Episode #12: Q&A With LPGA Instructor and Myrtle Beach Golf Ambassador Meredith Kirk 01/28/2020
Meredith: Today, we're going to answer your questions from golf swing tips to all things Myrtle Beach. A really informative podcast covering awesome topics, you don't want to miss this.
Meredith: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Gimme Golf podcast. I am Meredith Kirk, your host, and joining me today is our marketing manager and producer, Nate DeWitt. Good morning, Nate.
Nate: Hey, good morning, Meredith.
Meredith: So this morning you said we are going to go through our mailbag. What's that?
Nate: We had quite a lot of responses to the article piece that you did, the Q&A with Meredith Kirk. So we decided to kind of take it a step further and maybe it's a little easier to answer them via podcast.
Meredith: That's a great idea. This will be fun. I noticed you have a very long list of questions, I'm a little nervous.
Nate: Yeah, you had quite a lot.
Meredith: We did. We had a good response.
Nate: We picked out a few that I think most of our viewers would be interested in.
Meredith: All right.
Nate: Would you like to start off with some of the golf swing questions or the more, what are you feeling, what are you feeling?
Meredith: Let's start off with the golf swing questions. I'm all game. I got my water ready, all right.
Nate: Let's do it. So, being an LPGA instructor, obviously, you have a lot of students. A lot of repeat students, and obviously a lot of new students too probably, right? What are the most common swing flaws you observe while teaching?
Meredith: Definitely swingers that swing too fast. They're trying to kill the ball. And when they do that, oftentimes it can cause a steep angle of attack outside in path. They're just not hitting the segments of the golf swing that are necessary to have solid impact. So I think first and foremost, slowing down. Better to slow down, find a good rhythm and tempo and then down the road, generate more speed. I'm all about creating consistency first, distance later. I want to make sure that the ball dispersion is nice and tight, that you have good groupings, just some consistency.
Meredith: So it's really just getting a student out there saying, all right, you grab a pitching wedge, let's go for a certain target and I like to see how many balls I can get close to the target. And if they're spraying everywhere, then usually they're swinging too fast, they don't have a pre-shot routine. But you know what, Nate, it all comes down to golf fundamentals. You want to keep it simple. Have a good grip, a good stance, nice athletic position and swinging slow. Just those basic things, starting out with that before you even work into really complex issues of the swing, which I like to avoid. I like to keep things so simple fundamentally that I don't have to tell my students exactly what I'm doing with their swing. I'll just say, I want you to try this. I want you to feel this.
Nate: So is it a matter of, and this is always the tough part about being a teacher, if you're working on something but the student may not see instant results then and there, they judge it as a successful or not successful lesson. But you see things that they're fixing and then they can get back to those shots that, okay, you're working on your tempo today, we're going to try to get you in a nice consistent tempo. You may not see the results right now or within these next six or seven golf balls you hit, but you will. What's the variation of people that they want to see the instant results, right? They want you to say the magic word, then all of a sudden, bam, then I'm hitting my seven iron 150 yards. You run into that?
Meredith: Oh yeah. Most people are like that. And I always say it's two steps forward, one step back. But the thing is this, when you're creating a new motion, you have to build that muscle memory. It's like going to the gym and you have to start out with three, five pound weights, get used to that, build up to the eight pound and the 10 pound weights. It's the same principle. So many people want to go like with golf and just pick up the 15 pound weights and yeah, here I go. But I always tell my students, it takes about three weeks to build new muscle memory. I say at a minimum, it's a three week commitment with homework at home, motioning out. Studies are showing that slow motion repetition is just as good as going out to a range and just hitting ball after ball.
Meredith: So, what I do is I incorporate golf homework, swing work, that they can do at home without even hitting a golf ball.
Nate: So how many of those students actually do that? I'm just curious.
Meredith: No, it's a good question. I would say about half in the beginning. And then as the lessons progress, like if we get to a third lesson, it usually, oh, I forgot to, it's always that slacking off. It's just like the gym and new year's resolutions. It's easy to fall off. But the key is building muscle memory, keeping it simple, sticking to the fundamentals. And it's amazing how you can progress.
