine Lakes Country Club.

In the last 85 years, scores more courses have sprung up, and one of them gets to celebrate its golden anniversary with one of the area’s most prestigious awards. The course is Litchfield Country Club, and the award is Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year, as chosen by the Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owners Association.

After Myrtle Beach’s vastly improved River Oaks Golf Plantation took the award in 2015, the honor returns to the quiet, gorgeous Pawleys Island/Litchfield Beach part of the region for the first time since 2011, when the Founders Club at Pawleys Island took the honor. The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, the Dye Club at Barefoot Resort and the Moorland Course at Legends Resort were named Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. All of these courses are among the most sought-after by Myrtle Beach locals and the hundreds of thousands of golfers who visit the area annually.

Now, it’s Litchfield’s turn. The Willard Byrd design opened in 1966 and has been known as one of the South Strand’s “hidden secret” courses ever since. A particular hit among women and seniors, Litchfield enjoys a classic design, with tree-lined fairways, strategically placed bunkers and water coming into play on 14 holes — which may seem like a lot, but the challenge is almost never a forced carry, and there is always a safe side. Rather than heaving interior contours, Litchfield’s greens challenge golfers with back-to-front slopes, which remind many Northern visitors fondly of their home courses.

Litchfield’s most popular hole is the par-5 13th, which measures 520 yards from the back Blue tees and 498 yards from the middle White markers. When playing downwind, players who challenge the left side of the angled fairway — guarded all the way by water — will be rewarded with the opportunity to reach the green and the ideal angle for doing so. Bail out to the right, and you may be faced with a tricky layup. It is an excellent strategic golf hole where good execution can get you a chance at birdie or even eagle.

To book your round at Litchfield Country Club and dozens of other Myrtle Beach area golf courses, visit www.MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Pressed for Short-Game Practice Time? Here’s How to Make the Most of It

It’s every golfer’s lament: There aren’t enough hours in the day to play or practice. Now that days are starting to get shorter, there’s less daylight to take advantage of after work, be it for nine holes or a dedicated practice session. And the short game — the facet of most golfers’ game that needs the most consistent attention — will deteriorate if it doesn’t get it.

Which begs the question: How can you still keep your short game sharp even when other things seem to get in the way? Here are three ideas:

Obey the One-Ball Rule on the Putting Green
Go to any golf course in the world, and chances are that 99% of the players practicing their putting will have tossed down two or three golf balls, hitting multiple putts to a hole from the same location. Conventional wisdom suggests that this is a good idea because repetition makes you more consistent. But you may not have time to go along with convention. Instead, bring one ball with you to the putting green, along with your favorite coin (or ball marker). Toss the coin down on the green, pick a hole, and go through your routine as you would during a normal round. Putt everything out. Yes, you’ll end up hitting fewer putts, but instead of the simple physical act of putting, you’ll be practicing the mental side of that skill — which, if the greatest putters of all time are to be believed, is its most important aspect.

Be Hard on Yourself
So many golfers, when they practice their chipping and pitching, set themselves up with a small pile of golf balls and chip from a flat lie to an easy hole location on the green. On the course, however, shots around the greens are rarely so straightforward — so why not simulate the more challenging shots? Find uneven lies, deep rough and nasty bunker shots, and temper your expectations in practice. This will help you prepare for any situation you face on the course, and it will help you be more comfortable in playing safe and taking your medicine from bad lies when necessary.

Use the Buddy System
Finally, whenever possible, get yourself a practice partner and compete against one another. For chipping and pitching, closest-to-the-hole contests are excellent: 18 or 36 holes, winner of the previous hole picks the shot for the next one. Play for a dollar, a beer, push-ups, whatever — the key is to put something on the line, or else the fear of losing won’t be enough to help you truly improve.

Give these suggestions a try, and even if you only have 15 to 30 minutes at a time to devote to short-game practice, you should see some improvement.

Myrtle Beach: Home to Great Golfers

If you’re reading this, you probably know that Myrtle Beach is one of the world’s (not just the nation’s) foremost golf destinations. With some 100 golf courses along the spectacular Grand Strand, there is something for every golfer, regardless of age, ability or budget.

So is it any wonder that there are a number of tremendously accomplished professional golfers with strong connections to the area?

That’s right. One of them is even a major champion. Here are two great Myrtle Beach-area golfers to root for:

Dustin Johnson
The man they call “DJ” has long been known not just to the Myrtle Beach area’s golf cognoscenti, but to the greater golf world as well. An alumnus of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, just up the road from Myrtle Beach, Johnson has racked up 11 PGA Tour victories and has found the winner’s circle at least once every year since (and including) his rookie season of 2008.

This year has seen Johnson notch two more victories, including the crowning achievement of his career to date: winning the 2016 U.S. Open to claim his first major championship title. Despite a controversial penalty incurred during the final round at Oakmont Country Club, Johnson won by a decisive three strokes over Jim Furyk, Shane Lowry and Scott Piercy (who, incidentally, would finish runner-up to Johnson in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational two weeks later). After a number of near-misses in majors, Johnson finally realized his potential as one of golf’s most talented players. Fans throughout the Grand Strand and beyond are expecting more major championships for the new No. 2-ranked golfer in the world.

Kristy McPherson
Kristy McPherson may not be as much of a household name in golf (yet) as Dustin Johnson, but she is nonetheless well worth rooting for. She did not attend Coastal Carolina University — she played her college golf at the University of South Carolina — but she grew up in Conway and is a favorite daughter of the Myrtle Beach area. An LPGA Tour regular since 2007, she has racked up more than $2 million in winnings in her career.

Please join us in rooting on both of these wonderful golfers in their respective professional careers!

Find Wildlife on the Myrtle Beach Links

There are many reasons why Myrtle Beach is one of the world’s best destinations for golfers. Among them are an incredible roster of great golf courses, hotel accommodations for any group type, size or budget, tons of attractions for the family — and the chance to see some exotic wildlife, particularly on the course.

Since you’re reading this on MyrtleBeachGolf.com, you’re probably already familiar with these first three big reasons. The fourth, though, may be news to you. But it’s true: Especially if you stay on the lookout, you’re likely to see some awesome wildlife during your golf rounds. If you’re excited about seeing the area’s fauna, here are our recommendations for the best courses to find each of the most popular species.

Alligators
It seems that almost every visitor to the Myrtle Beach area goes home with multiple cellphone photos of alligators they’ve seen on the course. These prehistoric-looking creatures are beloved by visitors in large part because of the danger they might seem to pose. In reality, they want to be left alone and won’t become aggressive without ample reason (getting between a female and her nest is an instant trouble-trigger). That said, if your ball comes to rest near the edge of a pond and a gator is sunning itself 10 feet away, don’t be a hero — drop another ball a safe distance away. A Pro V1 is not worth losing a hand.

Best golf courses to find them: The Dunes Golf & Beach Club (their logo includes a gator, after all), Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Indian Wells Golf Club

Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons
The Grand Strand is one of the best places in the Southeast to catch sight of some majestic birds — waterfowl in particular. Snowy egrets, true to their name, are a stunning, pure white. A protected species, they are rebounding in population but are still a special sight. Great blue herons are a striking mix of blue, grey and black; they’re more common, but their size makes them no less fascinating, particularly when seen fishing.

Best golf courses to find them: Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, River’s Edge Golf Club, Carolina National Golf Club

 

Raccoon Squirrels
Named for their grey-fur (occasionally black) bodies and black-fur heads, these squirrels are found on southern Grand Strand courses — so if you’re staying in the Pawleys Island area, you’re most likely to encounter a few of them. If you have any open food in your golf cart, kiss it goodbye, as these creatures are more clever than they look and are used to being fed by golfers. Don’t be one of those people — check them out, but don’t encourage them.

Best golf courses to find them: River Club, TPC Myrtle Beach, Litchfield Country Club

Alligators, egrets and squirrels, oh my! These are three of the many memorable animals you’re likely to see on a Grand Strand golf vacation. If seeing them is a secondary goal of your trip, be sure to consult the experts at MyrtleBeachGolf.com. They’ll point you in the right direction.

Play the Top 5 Central Grand Strand Courses on Your Next Myrtle Beach Golf Vacation

The Myrtle Beach area is a veritable wonderland for visiting golfers. With over 80 golf courses to choose from, the possibilities for a vacation itinerary are practically endless. With this in mind, the best piece of advice the dedicated professionals at MyrtleBeachGolf.com can give visitors is this: Try and keep your golf and accommodations focused on one of the area’s three sub-regions — the South, Central and North.

In past months, we’ve spotlighted the top courses in the North and South regions. Now it’s the Central region’s turn. Here are the current top five Central Grand Strand golf courses according to your fellow MyrtleBeachGolf.com visitors:

5. Pine Lakes Country Club
Pine Lakes was the first golf course built in the Myrtle Beach area, having opened its doors in 1927. As such, it is rightfully known as “The Granddaddy” of Myrtle Beach golf courses. Robert White, first president of the PGA of America, designed the course, making it part of his storied career as a golf course architect. At only 6,675 yards from the longest set of tees, Pine Lakes would seem one of the shorter courses in Myrtle Beach. But it is not a pushover by any means. After all, long par-4s like the third, 14th and 18th combine to provide a stimulating but eminently fair test for golfers. In addition to being a lovely course, Pine Lakes is a destination for history and architecture buffs, as its clubhouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. To boot, in 1954, a group of Time Inc. executives hatched the idea that would become Sports Illustrated magazine and the associated media empire within its walls.

4. Myrtle Beach National – SouthCreek
SouthCreek is one of Myrtle Beach National’s three acclaimed courses, located off Highway 501 just a few miles inland from central Myrtle Beach. It represents a joint effort by Arnold Palmer and his mentor in golf course design, Francis Duane. Together, they forged an engaging blend of man-made and natural challenges, resulting in a course that is pleasingly distinct from its two on-site neighbors. The signature hole is the par-5 10th, which snakes to the right around a picturesque lake. Six bunkers lay in wait along the way. All in all, though, SouthCreek is not considered a bruiser and has in the past been named a “Top 100 in America” course by Golf for Women.

3. Myrtle Beach National – King’s North
The complex sits very much in the center of the action on the Grand Strand. Designed by Arnold Palmer, the course reopened in 1996 after extensive renovations and was immediately recognized for its numerous iconic and challenging holes. Like many of Myrtle Beach’s best golf courses, King’s North is not ringed by houses, which means a particularly peaceful “core golf” experience for all visitors. This sense of calm allows the course’s numerous “signature” holes to shine. Our favorite is the par-5 sixth, known as “The Gambler.” A reachable par-5, it curls to the left around a lake with an optional island fairway in the middle of said lake. Hit that fairway, and you may be left with as little as a mid-iron second shot and a real opportunity to card an eagle.

2. Legends Golf Resort – Moorland Course
The Moorland Course at Legends Resort — one of three championship layouts on the property — is quite deserving of its high rating on MyrtleBeachGolf.com. A P.B. Dye design, Moorland boasts a number of memorable holes that are utterly unique, including the very short, drivable-for-all par-4 16th. What makes it such a fascinating challenge is not one but two of the most fearsome hazards in resort golf: a 12-foot deep “Hell’s Half Acre” waste area short of the green and a blind-from-the-tee, incredibly nasty pot bunker lurking over the back of the green. The hole, like much of the rest of the course, is a sink-or-swim, white-knuckle test of a player’s patience as much as his or her golfing skills.

1. The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
The second-oldest course on the beach, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club would be a top-tier course in any environment. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and recently modernized by son Rees Jones, the course provides a true championship-level test to members and guests alike. In fact, it has hosted such prestigious recent tournaments as the PGA Professional Championship and the Southern Amateur, adding to an already impressive pedigree. To get the most out of a trip to The Dunes, focus less on score and more on the classy beachside setting. Everything else will fall into place.

For more information on these and dozens of other Myrtle Beach area golf courses, contact one of our local golf experts today!

Haven’t Played Much Golf Lately? Shake Off the Rust at These 3 Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

If there’s one thing that almost all golfers have in common, it’s a complaint: that they don’t get to play golf as often as they’d like. Work, family obligations and general “stuff” in life can conspire to turn a three-rounds-a-week habit into a once-a-month-if-you’re-lucky escape.

That’s why golf vacations are so important, and it’s also why so many groups of busy golf-lovers visit Myrtle Beach to play as much golf as possible over a long weekend or week-long trip. They want to make their leisure time count, and we can’t blame them.

Since you might be one of those golf-starved visitors, a word of advice: Myrtle Beach’s golf courses are diverse, particularly in terms of difficulty. Starting your trip off at one of its toughest courses probably isn’t the best strategy. If your next Grand Strand golf excursion follows a long layoff, here are our suggestions for courses to ease you into an awesome trip and shake off the proverbial rust:

South: River Club
This Tom Jackson design in the Litchfield section of Pawleys Island is a perfect course to whet your appetite and introduce (or reintroduce) you to Myrtle Beach golf. It’s not terribly long, its fairways are generous, and its greens are not terribly undulating — but they do have a reputation for being kept in impeccable shape. Yes, there’s some water at River Club, but it’s pretty easily avoidable, as are the bunkers, which are present but fairly shallow. If after 17 holes you’re feeling properly warmed up, the course ends on a high note: a short par-5 where you can test your swing by trying to reach the green in two. After all, there’s no better way to cap off the first round of your trip than with a birdie or eagle, is there?

