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Aaron Marks, host of “The Drive” on CBS Sports Radio in Myrtle Beach, S.C., recently hosted one of his summer “Tee It Up Tuesdays” shows live from Aberdeen Country Club near North Myrtle Beach. He sat down with Aberdeen head pro Steve Shaffer to talk about the N. Myrtle Beach golf course and what makes it special.
Aaron Marks: Let's talk a little bit about the course. Great facility. Great opportunity (for me recently) to come up here and play. You guys have three nines that you offer. Talk a little bit about the different aspects of the three nines and how there are some different stages right now with some stuff you guys are working on.
Steve Shaffer: Yeah, absolutely. Out here at Aberdeen we do have the three nines. Out towards Route 9, we have Highlands, kind of some rolling fairways, big greens. A lot of hidden trouble out there, but the greens are some of the biggest on the beach. It provides a good challenge to everybody. One of the most popular nines that we have out here, right now we have our Woodlands Nine. It's one of my favorite nine hole golf courses down here at the beach. It's very challenging, pretty tight. Not a house on the golf course, so that's really nice. Meadows Nine is a good challenge out there. You've got some nice tight short par fours. It opens up towards the last few holes and just some really good holes out here.
Aaron Marks: You guys up here on the northern end of the Grand Strand, and certainly into North Carolina. This was really notable into the Pinehurst and actually Greensboro areas. You guys dealt with some issues because of the weather this past winter. Talk to us about it. It was something that people called “winter kill.” You guys have actually bounced back really nicely from it, but explain that situation that was going on with some of the courses here in the Mid-Atlantic and how you guys have been able to bounce back so nicely from it.
Steve Shaffer: Yeah, that's correct. Over the winter this year and last year. Last year we didn't have any issues with winter kill but the last two winters have been very cold, a lot of rain. We took a hit this year in the springtime with some winter kill. The whole Route 9 corridor really got hit hard. Since the growing temperatures got up a little bit towards the end of May, we've shown some great improvements. The golf course out here I would say probably 95% back to where we're used to. One of the things with Aberdeen over the last few years is we've had some of the best greens on the beach historically. A lot people when they come into check in at the clubhouse, they'll say, after the round, they'll say it's like a hidden gem out here on Route 9. Great conditions. Fantastic greens. Right now the fairways are about as good as you could possibly get.
We've definitely bounced back. The golf course looks fantastic out there.
Aaron Marks: Talking with Steve Shaffer, head pro here at Aberdeen Country Club. It's our location for a “Tee It Up Tuesday.” If you're in Myrtle Beach just hop on Highway 31, right onto Highway 9. It's just on the right-hand side, a couple miles up the road. Certainly an outstanding facility that I highly encourage you to check out. You can play any one of their three nines that they've got up here. You were telling me before we went on, you guys actually have a new superintendent, did he come right before all that, or did just start? Where was he in that process?
Steve Shaffer: He's one of the hardest working superintendents down here at the beach. He's been in the industry for a little over 30 years. He was at Waterway Hills Golf Course until they just recently closed down. His name is Guy Davis. I'm really looking forward to working with Guy. In fact when I started with the golf business 10 years ago at Waterway Hills, he was my superintendent there.
Aaron Marks: Oh cool.
Steve Shaffer: I enjoyed every day working with him. I'm really looking forward to the strides that he's going to make out here. He's a hard working guy and I think everything out here is going to be an improvement over the next couple of years with having him on staff.
Aaron Marks: Steve, something that people may wonder about and I asked you about it, if there were any stories about it, if anybody's been here or seen the Aberdeen logo? It's a little different of a logo for the Grand Strand, but if you travel around the globe it's not so different. It's got a unicorn on it, which I think is just awesome. Why do you have a unicorn in the logo? You've been here eight years, so surely you've got a good answer for me.
Steve Shaffer: There's been a lot of questions asked about that unicorn when people come in. This is something that going with the Aberdeen and trying to take stuff back to the old days in Scotland. The unicorn is actually part of Scottish folklore. You'll see it a lot in Scotland. They actually talked about it with the British Open this year about having the unicorn on some of the, I believe it's the currency over there. They actually show some of the unicorn stuff. Basically with the unicorn being kind of folklore and a mythical animal they look for that. They also have the crown and the jewels on the emblem there, the logo. That's kind of a sign for prosperity and wealth. Kind of looking forward to hopefully a good couple years.
Aaron Marks: You know me: going out and playing a good round of golf is kind of mythical. I find that very appropriate. I can't be the first one to ever make that bad joke!