Hard as it is to believe, we are nearing the end of the summer beach season which can only mean one thing: fall golf is on the horizon.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the overwhelming majority of players were denied the opportunity to take a spring trip but many of you have rescheduled for the fall. We have received a lot of questions, so we decided to answer them in the form of a mailbag.
(If you have questions, send them here and we will answer)
I’ve been coming in the fall to Myrtle Beach every year with several regulars. Since we are traveling together, can we ride together in a golf cart? Do you think we will need to wear masks to go in the clubhouse in October? Lou, Richmond, Va.
Thanks for being a regular, Lou. We will start with the easy question: your group will absolutely be able to ride together. Most courses won’t be offering complementary single-rider carts in the fall. Assuming the overwhelming majority of golfers will be playing with people they travel with, sharing a cart shouldn’t be an issue for most players. FWIW, Founders Group International, the area’s largest ownership group, is now allowing walking on all 21 of its courses, including Grande Dunes Resort Club, TPC Myrtle Beach and King’s North at Myrtle Beach National.
As for the second part of your question, it’s impossible to predict what things will look like two months from now, but there is currently a mask ordinance in place and it’s probably best if your group planned for that to be the case in October. Masks are a small inconvenience to help slow the spread of the virus. That being said, if you are eating or drinking in the clubhouse, you can obviously remove a mask just as you would in a restaurant.
First time traveler to Myrtle Beach coming at the end of September with seven buddies. If we’ve pre-paid for our tee times, can we go right to the range/tee when we arrive? Are we able to have a beer after the round in a clubhouse? Barry, Edison, N.J.
Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks, Barry. Founders Group International Courses and many other courses have a park-and-play program so golfers never have to come in contact with anyone else. You can carry your bag to the drop area and an attendant will let you know which cart to load your bag onto. All your group leader has to do is bring the voucher for the group and you are good to go. FWIW, golfers that want to have their bag handled at the drop will have that option as well.
As for the beer, absolutely you can have one in the clubhouse or on a deck overlooking the course.
Coming down in mid-September for a long weekend. I’m on top of golf course updates, but are hotels serving breakfast and are pools open yet? William, Rocky Mount, N.C.
Not to cop out on the answer, but you will have to count on the man or woman who booked your golf package for that info. We have so many different accommodations options in Myrtle Beach, ranging from oceanfront hotels to golf course condos, and the protocols can vary from property to property. That being said, if your golf package offers breakfast, you have every right to expect to receive it. Most pools are open but I’m hesitant to say all.
My group comes down in October, will most restaurants be open and how about shopping? Linda, Trenton, N.J.
It’s hard to predict the future but it’s hard to envision a scenario in which the area isn’t open for dining and shopping. The Myrtle Beach area’s COVID numbers have been trending in the right direction for several weeks now and area restaurants and shopping venues are open. The only current restriction – beyond the restaurants being limited to 50 percent capacity – is the mandate that alcohol sales are cut off at 11 p.m. Even if that’s still in effect, it won’t impact the majority of golfers.
What kind of course conditions should we expect in mid-October? Josh from York, Pa.
You can expect to find outstanding conditions and with an average high temperature of 83 in September and 75 in October, there is no more enjoyable time to visit than the fall. That shouldn’t change this year.
Our group likes to play 27-36 holes per day. Normally we pre-book replays but do you think we can wait and schedule same day replays? John, Johnson City, Tenn.
There are a couple variables that impact the answer to this question, most important being the size of your group. If you are traveling with a group of four, it’s much easier for the guys in the pro shop to work you in for an afternoon replay. If there are 16 of you, finding four tee times might be more difficult to come by, especially this year when things are shaping up for a busy fall. Long story short, I’d pre-book replays if you know which day(s) you want to play more than 18.
Remember to submit any mailbag questions you have!