Central: West Course at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club
Myrtle Beach National is home to three fun layouts, and many visitors will play at least two of them in a day. The “flagship course” is King’s North, so you may want to save that for your second round of the day. South Creek is a fine opening choice, but for a warm-up round, we give the edge to the West Course, which has less (read: almost no) out-of-bounds. Somewhat like River Club, this Arnold Palmer/Francis Duane layout saves its most intriguing challenge for last. Only at Myrtle Beach National, it’s a long par-3 over a pond. Finish your round off with a par, and you’ll be feeling invincible as you take on the rest of your itinerary.

North: Beachwood Golf Club
In many ways, Beachwood is a quintessential Grand Strand golf course. It is one of the area’s older layouts, predating 1970. And whereas most courses’ entrances are off by themselves, Beachwood’s is seemingly a parking lot in the middle of the hustle and bustle of North Myrtle Beach, just off U.S. Highway 17. This gives the course a unique sense of place. As such, it’s a perfect introduction to Grand Strand golf — especially if you haven’t played much lately — not just for its location, but for its fairly open feel and lack of on-course housing, as well. It’s a core golf course, and an underrated one at that.

Looking to plan an all-you-can-play golf trip to Myrtle Beach? You can book your rounds at these and dozens of other area golf courses at MyrtleBeachGolf.com, just contact us today and let our experts help you.

2016 Open Championship: 5 Players to Watch

The 145th Open Championship will be played next week, kicking off what might be the most frenzied stretch of big-time professional golf ever. We just put the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational in the books this past weekend, and the next couple months will see the following high-profile tournaments roll through the schedule: The Open Championship, the RBC Canadian Open, the PGA Championship (yes — that’s two majors in three weeks!), the Olympics, the four FedEx Cup Playoffs events and, finally, the Ryder Cup. That list doesn’t even include some of the more exciting “regular” Tour events, many of which have been moved around on the schedule to accommodate golf’s return to the Olympics.

But first, the Open. The host this year is Royal Troon Golf Club in western Scotland, which last hosted the golf season’s third major in 2004. That year, relatively little-known Todd Hamilton pulled one of the starkest upsets in 21st century golf history, beating South Africa’s Ernie Els in a playoff to secure his first and only major championship. Much has changed in golf in the last dozen years, with a totally new generation — seemingly the most talented ever — taking over the game and winning the lion’s share of major championships.

So who’s going to take home the Claret Jug this year? Here are four names we wouldn’t be surprised to see in contention come Sunday afternoon:

Ernie Els
The Big Easy is 46 years old but seems to be making a late-career rally, coming off a solid finish at the Quicken Loans Invitational a couple weeks ago at Congressional Country Club, where he won his second of two U.S. Opens back in 1997. If specific courses bring out the best in Els, there’s good reason to believe he could turn back the clock at Troon and try to avenge his playoff loss of 12 years ago. Many thought that Els’ unlikely triumph in the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes would be his major championship curtain call, but they may have spoken four years too soon.

Branden Grace
Els is far from the only South African with the game to win the Open Championship this year. Of the younger set, the strongest contender at the moment is probably Branden Grace. Grace is one of the best drivers of the ball in the world at the moment, and his low, penetrating ball flight off the tee is perfect for a links like Troon, where windy conditions may wreak havoc on other players’ tee shots. He has proven that he can return high finishes in majors, having finished in the top five of the last two U.S. Opens.

Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson was a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, the golf-themed “ShackHouse,” co-hosted by Geoff Shackelford and Joe House. They interviewed Stenson, who sounded as confident as ever, coming as he does off a recent European Tour victory in Germany. The 40-year-old Swede, like Grace, is long and accurate off the tee, and he sports a wonderful long-iron game to match. It would surprise no one to see him finally win a men’s major for Sweden at Troon.

Sergio Garcia
Oh, Sergio. It seems like he’s held the “Best Player Without A Major” title forever now. The Open Championship represents the enigmatic but incredibly talented Spaniard’s best chance to break the seal on his major championship résumé, as the normally slower greens tend not to expose his streaky-at-best putting abilities as much as do the American major venues. But in order to finally get it done, he’ll have to overcome not only an incredibly deep field, but his own doubts and demons. If he does, it will be one of the most emotional stories in recent golf history.

A final note: There is a connection between this year’s Open Championship venue, Royal Troon, and Myrtle Beach’s own golf scene. Troon’s most famous hole is also its shortest: the par-3 eighth, nicknamed “Postage Stamp” for its diminutive putting surface. It turns out there is a replica of this hole on the Grand Strand, at World Tour Golf Links. To book your golf there or at dozens of other area courses, visit MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Sneaking In an Emergency 9 or 18 Near Your Hotel? These 4 Myrtle Beach Golf Courses Are Ideal

Vacation planning can take many different forms. Some folks like to develop detailed itineraries for themselves, aiming to pack as much fun into a trip as possible. Others like to play things by ear, go with the flow, and let ideas for how to spend their down time come naturally and often on the spur of the moment. Myrtle Beach has plenty to offer both these personality types, particularly for families looking to experience all the Grand Strand has to offer.

Sometimes, if you’re vacationing with the family, opportunities for golf may require those aforementioned spur-of-the-moment decisions. Rather than early morning rounds with your normal foursome, you may want to sneak out for an “emergency 9” (or 18) while everyone else is at the beach or shopping. If that’s the case, these are some of the best courses to seek out for an ad hoc round, situated close to the beach and close by Myrtle Beach’s main centers of lodging:

Whispering Pines Golf Course
If the rest of the gang is at, say, the Coastal Grand Mall, you might prefer to head over to this often-overlooked Myrtle Beach layout. Recently renovated, Whispering Pines sits on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base and is very close to Myrtle Beach International Airport. Owned and operated by the City of Myrtle Beach, Whispering Pines may be a “muni,” but it is a fun experience for golfers of all handicaps. It will challenge better players but still provides higher-handicappers with plenty of room to miss shots on most holes. The highlight is the par-3 17th, which features the airport terminal as a unique backdrop.

Tidewater Golf Club
For those staying in North Myrtle Beach, Tidewater has the dual distinction of being really convenient to most hotels and one of the Grand Strand’s best layouts. Built and designed by local businessman Ken Tomlinson, it features gorgeous marsh views on both sides of the property, facing the Intracoastal Waterway on the west side and the Cherry Grove Inlet on the east. Holes like the par-3 third and par-4 fourth make it worth the price of admission, especially when played with the sun setting.

Litchfield Country Club
One of the quieter and more underrated courses of the southern Grand Strand, Litchfield Country Club is a perfect spot for a late-afternoon 18 while the rest of your family peruses the nearby Hammock Shops Village or Brookgreen Gardens. Designed by Willard Byrd and opened in 1966, Litchfield is traditional and attractive, rewarding precision and smart golf more than brute force. Its Plantation-style clubhouse is a wonderful place for a post-round drink, as well.

Pine Lakes Country Club
If you're vacationing at one of Myrtle Beach's fine resorts downtown, then your Myrtle Beach experience is complete with "The Granddaddy" of them all. Pine Lakes history as the areas oldest course, as well as its central location makes it quick trip for the individual or family that's taking a break from the beach. With the rolling fairways and freshwater lakes, golfers are spirited back to the beginnings of golf in Myrtle Beach. Around here, it's a golf tradition.

Love to Compete? Myrtle Beach Is a Perfect Place for a Tournament Golf Vacation

Golf is great as a strictly social activity played with no stakes for pure enjoyment. But for my money, there’s nothing better than competing against others — whether at handicap or in scratch competition, for a few dollars, a shiny trophy or just some good, old-fashioned bragging rights.

If you’re looking for any of those things as part of your next great golf vacation, then Myrtle Beach is an ideal destination. It is home to a year-round slate of tournaments for individuals and two-person teams, meaning that it’s easy to plan a trip around one of them if you want. Most of them are fairly new but have found tremendous success.

Myrtle Beach World Am
This year’s dates are August 27 to September 2, promising a weeklong celebration of golf and camaraderie in one of the world’s great golf destinations.  All entrants (more than 3,000 are expected once again this year), separated into dozens of flights by age, gender and handicap, get to play at least four rounds of tournament golf, with the winners of each flight advancing to play the fifth — the Championship Round, an 18-hole net competition in which the World Amateur Champion will be crowned. This year’s Championship Round will be held at the Dye Club at Barefoot Resort, which will serve as the venue for the culmination of the event for the fourth year in a row.  An extra attraction at the “World Am” is the “World’s Largest 19th Hole” a catered, open-bar hangout held each night during the tournament. Access is free with every entry, so if you don’t play well, you can at least eat and drink well!

Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic
If you and your best golfing buddy prefer to visit Myrtle Beach when the weather’s a little cooler — and with the opportunity to play some of the area’s best golf courses for less — the Preseason Classic is ideal. A 54-hole, two-person team event, this tournament takes place at some of the Grand Strand’s premier layouts, such as True Blue, Barefoot Resort’s Norman Course, River Club and others. The first round is best ball, the second is a combined team net format, and the final round is a Texas scramble.

Myrtle Beach March Championship
This March Championship is considered the little brother to the World Am. A three-day, individual, stroke-play net event, all spots have been sold out in the tournament’s first two years. Winners in each flight gain free entry into the same year’s Myrtle Beach World Amateur. Host courses include some of the best on the northern half of the Grand Strand, including Wild Wing Plantation, Farmstead Golf Links and Long Bay Club.

Veterans Golf Classic
Myrtle Beach has long been proud to be known as a favorite destination for active-duty and retired members of the military. And with the Veterans Golf Classic, held every early June, it is also known as a gathering place for friendly competition among that distinguished community. A two-person team tournament, the Classic takes place over three days with a format rotation similar to that of the Preseason Classic and with a dozen courses hosting the hundreds of pairs who turn out each year.

Calabash Cup
Love the Northern Grand Strand courses? The Calabash Cup is a great competitive opportunity for you. Held in the middle of July, some of the host courses for this three-day, two-person event include River’s Edge Golf Club, Tiger’s Eye Golf Links and Thistle Golf Club, three of the best Myrtle Beach-area courses on the North Carolina side.

Myrtle Beach Fall Classic
With the autumn being one of the best times of year to visit the Grand Strand, it is no wonder that the Myrtle Beach Fall Classic has been such a resounding success in its initial editions. Held the week before Thanksgiving, it is another two-person event, but unlike the Calabash Cup and Preseason Classic, the Fall Classic is a 72-hole event played on some of the best courses in the southern half of the Grand Strand, from Caledonia and True Blue to TPC Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Plantation, among others.

For more information on these and other Myrtle Beach-area competitive golf opportunities, contact our local golf specialists.

Experience the North Strand’s Top 5 Golf Courses on Your Next Myrtle Beach Trip

The greater Myrtle Beach area is home to some 100 golf courses, so naturally there’s some competition (friendly, of course) between them. One of the places in which that competition plays out is through the simple yet informative ranking system found on MyrtleBeachGolf.com, where visitors and Myrtle Beach locals alike rank each Grand Strand golf course from 1 to 5 in six different categories: Tees, Fairways, Greens, Staff, Pro Shop and Grill. For golfers who treat their rounds as an all-around experience, this provides a great snapshot of each course at a given time.

So, without further ado, here are the current top five golf courses on the North Strand (from North Myrtle Beach into North Carolina) as ranked by your fellow Myrtle Beach golfers:

5. Barefoot Resort – Dye Club
There are few characters in golf quite like the seemingly ageless Pete Dye, who continues to be active in his chosen field of golf course architecture into his tenth decade of life. The Dye Club at Barefoot Resort is one of three courses he designed on the Grand Strand (the other two being a joint effort with his son P.B. at Prestwick Golf & Country Club in Surfside Beach and his solo course at the private DeBordieu Club south of Pawleys Island). The Dye Club is an unmistakable Dye course, with holes framed by steep mounds, a mix of huge, sandy waste areas and tiny pot bunkers, and railroad tie-rimmed water hazards. The highlights are the four par-5s, which require thought and careful decision-making on every shot.

4. Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links
The Intracoastal Waterway serves as a prominent hazard on many Myrtle Beach golf courses — one of them being Glen Dornoch, a Clyde Johnston design. As its name suggests, Johnston added a Scottish-type aesthetic to the course, giving it large, undulating greens and small pot bunkers at strategic points. The closing stretch of holes is the real stunner here, with three holes where the Intracoastal and its outlying marshes are both a constant concern and a source of wonderful vistas. Best of all, there’s no housing at Glen Dornoch, which means golfers feel an even deeper-than-usual sense of escape and communion on the course.

3. Tiger’s Eye Golf Links
One of the four “Big Cat” courses at expansive Ocean Ridge Plantation in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, Tiger’s Eye is a stunning Tim Cate design that immediately became known as one of Myrtle Beach’s best as soon as it opened. Cate’s style of expansive bunkering and large, undulating greens gives the course a “big ballpark” feel, which encourages players to swing confidently, even when danger lurks just around the corner. Water hazards on the course are lined with walls of boulders, giving them a uniquely forbidding, yet mysterious, look.

