MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Golf attracts its share of Type B personalities. Relaxation and rounds, buddies and brews fit hand in hand. A trip to South Carolina’s Grand Strand golfing mecca, however, can bring out the Type A in any of us. The stress of planning and execution comes with a mental toll for the unprepared, not to mention those unwilling to bend on their preconceived notions of just how a weeklong trek is supposed to go. Staying in your own Zen-like frame of mind – or getting back to it after the unexpected – can be achieved with a few simple pointers.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
Before you start pumping in your credit card info for plane tickets, hotel stays and rounds, know exactly what you’re getting into. Find a few reputable sites for information about the time of year you’re heading to the beach, sure, but also ask around. Talking to Grand Strand natives is important, as is talking out ideas with the rest of your group. The more you spitball in advance, the better your execution will be once you get into town. There will be surprises; the more you’re ready to circumvent them, the less you’ll need to worry.
As our good friend Ed Piotrowski at local TV station WPDE tells us all the time, getting worked up over weather forecasts is going to do little more than drive you batty. Should you cancel your tee time because the experts are calling for a 60-percent chance of rain four days out? Would another day be better to tee off earlier? At times, it can be nonsense to overstudy weather patterns. And because we all have access to them at our fingertips, the influx of information frequently only causes confusion sans possible answers. Let Mother Nature do what she’s going to do and adjust accordingly closer to your round, if necessary.
Absolutely nothing gets you into a rhythm like playing. And nothing you can do on the course will replicate the repetition you can get on a driving range, putting green or chipping surface. Mundane as it may seem at time, the proof is in the practice. Consider this: During an average 15-minute span, you’re going to take between four-five strokes. Maybe seven-eight if you’ve got clear path ahead of you or you’re playing with a twosome. Conversely, most folks can get off a good 50-60 swings on a range in that same amount of time. You’re not tired from the excessive walking (even with a cart), so popping one after the other isn’t a big deal.
SLEEP ON IT
Vacations are fun, and when you and your buddies are making the most of your trip here, keep in mind that vacations can also be exhausting. If you’re burning the candle so hard on both ends, you’re going to need a week to recover. Instead, we’d offer this simple tip: Plan sleep into your trip. Your body will tell you everything you need to know about what it can and can’t do, and for the vast majority of us, eight or nine hours of sleep will allow you to go harder the next day. And the one after that. And the one after that.
Ian Guerin is a DJ and freelance writer based in Myrtle Beach. You can follow him on Twitter @iguerin and Facebook facebook.com/IanGuerinWriter/