Giving Thanks: 10 Things I’m Grateful For In 2021

We are closing in on two years since we first heard the words Covid-19 pandemic. What started out as a virus halfway around the globe has become a daily presence in our lives in one way or another.

A vaccine, better treatment options, and growing natural immunity have made the risk more manageable (though far from eliminated), but there is no doubting Covid-19’s profound impact on American life.

As 2021 has gone on, a way of life that more closely resembles “normal” has returned, and that’s just one of the many things we are grateful for. With the end of another year in sight, here are 10 golf-related things I’m most thankful for:

— The restoration project at Pine Lakes Country Club. (top photo) The Granddaddy has long been one of our favorites and with new greens and bunkers, it’s better than it has ever been.

— For 3,500 players from all 50 states returning to the World Amateur Handicap Championship. The event, a 72-hole net stroke play tournament, has long been one of my favorites and it was great to see people on the course and back at the World’s Largest 19th Hole.

— Dale Ketola’s expertise as a club-fitter at the Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center. Now I just need these supply chain issues to get straightened out so I can get those new clubs!

— Great weather. Seriously. Mother Nature is unpredictable but she largely smiled on us in 2021. A warm winter and a stunning fall meant we enjoyed an ideal climate for golf throughout the year.

— Playing a round at Willbrook and then enjoying lunch with a view along the Marshwalk at Murrells Inlet. (pictured right)

— Spring is our peak season and we all enjoy the vitality traveling golfers bring the area. With the nation locked down in 2020, we missed out on that but you guys came roaring back this year and we had an even greater appreciation for what it means.

— The par 3 14th hole on the Grande Dunes Resort Course. It never gets old.(pictured right)Grande Dunes Resort Club 14th

— Ask the uninformed about Myrtle Beach restaurants and they will mention the number of chain establishments. Don’t fall for it. There is a surplus of outstanding locally owned eateries, and it was great to be introduced to new establishments, such as Drift, this year.

— I made my first trip to 88 Keys Piano Bar, which is attached to The Library, a restaurant that is worth visiting, and it won’t be the last. The entertainment is great and while it’s lively, it’s not as raucous as the atmosphere you will find at Crocodile Rocks at Broadway at the Beach. I’d highly recommend it as a spot for your golf group.

— My return to Tradition Club. I hadn’t played it in a number of years and it was a delight to tee it up again on the Ron Garl design.

As we begin to look forward to 2022, I hope to see you on the first tee!