2. Thistle Golf Club
Tim Cate is far from a one-hit wonder as a golf course architect, so it is no surprise that two of his courses are featured on this list. Thistle is an open, rolling 27-hole layout that can be played in three different 18-hole combinations, depending on whether the player is assigned the Cameron, MacKay or Stewart Nines. Regardless, if you have time to play a third nine, take the opportunity, as the entirety of Thistle Golf Club is not to be missed. Equally memorable is the clubhouse at Thistle, which may be Myrtle Beach’s most interesting. It is built to resemble an inland Scottish lodge, and as a result it lords over the course in grand fashion and makes for a perfect place to enjoy a drink before or after the round.

1. Sea Trail Plantation – Byrd Course
The surprise member of this list signals a shift in management for the better at the three-course Sea Trail Plantation. Course architect Willard Byrd is responsible for some of Myrtle Beach’s more underrated layouts, and recent visitors are starting to give him his due for his efforts just over the North Carolina border. Opened in the fall of 1990, the course winds through coastal forest and around several man-made lakes. At just 6,750 yards from the back tees, it does not brutalize players with length, meaning both shorter and longer hitters will enjoy it.

Want to have your say in the rankings of the Grand Strand’s dozens of wonderful golf courses? It’s easy: just come down to Myrtle Beach, tee it up and share your thoughts at MyrtleBeachGolf.com!

Daughters and Sons Rejoice: Here Is Your Definitive Father’s Day Golf Gift Guide

Here are some of our top suggestions for golf-related Father’s Day gifts, ranked from most to least obvious.

Stunningly obvious
We know — it’s not at all creative, but it’s the ultimate useful golf gift for practically anyone: golf balls. Given that Dad is probably looking for a little more distance off the tee and a bit softer feel on and around the greens from his golf ball, we’d recommend steering clear of Titleist’s ProV1 line and other brands’ highest-end offerings. Callaway’s Chrome Soft model is popular and well-reviewed, as are the TaylorMade Project (a) and the Bridgestone B330-RX and RXS. If you want to stick with Titleist, though, the NXT and NXT Tour are both great options for Dad. You can even get a message stamped on the golf balls for free through many online golf retailers.

Pretty obvious
What’s Dad’s home course? Where did he shoot his career-low score? Get him a logo golf shirt from one or both of those courses. Or buy him a shirt from a course where you plan on treating him to a round sometime this summer.

Along those latter lines, maybe Dad would like a GolfNow Gift Card so he can pick which course he wants to play, with you footing the bill for a change.

Does Dad like to walk most of his rounds? The Sun Mountain 2Five golf bag is garnering rave reviews, in large part because, as its name suggests, it weighs just two and a half pounds. That makes it a cinch to strap onto one’s back or into one’s push cart.

Somewhat obvious

Will you be wishing Dad a Happy Father’s Day from afar this year? If you want to say it in person next year, you can buy tickets to the 2017 U.S. Open, available starting June 13 at USGA.org. The 2017 edition of the championship will be heading to Erin Hills in Wisconsin and should be an entertaining time. If you really want to go all-out, you can parlay it with a trip to sort-of-nearby Whistling Straits.

If you’d rather play golf with Dad than watch it, consider signing up for the 2016 Father & Son Golf Classic, held right here in Myrtle Beach this July. It’s a three-day event that combines three different formats and attracts hundreds of father-son pairs from around the world each year.

Of course, if all else fails, you could just book Dad (and you, if you want) a trip to play some of the Grand Strand’s best golf courses on your own at MyrtleBeachGolf.com. That’s an ideal gift for any golfer, at any time.

More Birdies for Your Buck: A Trio of Myrtle Beach’s Best-Value Golf Courses

With some 100 area golf courses spread out across some 70 miles of coastal South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is one of the very best golf destinations in the world. As such, it offers a great experience for golfers of all ages, handicaps and, yes, budgets. Whereas the more penny-conscious set is often relegated to relative “goat tracks” in other golf destinations, in Myrtle Beach, a phenomenal roster of courses is available at rates that can seem like highway robbery.

Here are three area courses that will not break the bank but will stick in your memory long after you play them:

Wild Wing Plantation – Avocet Course
The economic downturn hit Wild Wing hard — it was originally a massive 72-hole golf complex but now retains just 27 holes: the Avocet 18 and the Hummingbird 9. Luckily, the best of the four original courses was left intact, because it just might be Myrtle Beach’s most underrated course. Avocet was designed by Jeff Brauer and three-time major champion Larry Nelson, and whereas many courses strive for a naturalistic, classic feel, Avocet fully embraces the modernist 1990s golf design trend under which it opened. That means elaborate mounding, at-times lunar bunkering schemes, and a sense of whimsy and fun that helps the course stand out from the crowd. It also is home to a thrilling short par-4 — the 14th, which can be played in no fewer than half a dozen different ways.

Legends Golf Resort – Heathland Course
To be honest, all three of the courses at Legends could easily qualify for this list, as pricing for each of them is kept the same throughout the year, and despite the modest greens fees they command, they are among the Grand Strand’s most interesting layouts. (The fact that breakfast, lunch and two draft beers are included with every greens fee helps the value proposition even more). But the Heathland, an early design by renowned golf course architect Tom Doak, is the class of the group. Doak drew inspiration from many of the UK’s great courses without attempting outright copies, and the result is a set of huge, undulating and incredibly fun-to-putt greens that many golfers enjoy seeing multiple times during their trips. Highlight holes including the Road Hole-inspired par-5 sixth and the split-fairway, long par-4 16th, but there is not a single weak hole on the course.

Founders Club at Pawleys Island
The most recent “new” (built on the corridors of the former Sea Gull) golf course on the Grand Strand made a big splash when it opened in 2008, but it has since settled into the middle tier of Grand Strand golf courses, price-wise. Pair this with the fact that it is architecturally in the upper echelon, and it is definitely worth seeking out. Architect Thomas Walker framed Founders Club’s holes with sandy waste areas, giving the course a wild, appealing aesthetic. The greens are large and undulating without being too taxing, meaning that smart players who are most concerned with finding the putting surface are often rewarded with lower scores than their greedier counterparts.

These are just three of a number of high-quality, low-greens-fee courses in the Myrtle Beach area. To book your next rounds here, be sure to visit our tee times page.

On the Waterfront: Best Myrtle Beach Golf Courses With Water Views

One of the enduring pleasures of playing golf is the opportunity to spend time in nature. The most treasured golf courses tend to be the ones whose layouts provide a high-quality test and those situated on what seems to be a magical tract of land.

In the Myrtle Beach area, home to some 100 golf courses, there are a number of layouts that stand out from the rest due to some very distinct scenery-based advantages. Given that we’re talking about coastal South Carolina, that scenery often comes in the form of water. Going back to the 16th century, when the first links of Scotland were laid out by the sea, great golf has come to be closely associated with beguiling bodies of water. Here are six Myrtle Beach golf courses where that relationship most prominently endures:

Rivers Edge Golf Club
This Arnold Palmer design is one of the Grand Strand’s most challenging, due in large part to its interplay with the Shallotte River and its outlying marshes. Golfers who end up losing a golf ball or two on holes like the ninth, where marsh guards the left side of the hole before wrapping tightly around the green, take solace in the natural beauty of the place.

Carolina National Golf Club
Located just a little south of the aforementioned Rivers Edge, the 27-hole, Fred Couples-designed Carolina National is home to one of the most spectacular par-3s in South Carolina, thanks to the presence of the Lockwood Folly River, whose winding nature inspired the name of the property on which the course sits, Winding River Plantation. That par-3 is the fifth hole on the Heron Nine, whose tee areas are spread out in a near-semicircle, affording multiple different playing angles. From the back tee, at 203 yards, the golfer is faced with nothing but wetlands between him/her and the green.

Tidewater Golf Club
Tidewater Golf Club occupies a unique plot of land that is simultaneously secluded and seemingly “in the middle of it all” just south of the border between North and South Carolina. The plot of land the course occupies enjoys marsh frontage and views of the Cherry Grove Inlet and Cherry Grove Beach on its southeastern side and the Intracoastal Waterway on its northwestern side. In all, eight holes enjoy stunning long-range water views.

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
In many ways, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club is the archetypal Myrtle Beach golf course. One of these ways is the fact that it is the only golf course on the Grand Strand from which the Atlantic Ocean is clearly visible. Its waters heave into view as the player approaches the green on the par-3 ninth. Although the Ocean fades from view, the next four holes play along some spectacular marsh and lake scenery, culminating in the world-famous par-5 13th, aptly nicknamed “Waterloo.”

Grande Dunes Resort Club
The Intracoastal Waterway is an engineering marvel that comes into view from a number of Myrtle Beach-area golf courses. But no course boasts more Waterway frontage than Grande Dunes Resort Club, with seven of its last 11 holes enjoying views of it. The Intracoastal Waterway even comes into play on a few of them, particularly the dramatic par-3 14th, where missing the green to the right spells almost certain, watery doom for one’s golf ball.

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
A favorite golf experience of thousands of Grand Strand visitors and locals alike, the Mike Strantz-designed Caledonia Golf & Fish Club serves up one of South Carolina’s most memorable finishes: a mid-length par-4 that plays along the outlying waters of the gorgeous Waccamaw River. The clubhouse, with its porch just behind the green and overlooking the proceedings, is one of the great spots in the world for a post-round drink.

These are just a few of Myrtle Beach’s waterfront golf courses. To book your tee times at these and more, visit our tee times page.

It’s Hip to Play There: The 9 Most Popular Grand Strand Golf Courses

If you want to craft an unforgettable vacation filled with as much great golf as you can play, one destination stands out: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

And when you’re looking to put together your itinerary of courses plus the perfect accommodations for you and your group, one website stands out: MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Thousands of your fellow golfers have made MyrtleBeachGolf.com their main resource for planning, pricing and booking their trips, and in order to help others plan their own visits, the site’s directors have just released a list of the nine most popular courses in the area. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Arcadian Shores Golf Club
Rees Jones has had a storied golf architecture career that rivals that of his father, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and his brother, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. For him, Myrtle Beach is where it all began, as he made Arcadian Shores his first solo design. Open since 1974, Arcadian Shores is a favorite among players who value the ability to drive it straight and hit precise iron shots. Two holes stand out in particular: the long par-3 second and the long par-4 13th.

Arrowhead Country Club
Arrowhead is a unique layout with 27 holes, meaning it can be played as any one of three 18-hole combinations. With a number of holes bordering the mighty Intracoastal Waterway, it is an excellent venue for groups who love to enjoy beautiful scenery while playing their rounds. Arrowhead is also known for having some of the best conditioned greens in the region.

Grande Dunes Resort Club
Grande Dunes Resort Club represents Myrtle Beach’s unique take on upscale, luxury golf experiences. Designed by Roger Rulewich, the course can play as long as 7,500 yards from the back set of tees, but it offers a number of other sets to accommodate players of varying skill levels. It is maintained to a tournament standard, with smooth, fast greens, crisp bunkering and a number of holes with spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway — all culminating at a grand, Italianate clubhouse.

Man O’ War Golf Club
Like its companion course, The Wizard, Man O’ War is an amusing Dan Maples design located in the heart of Myrtle Beach’s Carolina Forest district. This makes it convenient to most hotels and resorts, and as a result it finds its way onto many golfers’ itineraries. Water comes into play on nearly every hole, but Man O’ War’s generally wide fairways and spacious bentgrass greens make it surprisingly playable and fun.

Myrtle Beach National Golf Club – King’s North
Arnold Palmer’s list of contributions to the game of golf is as long as The King is charming, and the course that bears his name is one of Myrtle Beach’s very best. It is home to a number of the Grand Strand’s most memorable holes, including “The Gambler,” the par-five sixth with its island fairway, and the island-green par-3 12th, whose green is guarded on the left by bunkers in the shape of an “S” and a “C,” respectively.

Myrtle Beach National Golf Club – West Course
Not to be overlooked, the West Course is a fun, well-maintained course that serves as a lovely companion to King’s North. It is less challenging and a little shorter, making it a fine place for the first round of your trip or a late-afternoon “emergency” second 18. Speaking of 18, its finishing hole is a memorable long, par-3 over water that ends up deciding many close matches.

Myrtlewood Golf Club – Palmetto Course
The Palmetto Course at Myrtlewood Golf Club is home to one of the Grand Strand’s most memorable finishing holes: a long par-4 with the Intracoastal Waterway bordering the entire left side of the hole. Just behind the green is a Myrtle Beach landmark: a wooden sign indicating that that point is equidistant from both New York City and Miami.

Pine Lakes Country Club
As the first course built in Myrtle Beach, all the way back in 1927, Pine Lakes is affectionately — and justifiably — known as “The Granddaddy.” And yet, in a way it is also one of Myrtle Beach’s newest courses, having undergone a massive renovation just a few years ago. But don’t worry — renovation architect Craig Schreiner took care to preserve the classic character of original designer Robert White’s vision. When you play Pine Lakes, be sure to take a few minutes to peruse the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, located just behind the warm, inviting clubhouse.

TPC Myrtle Beach
Longtime visitors know that Myrtle Beach has something for everyone in terms of dining, shopping and, of course, golf. Some courses are great for a warm-up round, while others are so challenging that they attract touring pros looking to hone their games. The latter is the case at TPC Myrtle Beach, where PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson practices and plays when he is in town.

Beyond merely booking your next Myrtle Beach golf vacation, if you want the lowdown on what’s happening around the Grand Strand golf scene, be sure to keep checking back with us at MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Play the South Strand’s 5 Best Golf Courses on Your Next Myrtle Beach Golf Trip

In the Myrtle Beach area, competition among the dozens of golf courses that call the Grand Strand home is friendly, but fierce. And in the southern part of the region — south of Myrtle Beach International Airport, essentially — pride and prosperity drive the courses to offer the best possible golf experience to visitors and locals alike.

