Hard as it is to believe, another year is in the books so it’s time for the MyrtleBeachGolfTrips.com Awards, a look back at the best and most interesting things that occurred along the Grand Strand golf scene in 2019.
Without further ado, the envelope please:
Remember My Name: The area has long been a proving ground for young golfers and 2019 was no different as three potential stars enjoyed the Myrtle Beach golf experience. Akshay Bhatia, the amateur sensation who has since turned pro, and Alexa Pano, a 14-year-old junior phenom, won titles at the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship (pictured below), and Cal’s Colin Morikawa was here to compete in the NCAA’s Myrtle Beach Regional. Morikawa went on to win a PGA Tour event. They were all here – at TPC Myrtle Beach to be exact – in 2019.
Putt of the Year: This one is easy. Silvia Rosenberger had a 50-foot putt to win $25,000 at the World Amateur Handicap Championship, and the German drained it. The video below tells the tale!
Renovation of the Year: The remaking of the Palmetto Course at Myrtlewood takes top honors. Architect Dan Schlegel (pictured below) oversaw a project that included the installation of new greens, the reimagination of the course’s bunkers, and new drainage. The results were spectacular, enhancing the layout’s visual appeal and challenging players in different ways. It’s a must-play for 2020.
Most Noble Effort: This is a team award and it goes to the Myrtle Beach PGA Patriots, a group of 21 industry professionals that worked together to raise more than $130,000 for Folds of Honor. The effort was highlighted by the 100-hole marathon, but it’s a year-round passion project. The money raised will provide scholarships for 22 families of America’s fallen or disabled service members through Folds of Honor. Respect.
Course of the Year: TPC Myrtle Beach in a romp. TPC began the year being ranked among the nation’s top 50 public courses by GolfAdvisor.com readers and things only got better. The facility, which hosted the DJ World Junior and the NCAA’s Myrtle Beach Regional, was named the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association Course of the Year and is now up for national honors. TPC Myrtle Beach was an easy choice.
Jack of All Trades: Hats off to Ryan McCarty, the general manager at Shaftesbury Glen, who helped design and carry out a renovation project at Shaftesbury Glen that included the installation of the more than 250,000 square feet of waste bunkers and new greens. McCarty wore a lot of hats at Shaftesbury in 2019 and golfers are the beneficiary of his efforts.
Comeback of the Year: 2019 will be remembered as the year of the comeback, highlighted by Tiger Woods’ Masters triumph, but Myrtle Beach had a golf course that enjoyed a similar resurrection. Aberdeen Country Club was left for dead by many following the flooding that ensued after Hurricane Florence, but the course, complete with a new clubhouse, came roaring back to life in 2019. Matter of fact, Aberdeen is better than ever.
Gone But Not Forgotten: Two local courses closed their fairways this year, but neither will soon be forgotten. Possum Trot (pictured below), the course with the best name in golf, closed, as did Indian Wells, the ever-popular South Strand layout. The land will be developed but both courses will be remembered fondly by their many fans.
Here is to wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous 2020. I hope to see you on the first tee!