Meredith: But one thing that I do for my students is I do video analysis and I hate using the word analysis because then it sounds like all technical all in your head and I'm actually right-brained-
Nate: So you can actually show them and say you didn't work on this or you didn't-
Meredith: What I do is, I actually take a pre-video before lesson so I watch them hit. I know what I want to work with them on, but what I do is I always confirm it with a video. It's a way that I double check myself as an instructor as well because I can see everything on video. I can look at them and say, okay, I know that they're doing X, Y, and Z and I'm going to take this path, but I'm going to confirm it. I do a video. And then what I do on the video is I show them right there on the range, their video, before we get into the lesson. I'll say, so these are some of the issues that I'm seeing in your swing but I always follow up with really positive things too. Everybody's usually always doing some good things in their swinging.
Meredith: So, usually I start out saying, this looks really good. I love how you set up to the ball. I love your spine angle. Or, you have a great athletic position, that's great. We're going to need that for what we're working on. I try to stay positive and then I'll say, the major issue that I'm seeing right now is this, and I'll draw the lines. And so let's say they're casting or let's say-
Nate: Which is probably the most common problem is coming over the top and chasing [inaudible 00:07:04]
Meredith: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, coming over the top definitely. I mean, I'm more often getting people to flatten out to create lag than I am getting them more upright, getting that club going out. That's more rare. So absolutely, that's a common swing flaw. So usually I'll show them, take a couple pictures and then get into the lesson. So, I always try to leave a student with some hope, like a before and after.
Nate: You have hope.
Meredith: At the end of the lesson, I'll do another video or a snapshot of a certain, whether it's them taking the club back if we're working on takeaway or maybe it's impact or something like that. But I'll say, here's your before, here's your after, we're moving in the right direction, now this is your homework. The homework is always going to incorporate building muscle memory, doing drills, getting used to it by keeping it simple.
Meredith: So yes, getting back to your question, it's always, it's two steps forward but it's one step back at times when you're making swing corrections.
Nate: So I liked that word hope. It's like buying a lottery ticket. You may not win, but you got hope.
Meredith: You always have to have hope no matter what. You have to have hope.
Nate: And here's a basic question because I see it all the time when people go to the range, what clubs should people practice with? You see people going to the range, first club they dig out, driver.
Meredith: Oh no, that's the last thing you want to do.
Nate: Exactly. What club do you say, seven iron, eight iron, is that kind of ...
Meredith: I think a seven iron is fine. I prefer students warm up with wedges and then work themselves to the longer irons, hybrids and then driver. Studies have shown it prevents injury and that's the goal. We want to prevent injury, no matter the age, your body swinging with a shorter club, it's going to be a little bit easier and work yourself out.
Nate: So ideally after that first lesson, it would probably be beneficial for the golfer just to take a seven iron and go to the range. Don't even take the bag, right? Just say, okay, I am just going to work on this and this and I'm going to work it on with this club. I'm not worried about ball position, I'm just worried about what Meredith told me in the last lesson as far as establishing a tempo and that kind of thing.
Meredith: Right. And I kind of came up with a method of instruction and I actually just made this up many years ago. I call it elimination golf. So we want to eliminate things about our swing or how we approach golf that we don't need at the time because sometimes you have to reintroduce things. And what I mean by elimination golf is when I'm working with a student that let's say they have a 20 handicap, I always say, what is your goal? You got to have goals. You're always working towards something. So, they might say, okay, a longterm goal is I would love to be a 10 handicap. I would love to love to break 90 consistently or I'd love to break 100 consistently, whatever those goals are.
Meredith: My job as an instructor is to not only make corrections in their swing, but help them approach golf management on the course. How do they approach their games? So, you're talking about clubs, I take clubs out of the bag. I'm a big believer is if you're making swing changes, you only need to be working with six to eight clubs, eight clubs maximum. You don't need more than eight clubs because if you're not swinging well, why are you going to introduce more problems with 14. You just don't need them. So I have some students that I've used this method less than six. I've gone down to four clubs with some students saying, okay, this is our goal. You have four clubs. Obviously, one of those is going to be a putter, okay? You have four clubs. I want you to go play nine holes with four clubs and I want you to tell me what your score is.
Meredith: Oftentimes, students will take all their clubs out there, everything's a mess, I can't hit this, I can't hit that. But when they take four clubs, oftentimes, actually, I would say much more than none, students come back to me and say, I had one of the lowest rounds playing only four clubs.
Nate: Wow, that's amazing.
Meredith: And I said, now that's what we do.
Nate: They end up being their four favorite clubs too.
Meredith: And that's what we do. And so, as lessons progress, we only start with the four clubs and we get confident with the four clubs. And then, you know what, let's add a club. I really think it's time, I'm going through a hypothetical here with a student, I really think it's time that we add, let's go for a three hybrid. Let's get a little bit more challenging with your club variety. Let's add a three hybrid. And they're like, there's the fifth club coming in. And you slowly add it in to where they get confident with eight, nine clubs in their bag and then their scores start coming down. And then when they plateau that, then you add another club in.
