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Story by Chris King
The holidays are over, the boys on Tour are teeing it up in Hawaii, and cold weather has descended on much of the nation (not here in Myrtle Beach where highs exceeded 70 degrees on January 1), which can only mean one thing: you can officially begin dreaming about your spring trip to Myrtle Beach. Whether you are a regular visitor to the area or planning your first junket, here are 10 things you need to do in 2019:
-- Topgolf isn’t open yet, but it will be shortly and the anticipation is building. The Myrtle Beach venue will have 72 climate controlled hitting bays, a full service bar and a restaurant. I can’t wait to finish a round at Pine Lakes and make the two-mile drive to Topgolf to continue the fun this spring.
-- Eat the scallops and fried spinach on wild mushroom risotto at Aspen Grille. There isn’t a better dish served in Myrtle Beach (non-New York Prime division). If you want a great meal this it, and happy hour at Aspen is a winner as well.
-- Take a chance at the Gambler. The par 5 sixth hole at King’s North, featuring an alternate, island fairway, is one of Myrtle Beach’s iconic challenges. Hitting the island fairway and then finding the green is a substantial task, especially for those of us whose handicap include two digits. But you don’t take a trip to play it safe all the time. This is the place to take a chance (and your group might consider letting players save a “breakfast ball” for the hole).
-- Divide players into two teams and compete for something. You don’t want the competition to be too serious, but the team component adds something to the trip experience. Think your own version of the Ryder Cup, sans Patrick Reed, of course.
-- Play a course that showcases the area’s coastal beauty. Layouts like Grande Dunes, Pawleys Plantation, Tidewater Golf Club and Glen Dornoch, just to name a few, feature some of the best views the Palmetto State has to offer.
-- Take a moment to stroll through the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, located in the courtyard behind the clubhouse at Pine Lakes. Whether you take a golf trip to Myrtle Beach, Bandon Dunes or anywhere in between, the influence of the Grand Strand resonates. The golf package was invented and perfected here. Enjoy the opportunity to get to know the people who shaped the game’s most popular destination.
-- If you are looking for an off-course activity that doesn’t involved Topgolf or happy hour, turn back the clock and go to Broadway Grand Prix go-kart track. You might be surprised at how much fun you have racing on the four primary tracks.
-- TPC Myrtle Beach and World Tour turn 20 this year and both provide the opportunity to see the game through the eyes of professionals. TPC hosted the 2000 Senior PGA Tour Championship, an event won by Tom Watson, and World Tour is inspired by some of the game’s great layouts, highlighted by Amen Corner at Augusta National. Playing one or both of these courses will make your trip better.
-- Go to the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet, even if it means going out of your way. The view of the Inlet might be the area’s prettiest and fresh seafood and live music abound along the ¼-mile wooden boardwalk. If you only have time for one stop at the Marshwalk, make it Wicked Tuna.
-- Go to the beach! I know it’s a golf trip but spending a few minutes enjoying the Atlantic Ocean is always good for the soul.