Golf might be what brings you to Myrtle Beach, but you have to eat when you get here. Just as you play new courses when you are in town, here are five local restaurants you should make it a point to frequent.
Sea Captain's House – Sitting ocean front, the view and food at Sea Captain's House are hard to beat. Every table gets unlimited hush puppies and the menu features, but is not limited to, steak and seafood (I can vouch in the strongest of terms for theRead More
Golf World annually eschews the traditional practice of relying on formal “raters” to evaluate courses and instead polls its readers to determine the top 50 public, resort and private golf courses in America.
The game’s leading weekly publication recently released its 2010 rankings and not surprisingly, readers rated Myrtle Beach golf courses among the nation’s best. Golf World readers ranked Caledonia Golf & Fish Club as the 20th best public course in theRead More
Putting frustrates the best of golfers at one time or another (see Woods, Tiger at the 2009 U.S. Open). Blame is often placed on the flat stick itself – admit, your garage is full of putters! – but the problems are mostly mechanical.
Brad Redding, the director of instruction at the Grande Dunes Golf Academy and one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers, provides a tip on the essentials of succesfulRead More
Tiger’s Eye is one of the Grand Strand’s best and most memorable courses. Elevation changes, coquina boulders and the work of Tim Cate conspired to create a layout that many consider to be among the best Myrtle Beach golf courses.
If you are planning to play the Ocean Ridge Plantation course, enjoy a look at assistant pro Patrick Holloman three favorite holes at Tiger’s Eye.
No. 4, 422-yard, par 4: The ultimate risk-reward hole. The fourth isn’t
It was 1970 and Ron Bingeman, Larry Spangler, Everett Cassel and Bob Hayes had just concluded their first Myrtle Beach golf trip. The group stayed at the Caravelle, played the Dunes Club, Pine Lakes and Litchfield Country Club, but when the trip ended, disappointment was the prevailing emotion.
“We came for four days the first time, and when we went home, we were sick,” Bingeman said. “We said we were never going to (come for only four days) again. We were going to have to get (our stay) up to a week.”
That first trip launched a four-decade love affair with Myrtle Beach golf. Bingeman and his buddies made good on their word, staying for a week in 1971, and have come back every year since, recently enjoying their 40th consecutive trip to the area.
When the group began their annual pilgrimage, Richard Nixon was president, the average NFL player salary was $23,000, and there were barely enough Myrtle Beach golf courses to fill their itinerary. Much has obviously changed, but the same experience they enjoyed in 1970 is what brings them back today.
“It’s is absolutely the highlight of the year,” Spangler said. “It’s like being back in college with the boys. It’s a real highlight. Good food, good golf and we get along really well.”
The trip has grown to nine days, but nature and fate have at various times attempted to keep them from coming. The closest the group came to missing the trip was 1989 when Hurricane Hugo slammed the South Carolina coast just days before their arrival.
The hotel they were slated to stay in had its first floor washed out and the area suffered extensive damage, but the suburban Philadelphia residents weren’t deterred. They called every hotel on the beach looking for a place to stay, eventually finding a condo at Oyster Bay in Brunswick County, N.C. The North Strand was spared the worst of the storm and the group forged on.
“There were enough courses open and they had dragged off the trees,” Spangler said. “We just owned the beach. It was so strange to see almost nobody down here. “
In the mid-1970s it was Cassel’s Volkswagen Van that attempted to throw a monkey wrench into their plans, but a mechanical problem stood no chance against the aspiring MacGyvers. The van’s accelerator cable snapped at night on I-95, leaving the foursome scrambling for transportation.
While Cassel was inspecting the situation, Bingeman found a blown out truck tire on the side of the road and wondered if the steel in the tire could be used to replace the cable. Cassel removed a knife from his toolbox, cut out the steel belting, spliced it together and ran it to the engine in the back. The van didn’t exceed 50 miles per hour the rest of the trip but it survived the journey (as a matter of fact, the rigged cable stayed on the van until December of that year).
“Instead of losing days, we lost about 30 minutes,” Bingeman said.
Other than those two incidents, the group hasn’t faced any substantial threats. They’ve always traveled between mid-September and October, and never had to worry about getting any grief from their spouses.
When Christmas time comes, all they request is a trip to Myrtle Beach.
Just as amazing as the length of time the group has been coming to Myrtle Beach is their continuity. Spangler, Cassel and Bingeman have made the jaunt every year. Hayes, who has since passed away, dropped out after the 1989 trip, but finding a replacement wasn’t difficult.