Meredith: The goal for me as an instructor is I would love everyone to experience playing golf with multiple wedges because you need multiple wedges in your bag. The better you get at golf, the more wedges you're going to have in your bag because you are learning how to create more shots. You're learning how to use more clubs. But you always want to start with the basics. Again, I would rather someone start out with four clubs, get really good and competent to where they know when they're out in the course, they can depend on these four clubs.
Nate: That makes a lot of sense.
Nate: And even you talk about goals, so even if it's an extremely beginner golfer, your goal in that lesson is just to get the ball airborne, right? So you're thinking, okay, let's just get some air. That's probably the most, I've seen a lot of beginners, they go to the range and they don't get the ball in the air. So it's baby steps. So it's depending on where you're at.
Meredith: Yeah, depending on where you're at. I mean, yes, you want to get the ball airborne, and to do that, sometimes on those first lessons, I tee up every ball. So even if they have an iron, I'm still teeing up all their shots because my goal is I just want them to feel impact, that rhythm of impact. And in a first lesson, obviously, you got to hit the number one golf fundamental. That's going to be your grip. Your hands are the only connection to the club. That is always the first thing I look at because I have to make sure that the grip is correct. When you have a correct grip and you get in an athletic position and you learn to rotate, just swing around your body, teeing it up, that right there is a great first lesson for someone, especially someone coming into the game who doesn't have any formal training with golf.
Nate: Gotcha. And if you get that good grip first, then you haven't developed any bad habits down the road.
Meredith: Exactly. You've got to get your hand placement correct on the grip, and the grip pressure following that.
Nate: What is the easiest golf swing change a student can make to get instant results? So I kind of look at that too as, I'm trying to equate that to maybe somebody that's coming down here and hasn't played golf in a while, and they get out, they're on that golf vacation. Maybe I'm not equating that right, but what's, and you might've already hit on it, what's the easiest thing they can do to change their golf swing to see result?
Meredith: That's so easy. I totally have an answer.
Nate: I think I know what you're going to say. Maybe I'm wrong, but go ahead.
Meredith: Developing a quick pre-shot routine.
Nate: I wouldn't have said.
Meredith: We as human beings, we're creatures of nature.
Nate: And we're so impatient though.
Meredith: We are impatient, but we do everything out of habits. I'm sure you have your morning routine, I have one. And even if someone is the most laid back person, oh, I don't do routines, yes you do. Even if you don't know it, if you were to go back in your day, you have a routine. We all have routines whether we want to admit it or not. So, the one thing I love about routines is you can trust the routine. So let's say you're having a bad day on the course and you're struggling out there and you're not having fun now. You're like, this is just, I'm not playing well, I'm unhappy. You get irritable and grumpy, and you're like, I just need to go practice, I need a golf lesson, and you have all these negative thoughts flooding you, that's when the pre-shot routine becomes somewhat of a safety net.
Meredith: So, in the pre-shot routine, I teach a really easy one and I'm not going to get too technical with this on a podcast. But basically, number one, you know you pick out a target, you step away, you step behind the ball. That's when you do your practice swing, that's when you look at your target and you really connect with it. Okay, like that is my goal. I am going for that 150 yard marker. Okay, that is my goal, that's where I'm going. Number one. Number two is when you step behind the ball. And at that point, when you step behind the ball, that's a time to set up your alignment. Get comfortable in the athletic position, check your feet alignment, your hip alignment, and your shoulder alignment. Those three things, that's important. That takes five seconds. Boom, boom, boom. Three areas you're checking. You want to make sure that you are aligned to your intended target.
Meredith: Then at that point, it's just getting in an athletic position, a good spine angle, backside out, your butt needs to be out, good spine angle, because that's how you rotate. The golf swing is a rotation around the spine. So you got to have the backside, the hips pushed back, athletic position, and then all you're doing is rotating around. Hold your finish. Notice I just said that. Hold your finish. I tell my students the finish position, you need to hold that position until the ball drops on the ground. Why is that? Well that sounds crazy. No, it's not because it's the period at the end of the sentence of the golf swing. There is a start and there's a finish in a pre-shot routine. The start is when you step behind, you find your intended target. Your finish is when you're holding your finished position watching that ball hit the ground. Then you can step out.
