It’s not just traveling players that enjoy the Myrtle Beach golf experience. After carefully considering my options for a spring trip, I came to the conclusion thousands of others do each year: Myrtle Beach was the best place for my golf vacation.
I called a couple buddies from Northern Virginia and when presented with data – quality of courses and price – the decision was unanimous. They were coming to Myrtle Beach and I was vacating the house for a long weekend in a condo at Barefoot Resort.
I took my trip in late March and being immersed in the Myrtle Beach golf experience from the perspective of someone staying and playing here was both illuminating and affirming.
Here 10 random observations after taking my own Myrtle Beach golf trip.
1. We played golf, went out to eat and had a few drinks. We did so responsibly and I felt comfortable throughout the trip without sacrificing any of the fun I associate with a golf vacation. There were plenty of people in town, but I never felt crowded.
2. Maintaining pace of play isn’t easy and Saturday at the Love Course, the Barefoot staff did a bang-up job. Our group teed off at 8:26 and by the third hole we noticed we were well clear of the group behind us. Moments after one of my playing partners mentioned how far we were ahead of the slower group, a smiling ranger waved as he drove by us. I’m not sure what the ranger said, but group behind us quickly caught up and they weren’t out of position the rest of the day. Our group played in 3:45 minutes on a full course that double-teed. Not saying everyone got around that quickly, but the work of the rangers ensured the people directly behind us had every opportunity to do so.
3. We’ve talked about the renovation project on the Palmetto Course at Myrtlewood before, and I can tell you with certainty it’s paying dividends. The course is in great shape and if you haven’t played the layout in a few years, the greens are noticeably larger and the bunker work is a significant improvement. It was a joy to play on a windy Friday. (top photo)
4. Speaking of greens, if the three courses my group played – Palmetto, Love Course and the Dye Course at Barefoot – are any indication, golfers can expect to find smooth putting surfaces throughout the Grand Strand this spring. I missed a lot of putts but that didn’t have anything to do with the condition of the greens.
5. Don’t be the group that misses your tee time then arrives at the bag drop talking loud enough for more than a few people to hear about the “problem group” finally being here. I’ve got a description that’s a more concise (and profane) than “problem group” that applied to those guys. Fortunately, the Barefoot staff was able to work them into the tee sheet on the Love Course without disrupting play for everyone else. Another pat on the back to the Barefoot staff.
6. If you are in North Myrtle Beach, eat at Brisket. A standalone establishment you have to be on the lookout for, Brisket offers the area’s best barbecue and I’m not sure there is a close second.
7. This needs to be given some more thought but when viewed collectively, the par 3s at the Dye Course might be the Myrtle Beach area’s toughest. The shortest of the one-shotters is listed at 155 yards (white tees) with water running from tee to green. The Dye Course is much more playable than Pete Dye’s fearsome reputation might suggest but you don’t have much margin for error on the par 3s.
8. Generally speaking, I like playing early, but having the option to play a course that single tees throughout the day, like the Palmetto Course at Myrtlewood, is a bonus. It’s nice to schedule at least one 10 a.m. tee time, giving you an extra hour or two of rest.
9. The condos at Barefoot are a great base, providing easy access to courses and ample entertainment at Barefoot Landing.
10. I wish I could do it again next weekend!