Course operators know that Myrtle Beach golf travelers can be a discerning bunch, so they try their hardest to win loyalty and business by offering immaculate golf course conditions and friendly, attentive service to complement a fun, challenging golf course. According to the readers of MyrtleBeachGolf.com, here are the top five golf courses on the South Strand:

5. Blackmoor Golf Club

In a region rich in courses, player-turned-architect Gary Player has designed just one golf course (so far). That course is Blackmoor, a fun, modern course that winds through a dense coastal pine forest just west of Route 707 in Murrells Inlet. It is home to one of the most memorable single holes on the Grand Strand: the par-4 eighth, which forces the golfer to make an important decision — hit a tee shot down the fairway to the left before doglegging back right to the green, or choose a narrow, straight path cut through the trees in order to seize a rare opportunity to putt for eagle. Those who choose the bold route are faced with a fun chance to gain bragging rights in the bar after the round.

4. TPC Myrtle Beach

Over the years, the TPC brand has become synonymous with high-quality, PGA Tour-style golf courses and experiences, and Myrtle Beach’s own outpost is no exception — it is, after all, the home course of Tour superstar Dustin Johnson whenever he’s in town. The Tom Fazio/Lanny Wadkins collaborative effort also has the distinct honor of being a course where the great Tom Watson has won. In capturing the 2000 Senior PGA Tour Championship there, Watson navigated a tough closing duo of holes where water comes into play: the intimidating par-3 17th and the risk-reward par-5 18th, where a creek and lake can scuttle a player’s designs on a closing birdie or eagle.

3. Tradition Golf Club

Traveling golfers with a sense of humor and whimsy tend to enjoy island-green holes. Tradition, designed by Ron Garl and opened in 1996, is home to two of them: the par-4 seventh and the short par-3 15th. The other 16 holes deliver plenty of challenge and fun, as well, and the course has come to be known as one of the most meticulously maintained layouts on the entire Grand Strand. The 18th is a long, narrow par four where players must avoid a large, sandy waste area that runs down the left side of the hole. Tradition is also a favorite course for beginners and juniors, with a front set of tees at just over 4,000 yards. At a time when many courses are being retrofitted for their own short tees, Tradition is ahead of the times.

2. Willbrook Plantation Golf Club

If you miss the turn for the clubhouse at Tradition Golf Club, you may well end up at its sister course, Willbrook Plantation — and you won’t be disappointed. Designed by Dan Maples, Willbrook is one of the South Strand’s most-respected layouts. Its strength is in its versatility — not only does it provide an adequate challenge for the low-handicapper and long hitter, it is particularly beloved by visiting ladies, so much so that the course has appeared many times on “Most Women-Friendly Courses” lists in various golf publications.

1. River Club

The current most popular among South Strand golf courses is River Club, a Tom Jackson design that is home to some of the fastest, smoothest greens in the Southeast. The layout is equally strong, culminating with one of the Myrtle Beach area’s most famous par fives: a hard dogleg left around a lake where players with a gambler’s spirit can go for a peninsula of fairway in order to leave themselves as little as a mid-iron onto the green — and a very real chance to cap off a memorable round with an eagle.

Remember: these rankings are not set in stone. So be sure to check back at MyrtleBeachGolf.com to see where your fellow Myrtle Beach golf travelers rank your favorite layouts in the future.

Surf The Earth’ on a GolfBoard This Spring at True Blue Golf Club

Motorized golf carts began conveying players en masse over the links sometime in the 1950s, enabling golf course architects to build courses on more mountainous and spread-out terrain from that point forward, as walking the entire course was no longer a necessity.

 

 

Fast forward more than half a century, and another form of golf-course transportation is taking hold: the GolfBoard. The inventors of the device, a one-rider, four-wheeled, 115-pound vehicle, encourage golfers to use it to “surf the Earth” or “surf the turf.” Fittingly, one of its inventors is Laird Hamilton, a veteran of the professional surfing circuit.

Advocates of the GolfBoard tout it as a tool to help speed up play on golf courses, due in large part to the fact that only one rider can use a GolfBoard, whereas the vast majority of golf carts are shared by two golfers, who must therefore zigzag all over the course in order to reach spread-put golf balls. Furthermore, GolfBoard aficionados claim that the physical activity involved in powering and swivel-steering a GolfBoard constitutes a much better workout than sitting and riding in a standard golf cart.

Given that Myrtle Beach has always been a popular and cutting-edge golf destination, it was only a matter of time before the GolfBoard craze arrived on the Grand Strand. And in November 2015, True Blue Golf Club in Pawleys Island became the first Myrtle Beach area golf course to welcome them.

True Blue might be the perfect course for GolfBoards to make their Myrtle Beach debut, too. Some of its massive, undulating fairways may even resemble a half-pipe to board enthusiasts taking to the links. And the smooth sand paths make for a perfect surface for navigating between holes. Just as long as you don’t give in to any daredevilish temptation to “catch big air” off the slopes of any of True Blue’s sandy waste areas, the experience of powering a GolfBoard from the first tee to the 18th green should be a totally rad one indeed.

GolfBoards are currently available at True Blue Golf Club and are rumored to be coming soon to sister course Caledonia Golf & Fish Club as well as a couple other as-yet-unnamed Myrtle Beach-area golf courses. They generally cost an upcharge of $29 above the cart fee at True Blue, and for those seeking a little extra sense of thrill and the feeling of the breeze ruffling their khakis on the course, they’re worth every penny.

To book tee times at True Blue and other Myrtle Beach area golf courses, be sure to visit our full golf course list HERE.

King and Bear: The Two Golf Legends Have Left Lasting Marks on Myrtle Beach Golf

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus — two of the most recognizable names in the history of golf. And this is true not just because of their combined 25 major championships and 210 combined worldwide professional wins. Part of the reason why their names will live on in the minds and memories of golfers is because of their “second careers” — serving as award-winning golf course architects. And they have both left their mark on the Myrtle Beach golf scene.

Arnold Palmer — 4 Myrtle Beach Course Designs

The quartet of golf courses attached to “The King” comprise all parts of the range of layouts available to Myrtle Beach locals and visitors, from the championship-caliber to the user-friendly.

At the less-taxing end of the spectrum are two of the three courses at the world-famous Myrtle Beach National complex. There’s the West Course, designed by Palmer in conjunction with longtime collaborator Francis Duane. With no houses interfering with play, golf is the sole focus at this layout, which measures less than 6,900 yards from the tips. It provides a relaxing round for less-skilled players as well, as forced carries and encounters with water hazards are kept to a minimum. One place where water must be negotiated, however, is at the long par-3 18th hole, which is one of the most famous single holes in Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach National’s SouthCreek Course is another Palmer/Duane joint effort and is the shortest of Myrtle Beach National’s three courses, measuring just over 6,416 yards from the back tees. But it’s no pushover — narrow fairways and small greens combine to provide a thorough test of a player’s powers of course management and accuracy.

Completing the scene at Myrtle Beach National is the vaunted King’s North Course, a Palmer classic. With a number of the Grand Strand’s most iconic holes, this course ups the challenge but also the fun. Perhaps the most famous of the course’s holes is “The Gambler,” the unforgettable par-5 6th hole, where players who dare to hit their tee shots onto an island left-hand fairway in the middle of a lake will be rewarded with a chance to reach the green in two shots with as little as a mid-iron.

Palmer’s fourth Myrtle Beach-area design is one of its northernmost: Rivers Edge Golf Club in Shallotte, North Carolina. It is somewhat remote but well worth the trip, boasting a number of holes where tidal marshes along the Shallotte River come into play. Its most memorable hole is the 9th, a three-shot par-5 whose long, narrow green juts out into the wetlands, demanding an accurate approach.

Jack Nicklaus — 2 Myrtle Beach Course Designs

Jack Nicklaus has just two Grand Strand designs to his credit, but their quality makes up for any possible scarcity in numbers. Both built around 1990, they are products of the era in which they were built: tough, demanding and distinctive.

Nicklaus’ first foray into the area golf scene was in 1988, with the opening of Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club in Pawleys Island. Much like Rivers Edge, Pawleys Plantation features a number of marshland encounters. The most memorable of these is the par-3 13th, whose tee boxes sit on the long, narrow structure of a former cotton dike and whose green is almost completely surrounded by marsh. Pawleys Plantation was recently named one of the top 50 courses — public or private — in the entire state of South Carolina by the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel.

A couple years after the success of Pawleys Plantation, the Golden Bear was lured back to the Myrtle Beach area — this time, to its northern end — to build Long Bay Club. Located a few miles inland, Long Bay does not boast the long-range views for which Pawleys Plantation is renowned, but it makes up for this with a challenging, varied mix of 18 holes. There is not a “throwaway” hole in the bunch. In fact, like Pawleys Plantation, Long Bay has an island-green par-3 of its own, also at hole 13. Two holes later, a short risk-reward par-5 presents players with a very real chance to make an eagle … or a double bogey.

As long-reigning-champion professional golfers who have designed hundreds of golf courses combined, both Palmer and Nicklaus understand what makes individual golf holes and whole golf courses fun and memorable. As a result, their Myrtle Beach-area courses endure as some of the most sought-after by visitors and locals alike.

Be sure to book tee times at any of these great courses at MyrtleBeachGolf.com!

Myrtle Beach Golf’s 5 Most Fearsome Water Hazards

Because it’s home to some 100 golf courses, the Myrtle Beach area is also home to practically every sort of feature one can find on an American golf course. These include big greens, small greens, wide fairways, bowling alley-narrow fairways, small pot bunkers, vast, sandy wastes and water hazards — lots of water hazards.

Yes, many of Myrtle Beach’s course layouts end up lightening golfers’ bags by the weight of three or four golf balls, but it’s all in good fun — and besides, there’s plenty more where those came from. If you’re running low, just head for the PGA Tour Superstore or Golfsmith and reload for your next round.

Here are the five main types of water hazards you’ll encounter on your Myrtle Beach golf vacation, as well as some of my favorite holes featuring them.

The Atlantic Ocean
Believe it or not, this largest of water hazards is only visible from one hole in Myrtle Beach: the par-3 9th at the famed Dunes Golf & Beach Club. And it doesn’t really even come into play. But it’s too big to ignore. After all, if you visit Myrtle Beach and never actually catch a glimpse of the ocean, you’ve missed out on something. So when you next visit, be sure to book a round at The Dunes through MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

The Intracoastal Waterway
Okay, now for the real Myrtle Beach water hazards — and the Intracoastal Waterway is a doozy. Built from 1930 to 1936, the stretch of the waterway from Little River in northern Horry County to its intersection with Socastee Creek south and west of Highway 544 was the last man-made portion of the “I.W.” to be finished. Today, it influences play on no fewer than 25 holes, from Arrowhead Country Club in the south to Brick Landing Plantation in the north. The most impressive stretch of Intracoastal Waterway-adjacent holes is found at Grande Dunes Resort Club, where on the par-3 14th, shots that miss the green to the right can end up in this majestic, wet feat of human engineering.

Majestic Marshes
What Myrtle Beach lacks in true oceanside golf, it more than compensates for in gorgeous Lowcountry scenery. True Lowcountry golf needs wetlands, which attract not just occasional golf balls but an incredible range of bird species, as well as the occasional alligator. If you’re looking for wetlands with your golf on Myrtle Beach’s southern end, be sure to put Pawleys Plantation, Heritage Club and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club on your trip itinerary. Farther north, marshy layouts to consider include The Witch Golf Links, Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Tidewater Golf Club, Glen Dornoch, Oyster Bay and Rivers Edge Golf Club.

Shimmering Ponds
Both natural and man-made ponds come into play at most every golf course on Earth, including those in Myrtle Beach. Ranging from just a few square yards to many acres in size, they dominate the scene on many area par 3s, 4s and 5s, as well as on the Grand Strand’s only par-6 hole: the 18th at Farmstead Golf Links, which straddles the border between the Carolinas (players tee off in South Carolina and putt out in North Carolina). There, a pond guards the left side of the approach to the green and wraps around behind. Farther south, at the Dye Course at Barefoot Resort, a lake helps provide finishing-hole drama as it does at so many Pete Dye-designed layouts. Here, the 9th and 18th, both long par-4s, wrap around either side of a railroad tie-rimmed hazard. At Pine Lakes Country Club, Myrtle Beach’s oldest course, the short par-3 11th asks a classic question: Should you hit a short- ormid-iron over a pond to a green that slopes from back to front?

Winding Streams
Strategically, creeks, streams and small rivers tend to be the most interesting sorts of water hazards found on golf courses. They present a psychological challenge in addition to the physical one: Despite their small size, they tend to loom much larger in a golfer’s psyche, especially when well-placed. After all, American professional golf’s most famous water hazard may well be Rae’s Creek, coming into play at crucial points at Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters. And in Myrtle Beach, a number of the best holes feature just such a hazard, including the replicas of Augusta’s 12th and 13th holes, located at International World Tour Golf Links. Elsewhere in Myrtle Beach, a cleverly placed man-made “burn” greatly affects play on the 16th hole at Tom Doak’s Heathland Course at Legends Resort. On the tee of this long par-4, players need to decide whether to play to the fairway left or right of this channel, and it is amazing how many tee shots end up smack in the middle of it.