Meredith: That right there is really like five steps. What I just told you takes about 12 to 15 seconds.
Nate: Yeah, not long.
Meredith: It doesn't take that long, it does not take 45 seconds. You can move through that really quickly. This is the key with the pre-shot routine. Going back to when you're crumbling out on the golf course.
Nate: Yeah, because you just want to get it over with. I usually want to get this round done.
Meredith: Then what you do is you shift your thinking too. I'm not going to trust myself to hit this ball because I'm obviously doing a very poor job, but what can I trust? I can trust my pre-shot routine.
Meredith: So then, it's a way to get out of your mind, it's a way to get out of your head. So when you're out there saying, all right, I'm done. I Meredith am done with the swing because I'm just playing so terribly, I'm really going to focus on my pre-shot routine. And I'm just going to trust that if I do my pre-shot routine, I'll have somewhat of a decent shot.
Nate: So initially, if you're a beginning golfer for a pre-shot routine, you kind of want to visualize the end result, right? Versus where if you're more of an advanced golfer, maybe your pre-shot routine revolves around a swing flaw that you have that you're trying, okay, you try to take the club more on the inside.
Nate: I think of, you know, I don't know why I think about this, but I think of Corey Pavin who always would put his left hand in his he's going to hit out and then he would rotate around on the inside. He swung very flat.
Meredith: I remember that, yeah.
Nate: I guess it just depends on where you're at, but to visualize the end result probably is the best thing for, you'd say for the beginner, for the beginner golfer, say I'm going to hit it. That's my target line.
Meredith: Yeah. Yeah. And that's my target. And if you go through the pre-shot routine, again, it goes back to that concept of elimination golf. We want to eliminate as many problems as we can pre-motion. So if you go and you get set up and you're aligned, you're in an athletic position and you know you just have to swing back and rotate around your body, just keeping it down, that's the ultimate basics right there. Just thinking about that alone, you're going to get some positive results.
Nate: I was going it's positive reinforcement, right? If you have been having that bad day.
Meredith: Right. And I've had students who are some tour players, some trying to qualify and I'm not going to say their names. But when it comes to more advanced players, obviously the pre-shot routine is going to change like you said. Pre-shot routines can be modified based on what you're working on, but it's really easy to implement just a super simple pre-shot routine to help the beginner golfer or the average golfer. And again, it can be modified. So when I'm working with students from beginner to advanced, these elite golfers, I'm always modifying pre-shot routines. And one lesson I can say, all right, for our five steps, pre-motion, we're working on this. When they meet their goals, then I can say, okay, now that we've met this goal, we can take one of these steps out and substitute something else as we are progressing in the swing, if that makes sense.
Nate: Actually, it does. I was not going to say easiest golf swing change would be pre-shot routine. I learned something. That's pretty cool.
Meredith: It's a safety net.
Nate: And the thing about it is too, the pre-shot routine you say target, you need to do that on the range too because it's so easy to go to the range and just hit out into the field and not, I call it a field, but it's like, that's basically what the range is. You're looking at it as just one gigantic field and I'm just hitting balls, getting an airborne, one solid contact. But to have that target on the range too and take that to the golf course.
Meredith: Absolutely. Have you ever been to the range and you've seen golfers using the alignment sticks?
Meredith: Okay. So, that's actually a great tool to use when you're practicing on the range while you're trying to implement a pre-shot routine because what you can do is go ahead and set your alignment sticks up to your intended target. So, let's say you're working on pitching wedge and you're going to hit about 10 or 15 balls with your wedge before you progress to another club. When you set those alignment sticks up, that actually eliminates a couple of the steps of the pre-shot routine so it doesn't take as long, if that makes sense.
Meredith: So when you're practicing on the range, you don't necessarily each time have to stand back, look at your target. You set up those alignment sticks, you know your intended target. And then you just go and try to repeat that shot and keep that ball dispersion on that target or close to it as possible. That's the goal.
Nate: Good information on the golf swing there. And obviously, if you're out there and want to, if you're in Myrtle Beach or on vacation, you can reach out to Meredith as well for a golf lesson.
Meredith: I'm at Myrtlewood Golf Club now.
Nate: Cool. Right in the center of Myrtle Beach, so, good opportunity if you've got time. We'll get away from maybe a little bit of the teaching. We did get some questions on some area things to do, and I know the answers to some of these things you're going to say. This one's easy. What are your favorite golf courses to play and why? I know which one's going to be at the top. I know that's a tough question though because, we're so fortunate to have so many good golf courses here.
