Call now with questions or to book



« Back to All News

Three Years Later, Impact of Big Break-Myrtle Beach Still Felt

Big Break Cast

By Ian Guerin

A little over three years ago, the Myrtle Beach golf market got itself some primetime love.

Golf Channel’s then-recurring program - “The Big Break” - came to South Carolina’s Grand Strand with the intent of illuminating not only the contestants on the show’s 22nd season, but also the area in general. It was relatively big news, even though the end was near for the program.

It was nixed in 2015 due to reported budget cuts, a move coming just one season after the Myrtle Beach episodes ran. The decision came despite unprecedented ratings on the network in 2014. But as they say, all good things must come to an end.

That didn’t happen, however, before Myrtle Beach got its chance to join the likes of some high-profile golf areas in Hawaii, Ireland, Mexico and Florida. The 11-episode 22nd season, filmed in June of 2014 and aired that fall, included broadcasts from Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, the Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club, Fazio and Love Courses. There were also excursions to the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, the Anchor Cafe at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes resort and even North Myrtle Beach’s Cinzia Spa, where some of the male competitors earned some of the biggest laughs of the entire season.

On the courses, a 31-year-old Alabaman named Jimmy Brandt edged out Toph Peterson of Logan, Utah, in the finals to claim the top spot - which earned Brandt $180,000 in cash and prizes and an exemption for a professional tournament (Brandt missed the cut at the ensuing Valspar Championship the following March).

And between the drama - Brandt was on the chopping block several times before making and ultimately winning the title match - and the pristine conditions, the show itself was a marketing boon.

“The Big Break generated a lot of buzz and the Myrtle Beach area benefitted without question,” said Mike Ross, the Barefoot Resort’s director of golf. “There was talk about it on the Golf Channel and the competition that we hosted was one of the best in terms of a dramatic outcome. It’s really marketing that you can’t buy. As time passes, it begins to fade but we still talk to customers about it and memorialize it in marketing pieces.”

Occasionally, Pawleys Plantation Head Golf Pro Brian Lewis says the topic of conversation still comes up at his club, too. Despite the time, the memorabilia from the event stirs up talking points of that fall.

More importantly, though, Big Break’s big payoff may have been that it showed an existing market that was already potent in the industry. Three years after the Big Break aired, the 90 or so courses alive and well here each have their own bragging rights, some of which were promoted more than others during the Golf Channel’s run.

“It tells me that we have a very good product here, Lewis said. “It is a championship golf course, designed by the greatest player to play the game, Jack Nicklaus. For me, it feels great to work at one of the top golf clubs on the beach, and feels even better when we get recognition with things such as the Big Break.

“Any exposure Myrtle Beach gets on the national stage is great, especially since we are the golf capital of the world. I think the show itself had faded by the time filming took place in Myrtle Beach, but the fact that Myrtle Beach and especially Pawleys was chosen, speaks volumes to how important we are to golf as a whole.”

Find Out More

Other Articles You Will Enjoy

Tips for a Fun Girls Getaway from Myrtle Beach Golf Ambassador Meredith Kirk

If you’re searching for a fun golf getaway with the girls and want to experience the best of Myrtle Beach golf on women-friendly courses, look no further. With recommendations from LPGA Instructor and former Mrs. South Carolina America, Meredith Kirk, you and the girls are guaranteed to have fun! Read More

Course Superintendent and Fazio Design Consultant Discuss TPC Myrtle Beach Bunker Project

Course Superintendent Clay Dubose is joined by Senior Associate for the Fazio Design Company, Thomas Marzolf to discuss the new state-of-the-art bunker drainage system being installed at TPC Myrtle Beach. This upgrade will improve playing conditions after rough weather and create bunker consistency throughout the course. Read More

Mel Sole’s Golf Tips: How to Generate More Power

Mel Sole of the award-winning Mel Sole Golf School at Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club demonstrates a drill using an alignment stick to help generate more power in the golf swing Read More

Related Specials

$91 per golfer per day

South Carolina Ratings Panel Top Rated Grand Strand Courses

Every other year, the South Carolina Ratings Panel narrows down the top 50 golf courses in South Carolina. Get…...
$39 per golfer per day

Waccamaw Golf Trail New 2 Round Special

Get the Waccamaw Golf Trail's Lowest Multi-Round Pricing! Save an extra $5 per round off the award-winning Waccamaw Golf…...
$55 per golfer per day

East Coast 4 Round Special From $220 per golfer

Choose 4 Rounds from the East Coast Golf Group, and receive a $100 Gift Card than can be used…...
Continue Below
$69 per golfer per day

THE PLAYER’S CHOICE - all area courses at the lowest daily pricing

Build your own golf package online. Golf & lodging all in one easy step. Choose from great area lodging…...
$47 per golfer per day

Rewards Package ~ Each Golfer Receives $100 in Rewards!

Book 4 or more rounds on the Rewards Package, and each member of your group receives a $100 Rewards…...