No matter what water types of water hazard you favor, you will find multiple Myrtle Beach courses to satisfy your thirst for a challenge. Just be sure to book your tee times at MyrtleBeachGolf.com.

Fearsome Foursome: A Quartet of Thrilling Approach Shots in Myrtle Beach

There’s a popular saying in golf: “Drive for show, putt for dough.” And while I agree with the sentiment, it leaves out perhaps my favorite part of the most memorable single golf holes: the approach shot.

After a long, straight tee shot (as rare as they are), I want to be faced with an interesting iron to a well-protected green. If I’m going to have a birdie putt, I want to earn it. If you feel the same way, here are four Myrtle Beach approach shots you absolutely must experience:

#1 – Going for the green in two at “The Gambler”
This approach shot assumes a successful tee ball — one that has found the island fairway in the middle of a lake at the par-5 sixth hole at Myrtle Beach National’s King’s North Course. If you can manage that, you will be left with anywhere from 175 to 220 yards — all carry over water — to a sloped putting surface that is tilted toward that same lake. If you’re successful, you may have a chance at an eagle. Face it: You’ve made it too far to lay up, haven’t you?

#2 – From the fairway to the foot of the veranda
To be honest, a number of holes at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club could qualify for this unique list, but the finishing hole takes the cake for us. Not only are golfers faced with a short- or mid-iron over water to a long, narrow, angled green, they often must hit the shot with as many as a few dozen of their friends watching from the deck of Caledonia’s plantation-style clubhouse. And to make matters even more nerve-wracking, bets are often placed on the outcome of such approaches.

#3 – Don’t. Go. Left.
Golf psychologists often stress the importance of positive thinking before hitting a golf shot — e.g. “Let’s hit this drive down the middle of the fairway!” rather than, “Whatever you do, don’t hit this iron shot to the left!” It can be difficult at times, but perhaps nowhere more so than on the finishing hole at Myrtlewood Golf Club’s Palmetto Course. A long par-4 that stretches more than 460 yards from the back tee, the hole is bordered along the left by the mighty Intracoastal Waterway.

#4 – Almost home
There aren’t too many par-6s out there, but when they work, they can make for a memorable addition to a round. And Myrtle Beach’s lone par-6 — the 767-yard finishing hole at Farmstead Golf Links — is a doozy … especially the approach shot. In fact, chances are that you will strike that shot in South Carolina and it will come to rest in North Carolina — hopefully on the green, more specifically. That putting surface is well-guarded: a bunker sits directly in front, and a lake lurks to the left. What a way to finish your round at one of Myrtle Beach’s most underrated courses!

The best news of all? You can book rounds on all four of these courses at MyrtleBeachGolf.com!

VPAR – A Must-Have Golf App

The golf course is no longer a technology-free zone — in fact, far from it. While some stuffy private clubs may continue to disallow cell phones, public and resort layouts are setting the scene for all kinds of interactions, both in person and over social media. Just browse the accounts of golf-loving people and groups on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and you’ll come across hundreds of photos and videos of people having fun on the golf course.

It was only a matter of time before all this social technology started having a direct impact on the golfing experience. Enter the inventors and overseers of VPAR, one of the most popular golf apps “on the market” — the quotation marks are added because the app is free to download.

What makes VPAR particularly interesting and effective is that it can be useful for a solitary golfer or a large group on a trip. These are its main features:

Live Leaderboards
Multiple-foursome groups make up a huge portion of the golf-traveling public, and many of these groups like to add a competitive element to their golf trips. VPAR’s live leaderboard function allows users to keep score in their matches, and its real-time updating allows all groups to track all matches in the most accurate way possible.

If you have a really big group, or if you’re organizing a more formal tournament, VPAR is built to provide live scoring in the same way. The app is used for more than 750 events annually, from charity outings to amateur and pro-am events. Of note to Grand Strand golfers is the fact that VPAR is used for live scoring during the Championship Round of the annual Myrtle Beach World Am, known as the world’s largest amateur golf tournament.

Individual Performance Tracking
How many strokes under or over par were you during your last five rounds? How many fairways per round do you hit? How many pars do you make per round? You probably don’t know these statistics offhand, but if you did, you’d be able to craft your practice sessions around improving the areas of your golf game that need it the most. But with VPAR, you can keep track of these and other stats in a simple, informative way. That way, you can make the most out of your practice and lower your handicap at a faster rate than ever before.

GPS and Course Yardage Information
Yardage books can be inaccurate and outdated, and golf-cart GPS systems can be a mixed bag as well — which is why VPAR’s GPS capabilities are particularly valuable. Not only does VPAR present one of the most accurate such systems in the industry, it is also one of the easiest to use. You can measure distances to certain points on the hole you’re playing, and you can always view yardages to the front, middle and back of the green, as well. Armed with VPAR, you can plan your route on any hole you play — with no need to worry about unexpected or blind trouble.

As you can see, VPAR is a must-have golf app. Just head to the Apple App store, download it, and enjoy!

Re-create the Greatest Shots in Masters History at International World Tour Golf Links

I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly excited.

Why?

Because it’s almost time for the Masters!

As far as I’m concerned, the longest wait in golf does not happen on a par-3 on a backed-up course early on a Saturday morning, nor before a short birdie putt, but during the seeming eternity that begins as soon as the last putt drops in the PGA Championship. But now that wait is nearly over — thank goodness.

Of course, there is another wait associated with the Masters: a lifetime, since most of us will never get to tee it up at Masters host Augusta National Golf Club. I know — major bummer.

But there’s good news, especially if you’re planning a trip to Myrtle Beach. While you likely can’t play Augusta, you can tee it up at International World Tour Golf Links, whose 18 holes each replicate a famous hole elsewhere in the world. Four of them are replicas of holes at Augusta National. Here are their rundowns, along with suggestions of famous Masters shots you can re-create on them:

Championship Nine – Hole 4
Replica of: Augusta National, hole 11, a long par-4 with a green that slopes from right to left — with a pond lurking.
You can re-create: Larry Mize’s famous chip-in on the second playoff hole that dashed Greg Norman’s early-career hopes for the green jacket that would always elude him. Mize found himself about 20 yards long and right of the green, needing to pitch over a mound to a green that slopes toward a pond. The ball rolled into the cup and Mize, an Augusta, Georgia, native, leaped in the air, creating an all-time memorable moment.

Championship Nine – Hole 5
Replica of: Augusta National, hole 12, one of the world’s great short par-3s, with a shallow, wide, angled green guarded by bunkers long, and in front by a bunker and the famous Rae’s Creek.
You can re-create: Phil Mickelson’s rally-starting birdie from his maiden Masters (and major championship) triumph in 2004. Most golf fans remember his winning putt from the 18th, but it was a birdie on the 12th that started the drama, as Mickelson came home in five-under-par 31 to edge Ernie Els by a single shot.

Alternatively, you could re-create the up-and-down par that resulted from Fred Couples’ lucky tee shot in 1992, which stopped on the bank above Rae’s Creek instead of rolling into the water. Couples would go on to win his lone green jacket that same day.

Championship Nine – Hole 6
Replica of: Augusta National, hole 13, a dogleg-left, risk-reward par-5 with a tributary of Rae’s Creek winding along the left edge of the fairway before crossing in front of the two-tiered green.
You can re-create: Phil Mickelson’s spellbinding six-iron from the trees left of the fairway in 2010. Instead of laying up, Mickelson defied caddie Jim “Bones” McKay and hit one of the best shots in the tournament’s history — through the trees, over the stream, to just 5 feet from the hole. Even though he missed the eagle putt, Mickelson had gathered enough momentum — as well as adulation from the crowd — to propel himself to a three-shot victory over Englishman Lee Westwood.

Open Nine – Hole 7
Replica of: Augusta National, hole 16, a gorgeous par-3 with a two-tiered green, bordered by a pond on the left.
You can re-create: Jack Nicklaus’ sublime tee shot from his emotional, legendary victory — his 18th major championship triumph — in 1986. With the pin tucked on the lower level of the green near the water, Nicklaus hit a perfect, high shot that danced down the slope to a little over a foot from the hole.

For fans of the Masters, International World Tour Golf Links is a must-visit golf course in Myrtle Beach. Be sure to add it to your itinerary when you book your next trip at MyrtleBeachGolf.com, and you can make your own memories on some of golf’s most famous holes.

Myrtle Beach Boasts 10 of South Carolina’s ‘Best Golf Courses You Can Play’

Just a few weeks ago, Golfweek Magazine released its hotly anticipated “Best Courses You Can Play, State-by-State” list, and once again, the South Carolina portion of the list is dominated by Myrtle Beach-area layouts. This year, out of 15 top South Carolina public, semi-private and resort courses assessed by Golfweek’s expert course raters panel, 10 of them are located in Myrtle Beach. Here they are:

#3 – The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
The second-oldest course in Myrtle Beach is looking better than ever, thanks to a recent touch-up by Rees Jones, son of original architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. In July 2016, the club will host the latest in a long line of prestigious tournaments: the Southern Amateur.

#5 – Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
Late visionary artist/golf course architect Mike Strantz made Caledonia his first solo golf course design in 1994, and the timelessly charming par-70 layout endures as his most beloved in the Palmetto State. But it’s not alone on the Grand Strand …

#6 – True Blue Golf Club
Strantz’s 1998 masterpiece is located just across the street. Caledonia’s sister course boasts the bigger, brawnier layout, with sandy waste areas bordering large, rolling fairways and greens at every turn. Along with Caledonia, True Blue comprises half of one of golf’s best 36-hole days.

#7 – Tidewater Plantation
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Grand Strand near North Myrtle Beach, Tidewater enjoys a unique location, seemingly in the midst of it all but secluded enough to provide a quiet, tranquil round of golf. Both Cherry Grove Inlet and the Intracoastal Waterway can be seen from different parts of the course, which weaves between coastal forest and tidal wetland settings in delightful fashion.

#10 – Myrtle Beach National Golf Club (King’s North)
To say Arnold Palmer’s mark on the game of golf has been significant is a massive understatement, so it is fitting that his best Myrtle Beach design earns proper recognition. King’s North is home to two of the Grand Strand’s most iconic single holes: the island-fairway par-5 sixth, known as “The Gambler,” and the island-green par-3 12th, with its greenside bunkers in the shape of an “S” and a “C,” respectively.

#11 – TPC Myrtle Beach
The home course of Dustin Johnson when he visits the area, TPC Myrtle Beach offers a true and complete examination of one’s golf game. This Tom Fazio/Lanny Wadkins layout saves its best run of holes for last, culminating with a risk-reward par-5 that is one of the best in the region.

#12 – Legends Resort (Moorland)
Golfers delight in playing the Moorland Course at Legends Resort because it confronts them with a number of entirely unique holes courtesy of P.B. Dye — perhaps none more so than the short par-5 11th. This green is reachable in two shots for most anyone — but it’s incredibly long and narrow, falling off on both the left and the right. This makes up-and-down attempts extremely treacherous for players who find themselves out of position.

#13 – Barefoot Resort (Dye Club)
One of the most heated debates Myrtle Beach-visiting golfers find themselves in is over which of the four courses at Barefoot Resort is their favorite. The Dye Club, hewn out of forest and wetlands by the legendary Pete Dye, is the top-ranked Barefoot course this time around — perhaps due in part to its inventive mounding, pot bunkers and abundant, railroad tie-ringed water hazards. Armed with all of these traits as defenses, the short par-4 10th is one of the most fun holes on the Grand Strand.

#14 – Heritage Club
Located near both Caledonia and True Blue, Heritage Club’s position on this list is a testament to the depth of Myrtle Beach’s golf offerings. With a number of spectacularly undulating greens guarded by muscular bunkers and centuries-old live oaks, Heritage is a quintessential Lowcountry golf course. If you visit Myrtle Beach’s southern end and do not play it, you are missing out. The intimidating, gorgeous par-3 13th alone is worth the greens fee.

#15 – Grande Dunes Resort Club
Six holes that border the Intracoastal Waterway, some of the best conditions of any area course and one of the most inviting clubhouses in the state would normally yield a higher ranking, but just because Golfweek’s panel deems Grande Dunes the “10th-best” Myrtle Beach-area course, that doesn’t mean it is not worth playing. It absolutely is, particularly for the stretch of holes 8 through 15.

These 10 golf courses account for just a fraction of the great golfing greens in the Myrtle Beach area. These and many other deserving courses are waiting for you to discover them. Play them all, and you can assemble your own “Best of Myrtle Beach” golf course list. What are you waiting for? Book your vacation at MyrtleBeachGolf.com today and start scheduling your tee times!

The Top 5 Myrtle Beach Golf Courses According to MyrtleBeachGolf.com Reviewers

MyrtleBeachGolf.com, the Internet’s best resource for package pricing and booking for golf vacations to Myrtle Beach, has announced the five highest-rated area courses by visitors, who use a scale of one to five stars to give their first-hand assessment and experience with the courses they play. Course reviews on MyrtleBeachGolf.com are a valuable asset provided for golfers by golfers to give an unbiased take on the number and variety of courses in Myrtle Beach. It's just one more reason why MyrtleBeachGolf.com is a trusted resource for planning a golf vacation to Myrtle Beach. So without further adieu, the following five layouts provide a snapshot of the current “best-in-region” courses – layouts around which you need to plan your next Grand Strand golf excursion.