Meredith: We're spoiled, Nate. We're so spoiled here in Myrtle Beach. Of course you know it's going to be Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club.
Nate: I did know that. See, I didn't have the swing change right but I had that one right.
Meredith: So I love that course. It's a Nicklaus design. It's very challenging. A lot of fun. But the one thing I love about it the most, it's gorgeous. It is that Southern low country feel. Many of the holes are out on the Marsh. You could smell the ocean, you can actually hear the ocean. To me, you're not going to find a golf course prettier.
Nate: We've had a lot of cool experiences there too. How many years ago we were there for the eclipse? We were there for the eclipse.
Meredith: August of 2017, yes, a few years ago.
Nate: And then the next year we were there with Jack Nicklaus was there.
Meredith: That was amazing.
Nate: So it's just been a lot of ...
Meredith: Good memories.
Nate: Good memories there. It's so scenic. We had, Hank Haney was there, filmed the first episode of "Ridin' with Rymer." It seems like it's, and this may sound strange, but it's different every time you play it too, right?
Meredith: Oh yeah, definitely. It depends on the conditions. You're so close to the ocean, you get a lot of wind at times. And then sometimes you don't. The last time we were out there, remember, there was no wind and I was like, this is strange.
Nate: And then we were there one time for a Facebook Live with a Brian Lewis, head golf professional and, remember, we played 17 [inaudible 00:24:07]. That was in the morning. It's like, oh, I don't know if we should do this or not. This is really, someone couldn't hear you talking on the microphone.
Meredith: I remember that. It was such a great course, and it's always in great shape. The greens are pretty fast there, I love that. Really consistent greens. They do a great job. The staff is great. It's the overall, like when you're driving there into the club, I always just feel peaceful. I just love that little country feel. There's a connection to that. The wildlife, the alligators, and all of that. There's some big alligators out there. There's an alligator out on the front nine, it's a mama alligator.
Nate: I think they travel everywhere out there though.
Meredith: I think she had babies two years ago. Yeah, just be careful along the holes. Do not feed the alligators. No Snicker bars to the alligators, those are big enough out there.
Nate: I know you think, we kind of think alike on some things, but I mean, Willbrook is the same way.
Meredith: Were you the head golf professional at Willbrook?
Nate: Yeah, I was. I was the head golf professional Willbrook and River Club. And when I was done with work, that's where I gravitated to play. Because I'd want to go out and play nine holes, I'd go to Willbrook.
Meredith: Oh, that's a beautiful course. Again, you have those live oaks and the moss and the wildlife. There's just a peacefulness about it. You can't really describe until you actually go out and play.
Nate: And so, what I found too though, is when you, I don't know, when you don't put a golf course for a while and then you go out and play it, it's like, man, I think this is my new favorite golf course. You forget.
Meredith: It is like that. You forget.
Nate: You forget about it.
Meredith: That's so true. You do forget how good it is.
Nate: So getting off golf courses, what are your favorite things to do in the area?
Meredith: I'm more of a naturist.
Nate: I thought you were going to say, now I'm more of a home body because we kind of morph into that, right? When we're young it's like, I go here, I go here.
Meredith: Okay, yeah. When I was a Coastal Carolina students, I loved Broadway and the night lights and all of that. But now, I've become ...
Nate: I go to the library-
Meredith: In my older young age. I love nature, I love the beach. Huntington State Park, you'll find me down there in the summer. That's where I'll go to the beach and go swimming and stuff. Brookgreen Gardens, you can't beat that. And they have a restaurant at Brookgreen Gardens. Have you eaten there?
Nate: I have not.
Meredith: It's so good. They have, I think on Fridays, they have fish. Now, I could be wrong, maybe they've changed their menu. But I know for a few years they had like fish on Friday and it's like local fish and it's reasonably priced. So you could go down there and walk around and just have some quiet time and eat and it's just beautiful. I love the low country. I love the south end because you get a lot of nature and that wildlife. When you come into Myrtle Beach, you get more of that metropolitan feel. Obviously, there's more restaurants, there's more things to do when it comes to activities outside of nature in Myrtle beach minus the beach, obviously, and the piers and stuff. Kayaking, that's a lot of fun.
Meredith: And even Georgetown, we don't talk about Georgetown a lot on our podcasts. Georgetown really is a great, can I even talk, day trip. I need another cup of coffee. But it's beautiful down there. Yeah.
