In less than a day, The Road Warriors will lead an assault on spectacular Myrtle Beach golf. As the self-appointed advance scout, I arrived a few days early to get the lay of the land and just as importantly see if I can resurrect any semblance of a golf game. The state of my game does not make for good copy, but visiting Myrtle Beach does.
I am discovering that there is much more to the so-called Grand Strand than meets the eye. Besides being the capital of fast food and chain restaurants, there are actually some very tasty finer eating establishments covering a wide variety of fares if you look for them. There can be no doubt that the area has a strong orientation for families as I have never seen so many different theme and adventure parks. And if the families aren’t on an all-out vacation, they are probably visiting Grandma and Grandpa as the cost of living and good weather make Myrtle Beach an inviting place to spend your golden years.
Golf-wise Myrtle Beach provides a compelling argument to stand as the “Golf Capital of the World.” From the time that long-time Philadelphia club professional Jimmy DeAngelo moved to the Dunes in 1949 and began promoting the area with his old buddies, golf has expanded from two courses to more than one hundred 18-hole equivalent courses. At one time, the total course count was up in the 120s in a growth frenzy, but even with some notable course closures the course offerings are amazing.
A host of many of the most famous modern American golf course architects applied their talents at Myrtle Beach. The list include the Dyes, Nicklaus, the Jones’, Palmer, Fazio, Doak, along with Jackson, Young, Ault, Maples, Norman and the list goes on. And did you know that the well-regarded Arcadia Shores was Rees Jones’ first solo effort. Interestingly he built three more courses in the region and all of them except for Arcadia Shores have closed.
In addition to the amazing golf choices, you will find the the affordability index perhaps even more welcome news. The quality and conditioning of the six courses I just played as part of my scouting assignment (The River Club, Litchfield Country Club, Myrtle Beach National – West, Long Bay, Myrtlewood Palmetto and Pinehills), I found the conditioning uniformly to be above average and the service excellent. If there is one that impresses me it is that there are many golf operators in Myrtle Beach that really know their customers and how to run an first-class operation. And speaking of golf operations, Myrtle Beach wrote the book on destination marketing and there reservation system has been an industry leader as well as an innovation. The result is that you can save money and also let someone do your booking and save your time for the golf course.
The other discovery that I take away is that it is so easy to find any golf course you want to play. There are maps clearly showing the facilities and furnishing directions. When you add the good course signage, the chances of you getting lost are remote.
There is no doubt that my fellow Road Warriors will be delighted in their assault on birdies and stories about Myrtle Beach. You will be too!