Are you ready to experience the best in Myrtle Beach golf? Here are the courses and what some MyrtleBeachGolf.com reviewers have had to say about them:

#5 – Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links (4.19 rating / 27 reviews)
Designed by Clyde Johnston, Glen Dornoch enjoys an uncommon feature among Myrtle Beach golf courses: multiple holes along the scenic Intracoastal Waterway. Here, the drama ratchets up on the final three holes, which all have this massive hazard in play. Unsurprisingly, the course saves its best for last: a long par four where players must carry marshes bordering the Waterway not once but twice.

“Loved the holes along the intercostal waterway. The starter was very informative concerning strategy on the harder holes. Great experience overall!” – Steve

“Beautiful, scenic golf course of woodlands and along the waterway. Might need a sense of humor to accept your score on holes #16 and #18. Spectacular, but very tough. Pace of play was excellent. Played 36 holes, first was 4 hours, second was 4 hours and 15 minutes. All staff treated us special.” – Egan J

“Great layout and a high recommendation for me to others. Loved the last 3 finishing holes. Really makes you consider your shots.” - Rick

#4 – Legends Resort – Moorland Course (4.22 rating / 27 reviews)
The Moorland course is one of three fun, well-maintained layouts available for Legends visitors’ enjoyment. Designed by P.B. Dye, son of legendary architect Pete Dye, plied the family trade beautifully here, crafting a memorable layout that features large, undulating putting surfaces, extensive mounding, deep bunkering and, of course, numerous water hazards ringed by railroad ties that have become a stable at many Dye golf courses across the world.

“If you appreciate amazing design and creativity in a golf course, then you must play here.” – William D

“Difficult approaches to the greens and many waste areas.” – William

“Large fairways and large greens give you a chance to score. But when you miss a shot on this golf course it usually kicks you in the teeth.” - Bert

#3 – The Dunes Golf & Beach Club (4.30 rating / 54 reviews)
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club is not only one of the best courses in Myrtle Beach; it is one of the very best layouts in the Carolinas and the Southern United States in general. Opened in 1948, it is a Robert Trent Jones, Sr. masterpiece that in recent years has been tended to by son Rees Jones, who recently oversaw a renovation project to resurface its greens and add a few new tee boxes for the numerous high-level competitions the course hosts. A trio of holes on the back nine – 11, 12 and 13 – steal the show because of their mix of challenge and amazing marsh scenery.

“Loved the greens. Every aspect of the course was top shelf.” – Dave

“All time favorite in Myrtle Beach, no trip should be without a trip to The Dunes!!!” – Steven

“This is a gem. Marvelous course. Greens are as perfect and fast. Very fast. Best greens I have played for many years. Discovered only this year that it was partially open to public. It is expensive yes, but it worth all the money you will pay and more. Played it the 13th and needed to pay it again before coming back up north. Wow!” – François

#2 – Caledonia Golf & Fish Club (4.47 rating / 48 reviews)
Opened in 1994, Caledonia is the first and arguably greatest design of the late visionary golf course architect Mike Strantz, who passed away in 2005 at the age of just 50. All of his courses are memorable for their wild aesthetics and unforgettable mix of fun and challenge. In short, he designed many holes that are totally unique in the world of golf. At Caledonia, his crowning achievement is the par-4 18th hole, which requires an accurate tee shot followed by a spectacular approach to a massive green based at the foot of the clubhouse, its porch often buzzing with people placing bets on the outcomes of the shots being played from the fairway.

“Coming from California it was everything that I expected to find. Everything about the experience was superior. Challenging but fair with great variety.” – Doug

“This is by far the best and most beautiful course in all of Myrtle beach. Great condition and great golf. PERIOD.” – Matt

“By far the most beautiful course I have ever played and I have played some good ones including Pebble Beach…the flowers, the trees, the grooming the layout…Amazing!!!” – Joseph

#1 – Thistle Golf Club (4.63 rating / 32 reviews)
Topping the current ranking of the best Myrtle Beach area golf courses is Thistle Golf Club. A 27-hole layout designed by Tim Cate and opened in 2000, Thistle evokes feelings of old Scottish inland golf clubs with its majestic, Scottish-revival clubhouse. Furthermore, its open landscape allows the wind to be a constant factor adding to the challenge and enjoyment of the course. Finally, it is known for being one of Myrtle Beach’s best-conditioned courses, with bentgrass greens that roll especially fast and true in the spring and fall golf seasons.

“Beautiful place! Amazing number and size of sand traps. A lot of forced carries over sand. My son is a much better golfer with length and he loved this course.” – Webber

“What a gem! This is by FAR the best course I have ever played. I used to frequent some of the top rated, south end courses and I cant tell how excited I am that Thistle is still a bit of a secret! Its not a circus like some of the other courses.” – Brian

“A wonderful golf experience from the moment you arrive. You are made to feel like you are a member at an exclusive Club. The course is well maintained and challenging. The natural environment adds to the relaxing and peaceful Atmosphere of the course. I would highly recommend you make the time to play at this premier course if you are in the area.” – Joan

As the Spring golf season is heating up, we'll be watching our course reviews, what our golf reviewers are saying, and if we have a new reigning Top 5 come Summer. How does your Myrtle Beach top five courses compare to other MyrtleBeachGolf.com reviewers? Let us know, or better yet, review them here.

The Best Golf Destination Gets Better: Renovations Galore in Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

In an era where new golf course construction has slowed considerably, existing courses are increasingly aware of the need to stay fresh and attractive to members and visitors.

This is especially true in the densely populated golf destination of Myrtle Beach. Indeed, the last few years have seen a number of courses along the Grand Strand making their own adjustments in order to provide the best possible experience for the hundreds of thousands of golfers who visit the area each year.

The latest renovation trend kicked off in earnest back in 2009, when architect Craig Schreiner carried out a large-scale renovation at Pine Lakes Country Club, Myrtle Beach’s oldest golf course. There, Schreiner switched the nines and rearranged a couple holes on the current front nine, adding a brand-new carpet of salt water-tolerant Paspalum grass on top. The effort brought Pine Lakes back into the upper echelon of Myrtle Beach golf courses.

More recently, other Grand Strand layouts have nipped and tucked their ways to improved conditions and aesthetics. At The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Rees Jones, son of original course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., returned to make key adjustments to practically every hole at the vaunted championship layout. Chief among these was a re-grassing of the greens to Champion Bermuda.

Other recent renovation efforts in the area have taken place at Rivers Edge Golf Club, Tidewater Golf Club, Sandpiper Bay and TPC Myrtle Beach. At Rivers Edge, Paspalum greens were replaced with an up-and-coming strain of grass called Sunday Bermuda. The Tidewater renovation project introduced new MiniVerde greens to golfers, in addition to widening a few key fairways to provide enhanced playability. The project was overseen by Kris Spence whose firm oversaw renovation and restoration work at Greensboro, N.C.’s Sedgefield Country Club, host venue for the PGA Tour’s annual Wyndham Championship. Sandpiper Bay’s recent project revolved around its bunkers, which all received new drainage systems and brand-new, fried-egg-lie-resistant sand. Finally, TPC Myrtle Beach has made important updates to its bunkers, cart paths and clubhouse, as well as removing encroaching trees in order to facilitate better turf conditions on and around the greens.

The most recent consequential renovation effort on the Myrtle Beach golf scene has just finished up at Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club. Here, the focal point of the more than two-month project was to add sandy waste areas to strategic areas of nine holes, and renovated all greenside bunkers in order to make them more manageable for all golfers who visit them. The waste areas will help the maintenance staff cut down on the amount of maintained turf they must oversee on the property, as well as providing increased visual definition on a number of holes.


Looking ahead, Lockwood Folly Golf Club, one of the Grand Strand’s northernmost courses, is about to embark on its own renovation project this year. The member-owned, semi-private facility’s project will be twofold. First, its current TifDwarf Bermuda greens will be resurfaced with the same Sunday strain of Bermuda that Rivers Edge’s greens now sport. Secondly, a new, 15,000-square foot clubhouse will be built at Lockwood Folly – one that overlooks the river near which the course is situated.

Though new golf course construction has slowed in Myrtle Beach, these are exciting times, with new-feeling golf course experiences galore. And you can play all of the latest renovations during your next Myrtle Beach Golf Trip

Myrtle Beach: The Perfect Place For a Competitive Golf Vacation

Do you love to travel to play golf? Do you live to compete against your buddies, from a friendly wager to your home club tournaments? Unsurprisingly, the vastest golf destination in the world is also the ideal place to tee it up in competition, no matter your handicap. In recent years, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday has responded to the success of its flagship Myrtle Beach World Am by adding a number of new events to the calendar.

Myrtle Beach World Amateur
Entering its 33rd year, this is the tournament that started it all. Attracting more than 3,000 players across dozens of flights every year, the Myrtle Beach World Amateur is the largest golf tournament in the world, bringing players from all 50 states and numerous countries to the Grand Strand for four regular tournament rounds, plus a fifth Championship round, where all flight winners compete for the title of World Amateur Champion. A Gross Division for accomplished players has gained popularity in recent years, and the “World’s Largest 19th Hole” is always a hub of post-round activity. 2016 Dates: August 29 – September 2.

Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic
If you are looking to shake the winter rust off in competition, the Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic is ideal. Held at the end of January, it is a 54-hole, two-person team event designed for golfers looking to get back into the swing of things for the year. That means the formats – Best-Ball the first round, Combined Team Net the second and a Texas Scramble the third – are a little gentler, so you can lean on your partner for support. 2016 Dates: January 31 – February 3 (stay tuned for 2017 dates).

Myrtle Beach March Championship
Want to experience the thrill and camaraderie of competitive golf in Myrtle Beach during prime early-Spring conditions and weather? Then you’re going to want to play in the Myrtle Beach March Championship. Based on the format of the famous Myrtle Beach World Am (but 54 holes, rather than 72), the March Championship takes place over some of the Grand Strand’s best layouts: Farmstead Golf Links, The Hackler Course, Long Bay Club, Panthers Run Golf Links, Shaftesbury Golf and Fish Club and the Avocet Course at Wild Wing Plantation. 2016 Dates: March 5 – March 8.

Calabash Cup
Myrtle Beach’s vastness means that many visitors choose one of three – North, Central, South – sub-regions as the base of their Grand Strand golf vacations. The Calabash Cup is geared toward those who love the Myrtle Beach area’s northern reaches, and it’s a great opportunity for those less familiar to experience that part of the area golf scene in a competitive environment. The Calabash Cup is a two-person team event following the same format as the Preseason Classic. 2016 Dates: July 24 – 26.

Myrtle Beach Fall Classic
Now in its third year, the Myrtle Beach Fall Classic is fast approaching the Myrtle Beach World Am in popularity. Taking place in the heart of the prime fall golf season, the Fall Classic combines four rounds of two-person team golf with some of the best courses on the Grand Strand – Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Barefoot Resort, TPC Myrtle Beach and Grande Dunes Resort Club among them. 2016 Dates: November 15 – 19.

For more information on these and the other competitive events throughout the Myrtle Beach golf scene, visit http://www.myrtlebeachgolfholiday.com/tournaments/.  

Spring Packages and Added Value Galore

mb golf packageIf you’ve never been to Myrtle Beach for a golf trip, you’d be justified in embarking on the planning of your first visit and finding it a bit daunting. There are nearly 100 golf courses and hundreds of hotels and resorts to choose from, after all.

Luckily, there’s a solution: MyrtleBeachGolf.com. For years, the hospitality professionals who run the site have come to be known as the most knowledgeable in the entire Grand Strand. That’s why a large portion of their clientele consists of families and buddy groups who rely on their expertise, relationships and package-building acumen year after year.

MyrtleBeachGolf.com is able to customize a package to your specifications, but they also offer a number of pre-arranged packages that will guarantee a memorable and affordable Myrtle Beach golf vacation experience. If you’re looking to visit the Grand Strand in Spring 2016, might we suggest:

Myrtle Beach Best
Rounds: 4
Courses:
Barefoot Resort – Dye; Barefoot Resort – Love; Barefoot Resort – Norman; Barefoot Resort – Fazio; and more!
Perk(s): Play 3, get the 4th round free; choose 4 rounds from 15 Premium courses and receive $15 off each round.
Notes: Myrtle Beach is home to dozens of memorable golf courses, but many visitors choose to play all their rounds on their trips at the Grand Strand’s largest facility: Barefoot Resort. With four golf courses designed by some of the biggest names in the game, it is easy to understand why.

East Coast Golf
Rounds: 4
Courses:
Azalea Sands Golf Club; Beachwood Golf Club; Carolina National Golf Club; and more!
Perk(s): $100 gift card that can be used for food and beverage, merchandise or same-day, same-course replays
Notes: The East Coast Golf Management Group has earned its reputation as a provider of fun, solid golf experiences at a price that fits any visiting Myrtle Beach golfer’s budget. And with a portfolio of 17 courses, the only difficulty you will have is settling on a final itinerary. But don’t fret – it’s impossible to go wrong.


Glens Group
Rounds: 4
Courses:
Glen Dornoch Golf Links; Heather Glen Golf Club; and more!
Perk(s): Play 3, get the 4th round free; free pre-booked replays for each round
Notes: Many travelers target the Glens Group exclusively for their Myrtle Beach golf needs. And with well-respected layouts like Glen Dornoch, Heather Glen and the newly-renovated
Shaftesbury Glen, it is easy to see why. The Glens Group’s courses strike a wonderful balance between quality and affordability.


