Ten years ago, our group of relatives, friends, and friends of friends, began our now yearly trek to this golf capital of the world. Although our line-up of players and courses alters slightly from year to year, one constant remains, that is the great golf bargains we have found in this golf mecca. Planning for the next years trip begins even before we putt out on the 18th hole of our final day. We don’t want it to end, and we can’t wait for the next trip to begin.
Living in the northeast, we play some great courses in PA, MD, and VA throughtout the year. But to us, it is all is just a warm-up to our late August mini-tour of this South Carolina beach town. With most of us approaching our late 40’s or early 50’s, it’s the one time of year the wives let us indulge in a week of golf heaven, and we really get to be boys again (it pays to have picked the right mate). Since we have already fulfilled our families’ summer vacation obligations, and the yard work is winding down, late August is the perfect time for our trip to paradise.
Playing Myrtle Beach in late August finds courses 1/2 to 1/3 of their premium peak season rates. Along with the lower hotel fees for this late season visit, we easily justify the trip. Crowds are low, most kids are back in school, and there are times when we are literally the only golfers on the course. Play is fast and cheap, so we have to go 36 holes!
We play combinations of “related” or “sister” courses like True Blue & Caledonia. Or, Tidewater & Grande Dunes. Many combinations like these provide substantional discounts for same day play, some even offer discounts for playing both in the same week. Complexes like the Legends or Wild Wing, have numerous courses on the same property where after a quick shower and lunch at their fantastic facilities, we are well tuned for a second 18 holes. Tee Times are in abundance for most of these top quality courses, we rarely run into a problem getting on a course. These are some of the best courses in the world. Where else can you play a TPC course for a replay rate of only $40-$50? The fee includes the same friendly accommodating staff, cart, practice range, full use of the facilities, locker room, restaurants, bar, and of course, the COURSE! All for a fraction of the peak season rates!
Private Membership courses are available for play as well. For example, stay at the “Caravelle”, and Tee Times are available at “the Dunes” Golf & Beach Club. Newly renovated by Rees Jones, this course is a spectacular play, and former home of the PGA Senior Championship. Play it again the same day and pay less than you would for your regular muni-course back home.
Intimidated by the courses? Don’t be, 4 or 5 sets of tees are available on most courses to accommodate almost all levels of play. Still not sure? Call the course. We have found the staff at any of these facilities always willing to help in providing information on any of the courses in the Grand Strand.
Check the local paper daily, as specials and bargains on golf are advertised regularly. Most hotels even have their own golf coordinator to assist you with tee times, course selections, and even transportation.
When you are finished with your golf for the day, you will find the restaurants and nightly attractions as equally accessible and outstanding as the golf courses.
Lose a few balls? Break a club? Run out of tees? No problem. There is more than an ample supply of quaint little golf shoppes and massive bargain golf stores up and down the Grand Strand.
Three things you need to consider when taking advantage of these great golf bargains this time of year, and we have experienced all of them at one time or another. First, is the heat an humidity. Although it is typically not bad in the morning rounds, we experienced a few afternoon rounds which were quite uncomfortable. Second, it is hurricane season. In the past 10 years we were only pulled off a course once to evacuate.
However, most courses were open the next day. Third, the “Dupont Amateur”, one of the largest amateur golf tournaments in the world. There are still more than enough courses, but you may have to avoid a few. The schedule of courses used for this tournament is listed daily in the local paper, (We simply plan our trip one week earlier. Although it really isn’t necessary, we are just anxious to get there and “tee it up”.)