Nate: And it's funny how we morph, you start off when you're a little bit younger, it's more like the nightclubs and the few drinks, and then as we get older, it's like the more healthy stuff. So now I got to start taking care of myself from the things I did back when I was as a kid.
Meredith: We talk about going to the gym.
Nate: The gym is like, I got to work on this-
Meredith: Drinking protein shakes.
Nate: Exactly. It's like a complete 180. What I've noticed about Myrtle Beach is that they have done a very nice job of, I hate to say cleaning it up, but it's new, it's got that new feeling to it. When you go down now to Ocean Boulevard, you've got the boardwalk, you've got nice attractions, you've got the sky wheel. All those restaurants had been remodeled. You go to Broadway at the beach, it's all brand new for the most part. You go out there, it's like-
Meredith: And they're doing huge renovations out there. Just yesterday, I was at Broadway at the beach. This week, Liberty is closing down.
Nate: I was amazed to see that. They still have the tap room that's up on, but that's been open for 25 years.
Meredith: Yeah, Liberty and then Key West Grill. And they're putting more restaurants out there, so they're making upgrades.
Nate: And it's growing. And then you got, which we don't get up too much, but then you've got Barefoot Landing. That's really nice. My family [inaudible 00:29:19].
Meredith: [inaudible 00:29:21]
Nate: Yup. We were up there a couple of years ago when it opened.
Meredith: Time is flying.
Nate: Time flies by.
Meredith: Okay, don't even tell me that because it feel like yesterday.
Nate: So actually, it seems to me like Myrtle Beach is now, it's more modern.
Meredith: It really is.
Nate: It's evolving with the time. They're just not saying, okay, here it is. It's continually getting better.
Meredith: It is. And even like when you're driving in Myrtle Beach, even the stoplights are modernized. It's the little details. But it really is. Many years ago, they used to say, Myrtle Beach, redneck riviera. That's so not true. It's so not. We definitely need to do away with that stigma because Myrtle Beach is certainly not like that. I love Myrtle Beach.
Nate: Yeah. I don't fly but the airport is-
Meredith: So convenient.
Nate: ... now really nice. And we've continually getting these flights, I think Allegiant has just announced more direct flights here. And we've got a piece that we'll run on Myrtle Beach Golf Trips.
Meredith: Isn't it like 60 direct flights?
Nate: Well, we've got three new markets from Allegiant. And you can find that article piece on Myrtle Beach Golf Trips. It's like Knoxville, Providence ...
Meredith: Knoxville, Tennessee?
Nate: Must be Knoxville, Tennessee.
Meredith: All right. I'm a UT fan.
Nate: And then we've got, obviously, there's other direct flights that have opened up in the past, will open up this year. It's very accessible.
Meredith: [inaudible 00:31:04] Knoxville's on there. We went to Knoxville last summer.
Nate: The Knoxville flight will fly on Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning June 3rd. The flight will depart at 10:30 and arrive at Myrtle Beach at 11:30. So, that's pretty cool.
Meredith: What airline is that?
Nate: That's Allegiant, that's Allegiant, yup. And we also have a complete list of nonstop flights to Myrtle Beach that are coming on board. Airlines just continue to roll these out so it's a good thing for Myrtle Beach. And like I said, the accessibility of the airport. I picked my mom up there not too long ago and she hadn't flown in for years. She goes, wow, this is really-
Meredith: It's a real airport.
Nate: And I'm not one to be able to judge it because I don't go there, but I hadn't been there in a while. It's like, dang, it's easy to go pick somebody up. Then you even have, I didn't even know this existed, be embarrassed, but if you have to pick somebody up, there's a cell phone parking lot.
Meredith: Yes. I've been there various time.
Nate: Is that new? Do airports have that?
Meredith: Yes, airports do you have that.
Nate: Shows you how long since I've been at the airport. So I thought that was pretty cool. So you just sit there and not have to pay and then you just, person when they're getting off, get their bags, they can text you and say, hey, I'm here, come pick me up.
Meredith: Yeah, it's great. That airport, I've had a few people say, wow, it's really big. I'm like, yeah, it's a real international airport.
Nate: And it continues to change. It's like they just keep making it better and better. So, it's good to see more direct flights coming here. Now that everyone thinks I live under a rock because I haven't been to the airport in a while.
Meredith: You know, it's fun watching planes take off. I enjoy that.
Nate: Yeah, that's kind of cool.
Meredith: Yeah. There's actually a place you can go to the airport and you can just sit and you can watch the planes take off. I think there's something very peaceful about that. I love watching planes do that. And then also, on the Market Commons, that's another area that's really nice.
