LPGA’S Stephenson Plays a Myrtle Beach Golf Course With Contest Winner
It’s not every day you get to play a round of golf with a pro.
It’s not every day you win accommodations, airfare, and free rounds of golf in Myrtle Beach. Yet, that’s what happened to Dan Maciejewski, who won all that, and a round of golf with LPGA star Lauren Stephenson.
He and his friend Dave played many courses. One was Wachesaw East, a mainstay on the LPGA tour, with Lauren, who enjoyed the time on the course with them.
“They were very engaged,” Lauren said. ‘They asked a lot of good questions about different golf shots. We tried helping them understand how to read Bermuda greens. I know I had fun and I hope they had fun as well.”
Dan said it wasn’t easy to pinpoint a favorite part of this trip.
“Having a routine once we rolled into Myrtle Beach was relaxing,” he said. “A typical day went something like this: play a round of golf. Enjoy a couple of drinks. Eat excellent food. Chill out on the beach. Repeat the following day. Beyond the break from reality, one highlight was the round of golf with Charlie [Rymer] and Lauren.”
Dan saw Lauren’s swings up close, and asked about experiences, shot approaches, and more. He came away with high praise for Lauren.
“We truly enjoyed playing with an LPGA Tour professional,” Dan said. “Being able to joke with her and trade golf stories was an amazing experience. Lauren had such a fine eye on the greens, and when she helped us with a tough read she was spot-on. Lauren’s swing was as pure as we have ever seen, and was the best of anybody we have ever played with.”
Architect Clyde Johnson created an attractive track with Scottish influence in Murrells Inlet. It’s a championship, 18-hole course, built on a former rice plantation. It has been the centerpiece for four LPGA events, but this was Lauren’s first time playing it.
“The course was in great shape,” Lauren said. “From fairways to the green everything was very pristine. I enjoyed the course layout. There were a lot of different holes and golf shots you needed to hit out there. The thing I liked most about the course was that almost every hole looked different.”
Wachesaw is well-kept and known for professionalism and excellence. Stephenson is a Greenville native, Lexington resident, who played at Clemson prior to transferring to Alabama before embarking on her pro career. She’s no stranger to South Carolina golf. And she especially enjoys playing the Grand Strand when she can.
“I’ve been playing golf in Myrtle Beach from a very young age,” she said. “Growing up we had lots of junior golf tournaments in the area. I’ve played a lot of the courses around town and I always enjoy it when I can come back to Myrtle Beach.”
Dan and Dave played several area courses, and gave their assessment of each:
Wachesaw Plantation East:
“The conditions were excellent, and the layout was interesting. The fairways were welcoming. But we needed to think through our shots with many of the tree-lined fairways. Plus, well- placed water hazards. This course was one of the favorites of our trip. We will always have great memories of it due to playing with Lauren and Charlie.”
Grande Dunes Golf Club:
““‘Grande’ is the perfect word to describe this course. The views seemed larger than life, and we absolutely loved the rolling terrain of this course. Many of the properties alongside this course were amazing to look at. They provided this track with a bit of a community feel.”
“We loved Fazio’s design; it was just beautiful to see his use of the massive amounts of sand! After 5-plus hours of traveling, I’m not sure that we were up to the accuracy requirements needed to
score well. The course design definitely took both of our typical landing areas into account.”
“Caledonia blended so well into the environmental surroundings. It almost seemed to have been grown there, rather than constructed. It was an absolute gem to play and the best course either of us has been on in our lives. Enjoying a gin & tonic on the porch while groups hit into 18 was a great way to wind down after we played.”
Lauren was the 2019 tour rookie of the year. She’s recorded consecutive rounds in the 60s in each of her five to-15 finishes this season. That’s the kind of consistency that will serve her well.
At age 24, she already has a healthy sense of life balance that also bodes well for her future.
“Off the course, I love to do anything outdoors,” she said. “I enjoy going to the beach and I enjoy hiking. I also have taken up tennis which I like. For me, it’s a great way to get exercise. I also love to shop and get my nails done. I try to spend my free time doing things other than golf to make sure I still have the same joy on the course.”
Other Fun in Myrtle Beach
Dan and Dave got to spend lots of time on the Grand Strand (and will
definitely be back, Dan said). Here are their favorite spots from the trip:
● Blueberry’s Grill
● Dead Dog Saloon
● Eggs Up Grill
● Flying Fish
● Joe’s Bar & Grill
● Paradice Ice Cream
“This trip was the experience of a lifetime,” Dan said. “But we only scratched
the surface of all the possibilities.”
A Great Stay at North Beach Villa & Resort
Accommodations at North Beach were part of the prize package. Dan considered the resort top-notch — especially from his 19th-floor room with a breathtaking ocean view.”
“The balcony was great for a morning Tai Chi routine, not to mention an end- of-day tumbler of Scotch,” Dan said. “Although the room was fantastic, the star of the show was the beach itself. If it wasn’t for the call of the links, we would have been on the beach the whole time!”