4 Things I Learned at the 2024 Toronto Golf Show – and Why Canadians Love Myrtle Beach

By Joe Novak

Reps from the Toronto and Myrtle Beach-area chambers of commerce joined PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com at the 2024 Toronto Golf & Travel Show

While I was excited to visit our fellow golfers in the Great White North, the initial prospect of enduring the frigid February weather in Toronto wasn’t something that excited me (I’m from The Beach, after all!). Thankfully, the temperatures in Canada are measured in Celsius, so I didn’t really know how cold it was, anyway (from what I was told, it’s been a pretty mild winter up there).

That said, our PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com team, along with staff members of the Myrtle Beach Area and Toronto Chambers of Commerce, really enjoyed our four days together at Canada’s largest golf show, the 2024 Toronto Golf & Travel Show. And with this being my first golf show ever, I learned a lot!

1. Canadian golfers are hard core! These folks eat, breathe, and sleep golf. Their dedication to the game absolutely blew me away. Because of the limited window of play in their area (roughly April through September), they’re very used to cramming as many rounds as possible into their local spring and summer itineraries in preparation for the long offseason. And that definitely carries over to their trips to “The Golf Capital of the World,” with most of them saying they have at least one round planned for each day they’re in Myrtle Beach, if not more.

2. Canadian golfers have eclectic tastes. My favorite question to ask each person I met at the show was “What’s your favorite course to play in Myrtle Beach?” The answers were way more diverse than I ever expected, in an awesome way. Folks from other travel markets will typically rattle off many of Myrtle Beach’s highest-profile course names (Caledonia, Grande Dunes, Tidewater, etc.). But for the Grand Strand’s Canadian devotees, it turns out that prestige and price don’t tell the whole story.

The very first couple I met on Day 1 was wearing logoed polos from two of Myrtle Beach’s “Big Cats” courses (Lion’s Paw and Leopard’s Chase at Ocean Ridge Plantation), and they return there year after year because that’s where they both got their first holes in one.

I met several folks who say they have to head down to Diamondback every year because they love the friendly, welcoming vibe and staff. Legends Resort was constantly in the conversation, with the courses at Myrtle Beach National right down the road being mentioned over and over as great starting (West Course and SouthCreek) and finishing (King’s North) rounds. Also: everyone loves Meadowlands.

3. Canadian golfers don’t mind driving (until they do). Since the early days of COVID lockdowns in 2020, flights for Canadians into Myrtle Beach International Airport have not been as plentiful. That doesn’t appear to have slowed them down, though – almost everyone told me they don’t mind the drive down, and that they’ve been doing it forever (14-18 hours to or from Toronto was the general range I was given, for those who are curious).

However, once they get in town, they very much prefer not to drive, and steer heavily toward facilities that allow them to stay and play on property, or closely nearby. For that reason alone, planning a Myrtle Beach area golf vacation is no-brainer when deciding where to plan their next destination getaway.

4. Canadian golfers are diverse. It was quite heartening and refreshing to see how far golf’s reach has grown in the last few years up North (you don’t have to take my word for it, there are plenty of surveys and studies) when you consider the age, gender, and ethnicity demographics. We met such a wide variety of people of different backgrounds, reasons for playing, and at various stages of their playing journey, but they all had one thing in common:

They love golf!

I really can’t wait for our next golf show. Where should the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com team head to next?