Along with its sister course, True Blue, also a top 100 public layout, Caledonia is part of one of golf travel’s most dynamic tandems. With the power of the brand growing, ownership launched its own golf package company, Caledonia Golf Vacations, in 2009 and it turned out to be a prescient decision.
Bob Seganti, who is director of operations overseeing both courses, was tapped to run the package company, and seven years later, CGV has emerged as one of the Myrtle Beach’s best and most golfer-centric operations.
CGV specializes in booking Caledonia and True Blue, where it is able to offer superior multi-round specials, but the company books golf from one end of the Grand Strand to other.
With planning for the fall golf season in full swing, we caught up with the loquacious Seganti about a broad range of Myrtle Beach golf related topics.
While you book packages all along the Grand Strand, you seem to specialize in the South Strand and Pawleys Island in particular. Why has that area enjoyed such an increase in popularity in recent years?
The Hammock Coast area, located in Georgetown County, contains The Waccamaw Golf Trail. The proximity of the golf courses to each other and the overall quality of golf in the area makes the Southern part of the Grand Strand very attractive. From True Blue Golf Club, the furthest golf course on The Waccamaw Golf Trail is TPC, which is only 20 minutes away. Most of the courses are door-to-door in 5 minutes or less. The quality of courses is outstanding and Pawleys Island has turned into a vibrant resort area and a restaurant town, so there are a lot of food and bar options that weren’t here 20 years ago. People that have been coming to the Myrtle Beach area for a long time have started to migrate to The South Strand.
As a Philadelphia native, what originally brought you to Myrtle Beach?
I came to Myrtle Beach for the winter (of 1991) and found a job with a company at the time called Myrtle Beach National and golf privileges were part of the package. I fell in love with the game. I was fortunate enough to come back two winters later and caught on at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club. Todd Welden, a friend and professional mentor, was a PGA pro and I wanted to become one. I worked with him at Caledonia and in 1995-96 passed the PGA Player Aptitude Test and enrolled in the GPTP Golf Professional Training Program. I received my Class A card in 2000. I moved from Caledonia to being the head pro at True Blue in 2001. We started Caledonia Golf Vacations in 2009 and I accepted the Director of Golf Operations role for all 3 properties following the passing of my friend Todd Welden in the Fall of 2013.
What is the advantage of booking with CGV, beyond the value created at your two courses?
The advantage of booking through us is you are booking with a small company. We have three staff members with over 50 years of combined golf experience in the Myrtle Beach area with experience in all phases of golf course operations. In the rare case a problem arises we have the ability to correct that problem quickly. We have personal and professional relationships with every golf course operator in the Myrtle Beach marketplace. I’m the director of golf operations and a member of the PGA of America. As members of the PGA of America we are held to high standards in our business ethics and operations. We combine those values with an understanding about course operations in regards to tee-time, maintenance schedules and seasonal course conditions.
What advice would you give group leaders, particularly new ones?
Have a general idea about your group size, how many days you are going to be here, and how many rounds of golf you want to play, including time of day. It’s very difficult to put together an accurate package quote when someone says I want to come to Myrtle Beach or Pawleys Island this fall, but I’m not sure when I want to come and how many people I’ll have. There has to be a starting point. The more information you have and can provide us, the easier it is for us to quickly create the best package based on your group’s needs. We try and turn around most quote requests in 24 hours or less. Our mission statement is: we give you the best price for the package you want the first time.
Where is the best place in Pawleys Island to grab the drink of your choice after a round?
Quigley’s is a microbrewery with eclectic menu. Island Bar & Grill is a funky place with great wings; it’s true sports bar. If you are into live music, I’d recommend Pawleys Island Tavern.
Best place to go for a nice meal?
Bistro 217 or Frank’s Outback.