“He was always telling me about Myrtle Beach,” Aiken said. “Then one of the guys couldn’t go anymore and Ron suggested I might want to give it a try. Here I am 20 years later.”
On Aiken’s first trip, he was surprised to learn the group stopped somewhere between Philadelphia and Myrtle Beach to play 18 before finishing the journey, but approximately 10 years ago, they began flying. The group now takes a Spirit Air flight out of Atlantic City, allowing them to play the extra round on the Grand Strand.
After 40 years, they have played practically every course – they have the logoed golf balls to prove it – and have made friends along the Grand Strand, starting with Thistle head pro Gene Weldon. As they look forward to their fifth decade of Myrtle Beach golf, they have the knowledge of locals.
Each year they pick a different region of the Strand and concentrate on courses in that particular area. There is no bickering about course selection, restaurants or anything else, despite the fact they spend as much time lobbing verbal grenades as they do hitting the ball.
The Myrtle Beach golf community has changed considerably since 1970, but group’s passion for the game and the Grand Strand have been constants.
“As the new (courses were) developed, we tried to keep up with each one,” Bingeman said. “They just kept outdoing each other, getting better and better.”
Not coincidentally, the arc of their trip has traced that of Myrtle Beach as a golf destination, and they anticipate year number 41 being the best yet.
Golf Holiday is the ultimate source for information on Myrtle Beach golf.Read More
Want to reach the green on a par 5 in two? Being able to hammer a 3-wood in the fairway is a virtual necissity, and in this week's installment of Nature Valley's Tips From the Pro, Ted Frick, the director of instruction at Classic Swing Golf School, tell you how to do it.
Indian Wells features water on 15 holes, outstanding greens and great value, but which holes will you remember after you’ve left the course? We asked general manager Steve Hamrick to name his three favorite holes, and he gladly agreed.
No. 1, 491-yard, par 5 – The relatively short opening hole gives players the opportunity for a good start, something Hamrick appreciates. Water runs along the entire left side so danger lurks. The green is reachable in two, but players must beRead More
Looking for a quick tip to improve your game? Look no further. Brad Redding, the director of instruction at the Grande Dunes Golf Academy and one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 teachers, provides a quick lesson about how to make sure your posture is correct. Let us know if Redding’s lesson helpsl
Your group has just concluded a day on the golf course and you are ready to have a couple cold drinks and watch the game of the week with the boys (you know, the type of thing that is difficult to do at home). The question becomes where to watch the game, and we have answers. We polled some of Myrtle Beach’s most avid sports fans and bar aficionados and have come up with a list of the Grand Strand’s five best sports bars. If you are in search of a game, here are five placesRead More
On most every person’s list of the most scenic Myrtle Beach area golf courses, Rivers Edge is at or near the top. The Arnold Palmer design has seven holes that play along a marsh filled by the waters of the Shallotte River, a beautiful setting.
The course’s interior holes are also very good, which accounts for why Golf Digest ranked Rivers Edge among “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” in 2007. With a surplus of options, picking your three favorite holesRead More
Rivers Edge, one of the Myrtle Beach area's most scenic golf courses, installed new paspalum greens this summer. The sodium tolerant grass is ideal for Rivers Edge, which is set along the salty Shallotte River. The course reopened after two months and the early reviews have been positive. Get a look and listen to what golfers have to say about the golf course and its new greens.
I started playing golf at the age of nine, played competitively through college, and spent my entire professional life in businesses that surround the game. One would think I qualify as an avid golfer under any definition. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that I played just five 18-hole rounds the first six months of this year.
Why? Time… more specifically, a lack of it.
According to the National Golf Foundation’s definition, I’veRead More
When Jack Davis took ownership of the International Club in 2005, the first thing he did was order 365 palm trees and have them planted throughout the course. Davis bought the palm trees because he liked them, but the message it sent was clear: under his direction, International Club would strive to improve everyday. More than four years later, evidence of Davis’ commitment are obvious throughout the property, and Myrtle Beach golfers are getting the message. TheRead More
Determining ones favorite holes on a golf course is an inherently subjective task. Some people favor easy holes, other are swayed by aesthetic beauty, and some folks opt for the challenge.
International Club’s head professional, Jamie Roderick, knows every inch of the South Strand layout he oversees and his preference in holes will quickly become obvious. Enjoy an overview of Roderick’s three favorite holes at International Club and let us know what youRead More