Nate: We didn't even touch on that.
Meredith: Yeah, we didn't even touch on Market Commons, but on the Market Commons side of the airport, there's areas that you can park and you can see the planes land and everything. It's pretty cool.
Nate: There's a lot to do there too.
Meredith: There's a ton to do at Market Commons. I go to Market Common all the time, all the time, because the movie theaters are there. I was just there the other day. There's some great restaurants and ice cream. There's a little chocolate store.
Nate: They do a lot of concerts there in that center park too, right? They'll do Oktoberfest, they do-
Meredith: New year's Eve, the fireworks, 4th of July. A lot of events are out there. They also have a lot of athletic events out there as well.
Nate: Yeah, you see a lot of teams. You got softball fields.
Meredith: 5k's, 10k's, the boat rides. That area is really nice. I would love to live in Market Common, that would be cool. You have everything you need in that little area. But then I'd miss the south end, Nate.
Nate: But then we tend to do that where we live now.
Meredith: I know.
Nate: Just have whatever we need within two miles, right?
Meredith: That's true. You know that in Murrells Inlet, [inaudible 00:34:08] just opened up right next to us. You could actually probably walk there.
Nate: Actually, that's a good idea. That's a good idea. And that's really cool because they've got one in [inaudible 00:34:20] has been great over the years. I know we've done a couple events there. Josh does a great job, so that'll do well. And as close to TPC Myrtle Beach. So, if you're playing TPC you can pop right across the street.
Meredith: That would be a great place to go eat at after TPC. You have Eggs Up Grill as well, so, right next door to the new [inaudible 00:34:46]. Eggs Up is a really great place if you're looking for breakfast before around. But yeah, they're all there within a mile and a half, two miles from TPC.
Nate: So that kind of leads into the question, and I think you've answered this, but why do you like living in Myrtle Beach? I think it's just because of the options, right? There's so many things to do here.
Meredith: So many things to do. Yup, just so many things to do. From the South end to central. And I lived in North Myrtle Beach when I was in college for a year.
Nate: I didn't know that.
Meredith: Yeah. My grandparents lived in Arcadian Shores. And my grandmother was sick and I helped took care of her when I was a freshman and sophomore in college. So, I would stay the night with her a lot. She had cancer. So I'm familiar with North Myrtle Beach. I'm familiar with the nightlife in North Myrtle Beach, back then.
Nate: Yeah, that was kind of crazy. You told me a story about the purple gator one time. I think I remember and you've got the after deck and all that. That's out there in 2001.
Meredith: Everybody changes, Nate. Everybody changes.
Nate: Getting back to golf, Arcadian's a really nice golf course too. Arcadian's one of my favorites.
Meredith: Arcadian's great. It was one of the first courses I played in Myrtle Beach because my grandfather was a doctor from Charlotte and he retired here in Arcadian Shores. And so, I would come visit my grandparents, five, six, seven years old, that's the course that I would go to.
Nate: And they renovated it, did a lot of improvements, new clubhouse.
Meredith: That's a classic.
Nate: Spent a lot of time playing Arcadian Shores. And that range is always busy because you've got Kingston Plantation across the state. So a lot of people use that range. So yeah. Then you got the shopping up there, you got the Tanger Outlet malls that are up there. That's a really cool [inaudible 00:36:33]
Meredith: Yeah, it's kind of like the area on the South end that we're at where you have everything you need within a couple of miles, a couple of mile radius. That's a nice area up there. And some great golf courses on the North end. Long Bay, another Nicklaus design. It's way on the North end but it's worth the drive.
Nate: Yeah, it's funny because you'll meet people that, I mean, we live on the South end and we wouldn't think of living anywhere else, while there's people that live on the North end that are the same way.
Meredith: They would never want to be on the South end. Yeah. The terrain is different on the North end, have you noticed that? It's a different vibe.
Nate: It's almost like, and I always feel this is like, you would call it a staycation, it's like, you know what, I'm going to go to North Myrtle Beach and spend the weekend. I'm just going to get a hotel and stay up there. It's almost like you're, for us, it'd be like you're out of town.
Meredith: Right? Yeah. Because it feels so foreign. It's so far away.
Nate: It's like vice versa, and it's not that far. And we just get into our little routines of here's my radius, I stay here. Although you and I are out a little bit more because we travel around the golf courses and do see the sites and try to bring those to our people who, on Myrtle Beach Golf Trips. But yeah, you kind of get in your own little world and it's like, it's different out there.