Legends Package
Rounds: 4
Courses:
Heritage Club; Oyster Bay Golf Links; Legends Resort – Heathland; and more!
Perk(s): Free breakfast, lunch and 2 beers per person, per round
Notes: You cannot truly call yourself a connoisseur of Myrtle Beach golf until you have experienced what the Legends Group has to offer. Its collection of five courses, highlighted by the
Heathland, Moorland and Parkland layouts, might be the most underrated fivesome on the entire Grand Strand.


Prime Times
Rounds: 4 or more
Courses:
Aberdeen Country Club; Founders Club; Long Bay Club; and more!
Perk(s): $100 Rewards Card valid on food, drink, merchandise and replays
Notes: Veteran travelers to Myrtle Beach have come to associate the name “Prime Times” with Myrtle Beach’s best golf courses. And with layouts like
Grande Dunes Resort Club, Pawleys Plantation and Tradition Club available for booking, it looks like that name will keep its prestige for a long time to come.

Whichever package suits your fancy, you'll never go wrong with any package provided by MyrtleBeachGolf.com, the leader in Myrtle Beach golf vacations!

The Legends Package on MyrtleBeachGolf.com

MyrtleBeachGolf.com is a one-stop source for all of the best golf packages available in America’s ultimate golf destination. Today, we’re delving into one of its most popular: The Legends Package.

The Courses
Golfers booking this package can choose from five special layouts that locals and experienced visitors alike count among the Grand Strand’s very best.

Set among live oaks and shimmering ponds in Pawleys Island, Heritage Club is the southernmost of the collection. Visitors feel transported back in time as they arrive at the stately, manor-styled clubhouse at the end of an avenue of oaks. The golf course beguiles and challenges with incredibly sculpted greens, cavernous bunkers and abundant water hazards.

A few miles north, the centerpiece of this package is Legends Resort and its three unique, fascinating layouts. First came the Heathland Course, and its homages to the great links courses of Great Britain and Ireland, thanks to designer Tom Doak. The Moorland Course showcases the boldness of the Dye family of golf course architects, with extensive mounding, imposing pot bunkers and railroad tie-ringed water hazards at every turn. It was named the Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year for 2014 by area golf course owners. Finally, the Parkland Course enjoys an enchanting forest setting and pays tribute to many of England’s great inland courses, with striking bunkering and large, rolling putting surfaces providing constant fun and challenge.

Rouding out this phenomenal fivesome of courses is Oyster Bay Golf Links, located just over the North Carolina border in the town of Sunset Beach. A Dan Maples design, Oyster Bay features some of the best scenery on the Grand Strand, as well as one of its most memorable holes: the par-3 17th, with its island green resting on a bed of white oyster shells.

The Accommodations
Legends Package golfers will stay at Legends Resort. With the look of a Scottish village, the two- or three-bedroom villas are equipped with TVs in each room, washer/dryer units, full kitchens and free high-speed Internet. The Ailsa Pub serves as a gathering place for resort guests, and Legends’ amazing 30-acre practice facility is one of the best anywhere. Best of all, if you get into a great practice groove one evening while the sun sets, don’t worry – the facility is lighted for evening game-sharpening.

The Perks
With so many golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area, packages aren’t just offering golf and lodging these days. And the Legends Package from MyrtleBeachGolf.com is no exception. For every round you play on this package, breakfast, lunch and two beers are included. And what’s more, if you book three rounds with this package, the fourth is free. In short, this package offers as much value as any you will see. Isn’t it time to book yours?

5 Myrtle Beach Golf Courses You Need To Check Out This Spring

Winter may be here, but that means one thing: spring is just around the corner. And there is no better place for a springtime golf trip than Myrtle Beach, and no better place to book it than at MyrtleBeachGolf.com. Here are five great courses and facilities you should target for an unforgettable golf getaway.

Ocean Ridge Plantation – Leopard’s Chase Golf Links
The Grand Strand’s southern end – Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet – supplies plenty in the way of quiet and refinement. But don’t count out the very northern reaches, because that’s where you’ll find Ocean Ridge Plantation and its four “Big Cat” golf courses. That includes Leopard’s Chase, the facility’s newest 18, which was designed by Tim Cate. Having opened in 2007, it is one of the newest courses on the entire Grand Strand, and it truly sparkles, thanks to white-sand bunkering, spectacular conditions and an unforgettable waterfall commanding golfers’ attention on the 18th hole. The Tiger’s Eye, Panther’s Run and Lion’s Paw layouts on site mean that you can have a terrific golf getaway without going anywhere else to tee it up!

Sea Trail – Rees Jones Course
For visiting golfers who love the feel and pace of life on the North Carolina side of the Grand Strand, Sea Trail is an ideal centerpiece of a golf getaway. And with three courses, it makes for an attractive all-in-one stay-and-play option. Its Rees Jones Course, authored by the “Open Doctor” in 1990, has hosted a U.S. Open qualifier, so it offers plenty of challenge for low-handicap players while not being overly penal to the more casual player. The same goes for its well-balanced sibling layouts, the Dan Maples Course and the Willard Byrd Course.

Barefoot Resort – Love Course
Those seeking a top-end golf and lodging experience while experiencing all Myrtle Beach has to offer need look no further than Barefoot Resort, with a wonderful variety of accommodations complimenting its four championship golf courses, by Pete Dye, Greg Norman, Tom Fazio and Davis Love III. Good-natured arguments over which of these courses is the best abound, and the Love course makes a strong case, on the strength of features like the ruins that serve as the backdrop of the par-4 fourth and sixth holes. When you visit, be sure to play all four courses, so as to join the debate over how best to rank them.

Myrtle Beach National Golf Club – King’s North
For decades, Myrtle Beach National has been home to the heartbeat of the Grand Strand golf scene. And within the 54-hole complex, the Arnold Palmer-designed King’s North is a fun, exciting layout with great challenges and surprises around every turn, as well as a complete lack of housing throughout the layout. In the tradition of all great courses, King’s North saves the best for last: a long par four with 33(!) bunkers surrounding the fairway and green. Be sure to check out the SouthCreek and West Course at Myrtle Beach National as well.

Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort – Tradition Golf Club
What’s more fun than a golf course with one island green? A course with two island greens, and Tradition has ‘em. Designed by Ron Garl, Tradition’s best-guarded targets come at the par-4 seventh and par-3 15th holes. The other 16 aren’t bad, either, mixing water hazards, fascinating mounding and impeccable conditioning. And its companion courses – Willbrook Plantation, River Club and Litchfield Country Club – provide three more great layouts around which to base your next trip.

Five Fun Things to do Off the Course in 2016

The Myrtle Beach area has more than 80 championship golf courses to choose from, but the Grand Strand has thousands of things to do besides chase the little white ball. When you book a Myrtle Beach golf vacation, you also give yourself a wealth of opportunities to enjoy all the great things the Grand Strand has to offer. Here are five of our favorites:

 

  • Brewery Tour and Tasting: There are plenty of places to grab a few cold beers after your round, but only one where you can actually see how it is made. New South Brewery offers free tours of the facility every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 p.m. sharp (no late arrivals) and taste the many beers made at the Grand Strand's only microbrewery. See the giant vats of hops, barley, grains and yeast fermenting to form fresh concoctions of their famous White Ale, IPA, Dark Star Porter and more. If you miss the start of the tour, you can still come for tasting sessions and get a six-pack to go until 7 p.m.
     
  • Broadway at the Beach: This popular Myrtle Beach hot spot has it all in one convenient location. If your foursome had diverse tastes, this is the place to go. From shopping and dining to attractions and nightlife, Broadway at the Beach offers something for everyone. Want to catch a movie, play a round of putt-putt, grab a bite to eat and beverage to drink, or pick up gifts for folks back home, you can do it all in one stop at Broadway. Of particular interest for golfers is Liberty Brewery and Grill, a favorite among locals and tourists alike, for its Happy Hour, Hand-Crafted Brews and comfort food offerings with a patriotic twist, and Broadway Louie's, a sports bar with lots of TVs, video games and a golf simulator.
     
  • Murrells Inlet Marshwalk: If you happen to play a round of golf on the Waccamaw Golf Trail, plan to stick around on the south end of the Grand Strand and enjoy one of the best places on the waterfront. Featuring a wooden walkway that parallels the coastline and offers scenic views of the inlet and marina, the Marshwalk has a dozen seafood restaurants and bars where you can kick back in a hammock and listen to live music while you watch the fishing boats return from a long day at sea. Among golfers' favorite places are the Dead Dog Saloon, Bubba's Love Shack and Creek Ratz.
     
  • Shows: Few places offer the opportunity to play championship golf by day and see award-winning shows by night like Myrtle Beach. Featuring several off-Broadway style theaters, the Grand Strand is known almost as much for its quality entertainment as its top-flight golf courses. Check out the Alabama Theater, The Carolina Opry or the Palace Theatre for great productions, or enjoy dinner and a show at Pirates Voyage or Medieval Times. And if you love the classics, see tribute artists impersonate some of the biggest names in show business and music at Legends in Concert. Speaking of concerts, catch some of the top touring acts at the House of Blues.
     
  • Unwind: The most underrated but rewarding things to do after your round of golf is nothing. Actually, make that very little, like relaxing in the hot tub at the hotel or chilling out on your private balcony overlooking the ocean at the resort. Because Myrtle Beach Golf aligns itself with some of the best resorts, hotels and golf villas on the Grand Strand, golfing guests can enjoy indoor and outdoor water facilities so you can take a dip no matter the weather. Get a good night's rest and be ready to tee it up the next morning and do it all over again.


That's the beauty of a golf getaway on the Grand Strand. For all the great courses, there are even more things to do off the course during your Myrtle Beach golf vacation.

How To Book An Unforgettable Golf Package on MyrtleBeachGolf.com

So…winter is setting in and you’re itching to get somewhere sunny and warm to kick off a memorable golf vacation. Where to go?

Myrtle Beach, of course! With 100 golf courses and an incredible range of accommodations, restaurants and off-the-course activities, it is the ultimate golf destination. Best of all, it is a place to

 which you, your friends and family can return to again and again, playing a different itinerary of courses every time.

The sheer variety of offerings for golf in Myrtle Beach can make planning a trip daunting. But MyrtleBeachGolf.com makes putting together the perfect Myrtle Beach Golf Getaway a cinch. Here’s how:

Whether you’ve come to MyrtleBeachGolf.com to book an entire package or just individual rounds, you can be sure that the prices quoted to you on the website are the lowest available. Courses can be sorted by region (North, Central, South), by earliest available tee time, or by price to ensure an easy and affordable experience.

MyrtleBeachGolf.com’s Packages page is similarly helpful and easy to navigate. It lays out an array of all currently available packages, accompanied by a brief description, list of available courses, number of rounds, price range and even an “Added Value” section. After all, with so much competition for your business, courses and management companies are eager to offer the Myrtle Beach golfer as many perks as possible.

Golf package booking websites tend to hide information in order to pad click numbers or trap users as long as possible, but not MyrtleBeachGolf.com. Its overseers know how busy you are – that’s why they’ve made sure the site is as easy and quick to use as possible, giving you all the information you need on every package available. If you want to go deeper, more information is always either a click or a call away, but the most important details are always right at your fingertips.

For more information or to connect with MyrtleBeachGolf.com on social media, follow on Twitter at @PlayMBGolf. 

Top 5 Courses to Play in the Offseason

There's never a bad time of year to play golf in Myrtle Beach, but each season has its own distinct character. While the fall and spring attract large crowds, the winter break sees things slow down a bit and offers golfers the chance to play some discounted rounds and land a few hard-to-get tee times. Here's our list of five courses to play in the offseason:

  1. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club: Any time of year is a great time to play this Pawleys Island layout, which was built on a former rice plantation and still carries the same Southern charm. This highly rated course is almost second to the scenery. The Lowcountry setting includes massive live oak trees, tidal creeks and swamps, and a wide range of woodlands and wetlands that serve as natural hazards. Designed by Mike Strantz, along with sister course True Blue, Caledonia is the crown jewel of the Waccamaw Golf Trail and a tough ticket during peak seasons. The mild winters create the perfect environment for golf and sightseeing, and you can always warm up in the antebellum-style clubhouse's 19th hole overlooking the 18th.
     
  2. Dunes Golf & Beach Club: This Robert Trent Jones classic can be one of the toughest tee times in town, especially during the peak spring and fall golf seasons. The oceanfront country club and course is semi-private and sets aside a limited number of rounds for non-members, so the slower winter season is your best chance of booking a prime time round for your group. You will be glad you do once you tee off on this seaside course, which has hosted several professional tour events since opening in 1949. A recent renovations project by Rees Jones stayed true to his father's original design. You will enjoy the scenery as much as the challenge, like the double-dogleg No. 13 around Lake Singleton, which is nicknamed "Waterloo" for reasons that become obvious to golfers who attempt to cross the water to the green.
     
  3. Dye Course: Barefoot Golf Resort has four outstanding courses to choose from, and it's hard to go wrong with any of them. But the Dye Course is a favorite among local and visiting golfers and often the hardest to get on among the North Myrtle Beach complex. Famed architect Pete Dye built this 7,343-yard layout along the Intracoastal Waterway amid dense woodlands and scenic wetlands. The course plays host to the Hootie & The Blowfish Monday After the Masters event and draws rave reviews from pro golfers and athletes. Be sure to spend some time in the beautiful clubhouse after your round.
     
