It really isn’t some big surprise why Myrtle Beach’s heaviest traffic for golf and weddings coincide.
Fantastic spring and fall weather inspire us to take advantage of all the outdoor possibilities South Carolina’s Grand Strand has to offer. As someone who is heavily involved in both industries, I can tell you that these two portions of the calendar are being used by locals and visitors accordingly.
But if there is a misconception that probably needs to be cleared up, it is that the two can’t be blended perfectly.
There are some 400 wedding-appropriate venues up and down the Strand, including the hotels, restaurants and other establishments that don’t advertise themselves as such but host them nonetheless. And there are 90 or so golf courses in that same territory.
Cross over? You bet.
What you’re going to want to distinguish when it comes to the golfing on someone else’s wedding day, though, is the possible avenues that will interfere with the reason you’re here. Even as a wedding guest, you’ve got responsibilities, and we can help you oblige those while getting in some time on the course the same day.
TIME, TIME, TIME
We wrote a while back about the importance of being early for your tee time. Now magnify that gut punch of feeling you’ve mess up by a thousand. Those are the types of looks you’ll get walking into a wedding ceremony late.
A 10 a.m. tee time isn’t gonna work for a 3 p.m. wedding, no matter how quickly you think you’re gonna play. You must account for your own golf-based shortcomings, but also the chances that the foursomes ahead of you aren’t playing fast enough or the course is just flat-out busy.
After all, the three prime wedding days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – jive with the three busiest days of the week at most courses.You’ll need to account for how long it will take you to get from the course back to your lodgings, and then from there to the venue (if you’re not staying there). Anything shy of two-three hours in between is playing with fire. Driving is only part of it.
You’re also going to not want to smell like sweat, fresh-cut grass or a sand hazard when you show up to the wedding venue. So, give yourself time to shower off the standard golf-course funk.
This isn’t one of those days to overshoot your shot.
Some of the higher-rated courses in the area are also more difficult. If you’re beat up from golf or worn down from a longer day with the clubs, it will ripple throughout the “I Dos” and into the reception. Instead, here are a number of courses where quicker play is the norm while also allowing for ultra-playable rounds without sacrificing the reputation of Myrtle Beach golf.
Faster courses on the north strand include River Hills Golf & Country Club,(pictured right) Beachwood Golf Club (top photo) or Aberdeen Country Club.
Centrally, the Myrtlewood Golf Club duo of Palmetto and PineHills are good choices, as are Pine Lakes Country Club and River Oaks Golf Plantation.
On the south end, we’d recommend Tradition Golf Club or Litchfield Country Club, two others that don’t seem to field as much of the traffic as some of their better-known neighbors in and around Pawleys Island.
All have reasons to work here, but it boils down to the fact that all are adept at keeping it moving.
THE LONG HAUL
Speaking of burning the candle at both ends, my final piece of advice is to just go ahead and schedule that tee time for as early as the course will allow. Not waiting until the day before to book will help you accomplish this.
Either way, the earlier you tee off on the wedding day, the more time you’re gonna have to take a few breathers before suiting or dolling up and getting ready for what could be an all-night affair. Keep in mind that the average wedding is a seven-hour commitment. If there is an afterparty at one of the nearby bars, add another couple of hours to that.
Now include the pre-wedding golf to that, and we’re talking about one heck of a full day. You want to enjoy it, not be gassed before the sun goes down.