There is a classic Jack Nicklaus design enjoying a summer facelift along the Myrtle Beach golf scene, and excitement is beginning to build about the layout as it prepares to reopen with a new look.
If you think we are discussing Pawleys Plantation, think again.
While the buzz surrounding Pawleys is understandable, the work being done at Long Bay Club, its sister course that also opened in 1988, shouldn’t be overlooked. Long Bay is one of the premier layouts along the North Strand and after a transformative greens renovation project this summer, will be better than it has been in years as golfers return for Myrtle Beach’s peak fall season.
Long Bay closed May 17 to begin a project that is expanding the collective square footage of the course’s greens from 66,000 to 110,000 square feet, an increase of 66 percent. With about a month to go before reopening – Long Bay is targeting sometime between August 8-15 – the new TifEagle bermudagrass greens are on schedule.
“We are very excited,” Long Bay Head Pro Brandon Mensinger said. “We are starting to see grass grow, (and it’s) starting to get nice and smooth. Grow in has gone really well so far.”
With the new greens beginning to thrive, work will begin on the collars, laying Tahoma bermudagrass sod that will provide a striking contrast between the putting surfaces and landing areas, enhancing the layout’s visual appeal.
“You can expect a whole new Long Bay,” Mensinger said of what golfers will find. “It’s going to be in fantastic shape from tee to green; even right now we are looking absolutely gorgeous. The greens are going to be much bigger. We just can’t wait to get it open.”
The increased size of the greens will allow for more pinnable areas and the changes will be most dramatic on holes such as the par 4 third and No. 17, a par 3. The third green was previously one of the area’s smallest, making it difficult for players to attack pins, but that will change. The 17th is a long one-shotter that is adding a whopping 12 feet to the rear of the green.
“With how small our greens were in the past, some greens and pin positions were very tough to access,” Mensinger said. “With the new sizes, there will be more pin positions that are a lot easier to access for normal golfers.”
Long Bay’s greens are being mowed and prepped in anticipation of restoring the Nicklaus design’s reputation as one of the area’s best courses.
( Story Date: 7/8/23)