  4. Rivers Edge Golf Club: The 45-mile drive to Shallotte (NC) can be a bear during the summer months as tourism traffic along the Grand Strand can make the one-way trip last longer than an hour. But the offseason provides the perfect opportunity to make a run north of the state border to test your skills on one of the toughest layouts in the Carolinas. This Arnold Palmer design sits on the bluffs of the Shallotte River and offers a scenic setting as well as a tough challenge. Even Palmer called this one of his best designs.
     
  5. Pine Lakes International Country Club: The first golf course in Myrtle Beach is nicknamed "The Granddaddy" of the more than 80 courses on the Grand Strand. Designed by Scotland's Robert White back in 1927, this semi-private, links-style layout was recently updated and upgraded both on and off the course. Enjoy a hot cup of seafood chowder or a refreshing mimosa served during your round. The wintry weather provides a good excuse to spend some time in the historic clubhouse, which has been remodeled to serve as a sort of museum for the Myrtle Beach golf industry. The Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, a monument marking the birthplace of Sports Illustrated magazine, and the cozy Robert White Pub are among the off-the-course attractions.

 

The good news is, even if you can’t hit one of these five hot spots, there are more than 75 others to choose from on the Grand Strand. No matter which courses you play, you are sure to have a great time on your Myrtle Beach golf getaway.

Five Great Last Minute Gift Ideas for Golfers

Shopping for a golfer can be tricky, so it makes sense if your own shopping list still has a blank line for that special golfer in your life with Christmas so close. While checking off the last items on your shopping list, here are five great gift ideas you’ll easily be able to grab for your golfer before Christmas:

Accessories: These items may be small, but they come in handy and make great stocking stuffers. Golfers can always use a bag of tees or a sleeve of golf balls, and you can pick these up at just about any department store or golf outlet. A nice set of club head covers are another inexpensive gift idea, especially since they can be personalized to reflect your golfer's favorite college or pro sports teams or preferred golf brand. A good putting green with ball return is a crowd-pleaser.

Apparel: A regular golfer can't have enough collared casual shirts in the closet, or a nice windbreaker to keep in the car for those chilly rounds. For the more fashionable golfer, the Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy collections are hot, and the classic Payne Stewart look never goes out of style. Golf shoes can be a great gift but it can be tricky unless you know the right size for a perfect fit and which brand your golfer prefers. Caps, visors, socks, sunglasses and belt buckles are safer bets.

Bags: Golfers are as picky about their golf bags as divas are about their purses. Everything has a place and there's a place for everything, so make sure you know what your golfer likes before you go out and pick up some shiny but impractical golf bag. Use the current ragged one as a template for the number and placement of pouches as storage is a critical factor. You can spend as little as $50 for a basic model to big bucks for the leather and alligator varieties. The deluxe models include such options as a mini-bar, stereo system and Wifi capabilities.

Clubs: You really need to know your golfer - not just the person, but the golfer - to invest in a new set of clubs. Surprising them might not be the best idea unless they have dropped hints about the specific clubs on their wish list. With so many brands and variable factors, investing in a whole set might not be wise, although they can return them at all major golf outlets. But giving single clubs, like the monster driver or long putter they've always wanted, can be a great present - even though the gift wrapping is usually a dead giveaway.

Myrtle Beach Golf Package: If your loved one has been VERY good this year, reward them with the VERY best Christmas present any golfer could wish for - a golf trip to Myrtle Beach. Best of all, this gift isn't as expensive as you might think. By clicking the iGolf Quote tab at the top of the page, you can choose from over 70 golf courses on the Grand Strand with a 100 percent guarantee of receiving the lowest rates available. With prices starting as low as $30 for one round to $150 for a four-round package, you can pick out the perfect gift for your favorite golfer or let them select the courses and accommodations themselves. Let's just say you have a good chance of getting your honey-do list taken care of by putting this gift under the tree for the golfer in your life.

Most golfers never want to find their golf ball under a tree, but Christmas is one exception. Whether you go small with a golf ball or big with a Myrtle Beach golf getaway, your favorite hacker is sure to love it.

Golfer of the Month: Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson has already had a memorable December. Our golfer of the month opened it by winning the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, followed it up by hitting his first competitive hole-in-one of the season in the Thailand, and plans to close it out by playing "Bubba Claus" with his family, friends and fans for the holidays back home in his native Florida.


The whirlwind tour was a great way to cap a successful 2015 season, but the only things you might have heard about him in the press are a couple of out-of-context comments he made to the media. Watson announced he was selling the Isleworth mansion he bought from Tiger Woods a few years ago, and that he would retire from golf if he ever reached the No. 1 rank.


What they should have been talking about is how he has moved out of Woods' shadow since winning the 2012 Masters, turning him into an apparent overnight success, but Watson's story is 37 years in the making. From humble beginnings, he could be moving out of Tiger's house and into his former spot atop the World Golf Rankings if he continues his ascending play in 2016.


For years Watson was one of those many struggling golfers playing second fiddle (and for second place) to Woods. A flood of young talent has arrived on the scene as golf makes the transition to the post-Tiger era, but Watson isn't part of the Brat Pack invasion. Unlike the influx of country club kids who have emerged recently, Watson grew up middle class in Bagdad, FL.


Although he began playing golf at the age of 6, when he was given a cut down 9-iron and a quick lesson from his father, it was the only semi-formal training Watson ever received. He taught himself to play by hitting Wiffleballs around the house and got good enough to earn a golf scholarship at the University of Georgia but rarely played before turning pro in 2001.


Watson struggled to make the PGA Tour and was little more than a journeyman until he finally won his first tournament in 2010. He backed it up with a breakthrough year and three victories in 2011, but it wasn't until he won his first Masters that he was considered a serious contender. Four wins later, including another Masters in 2014, and Watson is ranked No. 4.


That win total doesn't include the Hero World Challenge, where Watson was masterful in posting a 25-under total to win Tiger's own tournament. Social media fans may remember Watson screaming "Mudball!" after a shot, but it was quickly forgotten when he dropped the bomb about selling Tiger's old house, jokingly offering to sell it back to Woods during a press conference.


The house may hold bad memories for Woods, but it is where Watson has enjoyed the happiest years of his career. It's where he plans to rest and recover from his hectic season and celebrate the holidays with his wife, kids, kinfolk and friends. Watson even gets in the Christmas spirit by becoming "Bubba Claus" and giving gifts to the less fortunate.


But Watson says he has reached a point in his career where the material wealth of his success allow him to go back to his roots and give back to his community. He is selling his Isleworth estate to move back to Bagdad to raise his family and help the people of his hometown with his foundation and pet charities, like Drive A Million and Birdies for the Brave.


"Truthfully, my goals have changed over the years," the down-to-earth Watson said during the press conference. "... I think I can do more off the golf course. Golf has given me so much, why not give back? At the end of the day, when I'm passing away, nobody's going to think about, Man, you only won nine times. They're going to think about all the other stuff I did."


If good things happen to good people, Watson should have a shot to take over the top spot in the rankings in 2016. His threat to retire if he ever reached the lofty goal was followed by a clarification that it would be the final goal left on his bucket list, and he would be happy to ride off in the sunset and call it a career if he completes his climb to the top.

The Best Christmas Gifts are Myrtle Beach Golf Packages

Here’s a little Christmas secret: Santa is a golfer. In addition to being a kind and generous soul, an excellent toymaker and, oh yeah, a globetrotting reindeer pilot, he’s also got a sweet swing and putting stroke. But he can’t play back home at the North Pole. It’s too cold and he can’t find the white ball on a blanket of snow. So the jolly ol’ elf likes to throw his clubs in the sleigh and take frequent trips to Myrtle Beach to brush up on his game and unwind from his whirlwind tour of the world.


We suggest you do the same as Santa and book your post-holiday Myrtle Beach golf package. Whether you get one as a Christmas gift (hint hint, Santa) or want to get away with a group of golf buddies at a bargain price, a golf trip to Myrtle Beach will do wonders for your game and your state of mind. By booking your trip through www.myrtlebeachgolf.com, you are guaranteed the lowest rate available at all the Grand Strand’s top courses. Check out these special packages and follow Santa’s lead to Myrtle Beach:


1-2 Rounds
If you only have a couple of days to play golf on the Grand Strand you can still get the best rates available on a round or two through our Myrtle Beach Golf Tee Times Specials. Choose from any of the 70 participating courses and play for as little as $30 per round through mid-March for weekday and afternoon tee times. Consider this a small sample of what a Myrtle Beach golf package has to offer and be sure to plan a longer trip with a bigger golf package in the near future.


3 Rounds
Good things come in threes with these excellent 54-hole options. The Players Choice package as well as the Myrtle Beach Elite option allows you to pick your own courses and build your own dream package, while several multi-course compounds offer special discounts for playing three of their courses. The Mystical Package includes reduced rates on tee times at The Witch, The Wizard and Man O' War, as well as free lunch and two beers with each round, while Barefoot Golf Resort and Legends Golf Group offer "Play Three, Get One Free" deals. Play Barefoot's famed Dye, Love, Norman and Fazio layouts along the Intracoastal Waterway, or try out the five courses of the Legends and get free breakfast, lunch and two beers.


4 Rounds
The four-round package is where golfers start to see some major savings, especially from some of the Grand Strand's top golf resorts. Of course, you can build your own package with the Players Choice and Myrtle Beach Elite options, and the East Coast Special and Prime Time Rewards deals come with a $100 gift card that can be used to purchase merchandise, food and drinks at the clubhouses of your choice. The Glens Group has a "Play Three, Get Possum Trot Free" plan with free pre-booked replays available, and Ocean Creek Plantation allows you to play four of the five Big Cat courses for the price of three.


5 Rounds or More
The perks just get sweeter when you decide to book a Myrtle Beach golf package for at least five days. The East Coast Special ups your gift card to $150, and the Legends lets you play all five of their golf properties for the price of four. The deals on accommodations also add up as guests on golf packages can get big discounts on some of the Grand Strand's most exclusive oceanfront hotels or comfortable golf villas where you can walk to and from the links.


No matter how long you stay and how many rounds you play, make Myrtle Beach your golf destination for your next retreat, and make Myrtle Beach Golf your choice for the best deals on the best golf packages.

Five New Year’s Resolutions for Golfers

The most common New Year's resolutions revolve around health, like weight loss or kicking the smoking habit. But for avid golfers, it's all about the game. "This is the year I put it all together," you say every New Year's Eve, only to continue to struggle on the links. Before you know it, another year has come and gone and your golf game is still stuck in neutral.


But not next year. You are ready to get serious about improving your golf game and there's no better time to get started than the New Year. Make a New Year's resolution, or several if needed, to work on your swing, your mental game and even your sportsmanship. Here are five New Year's resolutions for golfers looking to make some major strides in 2016:


* Driving Range: OK, so you don't have the time or money to play golf more often and your family may disown you if you spend any more weekends on the links. But maybe instead of investing half a day on the golf course you can spare an hour or two at the local driving range and practice green. Pick a target and try hitting it close consistently, starting with your short game and working your way up to your driver. That way you are working on your swing first and gradually adding power to it. For chipping and putting, spend time working on various distances and angles. You know you strength and weaknesses, so spend more time trying to plug the holes in your game. If you can find time to hit the range a couple of times a week you will see a dramatic improvement in your overall game.

* Golf Etiquette: Here's one we can all work on, and believe it or not, it might even improve your game. Those who lose their cool on the course by throwing clubs or cursing up a storm undermined their own mental game, which can have adverse effects on your physical game. It also makes you a less appealing playing partner as your negativity can carry over to others. Work on controlling your temper, even after the most frustrating shots. In many cases, this will keep your round from going downhill when things go bad, and you might even make a few more friends on the links.

* Play More, Watch Less: There's nothing like a lazy Sunday in the recliner watching the pros of the PGA Tour battle it out in the final round for the title. But as amazing as it is to watch guys peppering the green from 250 yards out, it's not helping your game out. Rather than wasting a sunny day watching and wishing, record on the final round on your DVR and spend the day focusing on your own swing. That way you can watch it later and fast forward through the commercials, and rewind and pause any points that might be helpful to you game. If nothing else at least you will get in some exercise walking 18 holes instead of sitting on the sidelines.
 

* Practice Putting: This is one activity you can do almost anywhere and anytime of day. Ask Santa for a practice green and putting machine that will allow you to work on the most critical area when it comes to taking strokes off your handicap. Putting is almost all eye-hand coordination, which means it can be improved through repetition and visualization. Slowly increase your distance as your muscle memory hones in on a perfect putting stroke. If you can sneak in a couple of sessions a week during your lunch break or while relaxing in your man cave, you will see vast improvement in your putter.
 

* Reward Yourself: Of course, the best way to improve your game is by playing, something that may be easier said than done during the winter months. The best cure for the wintertime golf blues is a package trip to Myrtle Beach where you can play in milder temperatures and on award-winning golf courses. With more than 80 courses to choose from, you can put together a dream package to Myrtle Beach's top layouts for a lot less than you might think. What a perfect way to reward yourself for working on your game, and to test out your new skills in a golf paradise.
Best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions and do your best to stick to them. In this case, the reward of a golf trip to Myrtle Beach is well worth the sacrifice.

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