Story by Ian Guerin
Over the course of more than a decade’s worth of falls in Myrtle Beach, I played nearly every golf course the area had to offer, frequently more than once. And as someone who was “working” as much as I just blowing off steam, I was almost always paired up with a player or two from outside the area.
The reporter in me never stopped. I always asked folks where they were from and - for the vast majority who were making return trips - why they continued to head to South Carolina’s Grand Strand, especially during that time of year.
The answers I got ran the spectrum.
But what they all pointed to was compared to other parts of the country, it was easy to see why Myrtle Beach in autumn provided a natural choice for company junkets, buddy trips and family vacations wrapped around time on the links.
NUMBERS DON’T LIE
There are so-called golf meccas in the United States that bill themselves as having a course for everyone. And even though reputations are earned and tastes differ, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Myrtle Beach has lost more courses in the last 15 years than some of those other areas are still boasting.
Despite the subtractions, nearly 90 courses still dot the Grand Strand. They range from Pine Lakes Country Club, which opened as the first Myrtle Beach course in 1927, to Founders Club at Pawleys Island, the most-recent addition to the field in 2008. And in an area that runs from the North Carolina border down into Georgetown County, it’s safe to say the Grand Strand has an unrivaled marketing ploy.
OPTIONS WITHIN THE OPTIONS
What’s great about the scores of courses is that none of them were really designed the same, nor were they designed with the same goal. There are high-end courses like Grande Dunes Resort Course, TPC of Myrtle Beach, the Dunes Golf & Beach Club and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club. But for those who aren’t ready for the best of the best, Myrtle Beach National’s South and West Courses, Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links and World Tour Golf Links are great mid-level choices mixing test and playability. There are also ultra-affordable courses, such as Legends Resort and Golf’s home trio, Aberdeen Country Club or Indian Wells Golf Club that will make you feel like you’re getting a heck of a bang for your buck.
Using just a touch of budgeting skill and some advanced planning, six rounds of golf over the course of a week can be done to maximize the courses you’re playing without breaking the bank.
Some, including those from the Northeast, have said this is all that matters. In October, the average day-time temperature in Myrtle Beach typically hovers around the low-to-mid 70s. In November, it’s still regularly pushing 70 degrees, if not warmer. Sure, there are cooler days. But rarely are cold spells going to do much more that require you to put on a long-sleeve shirt (at least for the morning rounds).
Those moderate and stable temperatures provide some serious peace of mind while planning a vacation, but also executing it without the potential weather hitches. What’s more, the maintenance crews and staffs of these courses are as seasoned as its gets when it comes to preparing for and adjusting to even major storms. So while heavy rains may move into the area during a late afternoon or early evening, and there’s a good chance you wouldn’t know it the next morning when you tee off.