Meredith: It is, it is. Another great thing that we have is we have Coastal Carolina University. I go to a lot of games out there. We go to a lot of games, especially the basketball games because we're a big basketball family, but there's a lot of events taking place at Coastal Carolina and it's really cool to have a college here in Myrtle Beach. We have a great baseball team, and we have so many great teams. We've got a great golf team. So many things to do. They have a golf course right next to CCU, the Hackler course, which is part of-
Nate: Coastal Carolina's Program.
Meredith: Yup, their PGM program. And they do a great job out there. So it's cool because we somewhat are a college town too. It's not just geared toward retirees. We have a lot of young people in this town, a lot of young families, and I think we are like in the top 10 fastest growing cities in the nation.
Nate: It's consistently been there. But yeah, you're right. And that's kind of cool out there it used to be Quail Creek and now it's the Hackler Course, and you've got folks that are in the PGM program at Coastal that manage it. And then you've got, I believe, the Horry Tech from the agronomy standpoint maintain it. So they're getting first hand experience of working at a golf course. So, you can't beat that.
Meredith: No, you can't.
Nate: I know we've missed some stuff, but it's been good to get, to let everyone know what Myrtle Beach is all about.
Meredith: Exactly. Can you tell we like it? I don't think I can ever move away from Myrtle Beach just because I like it so much. It's definitely home.
Nate: You definitely knocked out why do you like living in Myrtle Beach.
Meredith: And it's the golf capital of the world. I mean, seriously, we have almost 100 golf courses.
Nate: And then we didn't even talk about the beach.
Meredith: I know, we didn't even talk about the beach.
Nate: You talked about Huntington State Park and the beach. As I get older, and this is an older thing, it's like I find myself going to the beach more just for a walk or just to check it out.
Meredith: It's peaceful.
Nate: I started doing that a few years ago. It's like, why haven't I ever come here? I've lived down here 20 some years. It's like, well, I just don't come.
Meredith: It's therapeutic too. It's peaceful. It's a good way to clear your mind. And for those of you that are listening, Nate, our producer, goes to the beach every morning and does videos of the sunrises in pictures, which you can find at mbn.com, practically every single day, you are devoted to this, and you have a little following, it's great.
Nate: We talked about routine, it's become a part of my routine. Get up, and there's no one there. Even in the summertime, it's like, it seems like people are on vacation, even the summer travelers, they're not up much before 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock. So you can go to the beach and it's pretty peaceful. Now I don't stay at the beach. I'm not one to just vegetate on the beach on a towel. I get kind of bored. So, it's that morning, part of my morning routine to go out there and do it.
Meredith: Oh, it's so beautiful though. You had a picture on Instagram the other day, and by the way, you can go follow him, Nate DeWitt. Sorry. You're going to get all these leads, like Meredith, why did you tell them? You had one that was like purple. I said pretty purple, I made a comment on it.
Nate: Every one is not the same. The last few days they've all kind of looked the same, it's been that orange tint.
Meredith: Kind of wintery.
Nate: Yeah, yeah. It looks warm. We've had a couple of days recently, it hasn't been very warm. Although we've had a really nice winter so far here. It's been very mild and good for golf. But yeah, there's never one that's quite the same, but there's sometimes you get ones with different colors.
Meredith: So beautiful. Every day is like a new canvas, isn't it?
Nate: That's right. Start again.
Meredith: Start again.
Nate: So cool, this has been fun.
Meredith: Yeah, this has been fun. I like these questions. And for those of you listening, keep sending us questions. We'll do this again and answer your questions. And also, on Myrtlebeachgolftrips.com, I'm doing a Q&A twice a month, so I do take the time to answer your questions. Anything golf related or Myrtle Beach related, just send us a question. You can comment at Myrtlebeachgolftrips.com, mbn.com. Send us an email, go on our socials, ask a question. And we will definitely get it answered in one of our podcast or in our monthly Q&A or biweekly Q&A.
Nate: Thanks. This is a little bit more involved in a podcast than I'd like to be, but you needed someone to read the questions, right?
Meredith: I'm just a really new in on these things.
Nate: Yeah, exactly.
Meredith: All right, everyone, thanks for listening to the Gimme Golf Podcast and we look forward to seeing you or are you listening to us on our next episode? Thanks guys.
Meredith Kirk, LPGA Instructor and Myrtle Beach Golf Ambassador answers questions from golf swing tips to all things Myrtle Beach. Informative podcast covering awesome topics. You don’t want to miss this!
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