Golf Group of the Week: Who is the King of Myrtle Beach?

July 28, 2010

trophy.jpgSo you want to be crowned the King of Myrtle Beach? If you are hanging with the VB Golf Crew, it’s going to require a superlative effort, on and off the course.

Sure, it helps to go low, but with John Barry and his buddies you better not go to bed early if you plan to return home with the hardware. The fun-loving bunch from Virginia Beach has known each other since high school, and they come to the Grand Strand to relieve old memories and create new ones.

The winner of the three-foot tall King of Myrtle Beach trophy is as likely to be the guy who excelled after hours as it is the player with the lowest score. The VB Golf Crew always comes in the summer – there are (gulp) school teachers in the group – and performance is rated on multiple criteria, including golf, worst dressed golfer day attire, beverage consumption (they drive down in a Budweiser van, so use your imagination!), and the always nebulous who is having the most fun category.

“Myrtle Beach was an easy choice. The first time we did the trip we were brought in by the (golf) package. Everybody was amazed by the price, the value.”

(For the record, the VB Golf Crew isn’t just a cool name they made up. It’s an official Virginia State Golf Association golf club)

Barry ranks players on a scale of 1-5 in each category and the person with the highest point total gets the trophy, which is adorned by a Captain Morgan’s pint glass.

Despite the revelry, this gang of 12 takes its golf seriously. They even brought their own instructor this year. Jamie Smith, owner of, you guessed it, Jamie Smith Golf Instruction, joined the group and provided pointers throughout the week.

“This is a getaway, a no pressure situation,” Smith said. “These guys bring me along for free lessons and I don’t mind giving them. It’s a fun thing for sure … I don’t even have to play well here; I just have to have fun with the rest of the guys.”

The group plays together throughout the year, so fun isn’t a problem for the VB Golf Crew. Meet the group’s leader:

John Barry.jpgName: John Barry

Handicap: 16

Favorite Club: 3-wood

Courses Played On This Trip: Tiger’s Eye, Leopard’s Chase, Lion’s Paw and Maples Course at Sea Trail

Years Coming to Myrtle Beach: 10

How did the King of Myrtle Beach competition get started?
It got started nine years ago. We wanted to make an informal bragging rights type of trophy. The first trophy was crafted from wood and guys that work for Budweiser (used) Bud paraphernalia (to decorate it). Unfortunately it fell apart because it wasn’t really well made. This year we started with a new trophy.

The competition is scored in several categories, but can players have points deducted for poor performance?
Yes. You can lose points by going to bed early and not completing the night out. You lose points by not dressing out for the day. You are going to have to do well in all five categories (to win).

Who was crowned King of Myrtle Beach this year?
Edgar Castillo

What is your favorite Myrtle Beach restaurant?
El Burro Loco. We love the restaurant. During the year we all bet birdies when we play together, and whoever has the most birdies before we go on the trip, everybody has to pay for his Donkey Feast at Burro Loco.

Why Myrtle Beach for your trip?
Myrtle Beach was an easy choice. The first time we did the trip we were brought in by the (golf) package. Everybody was amazed by the price, the value. When we got down here we started having so much fun. We discovered how many courses were down here. Every year we tried to get a little bit better courses and to not play the same courses. Our goal, as a group, is to play every course down here. We are getting close to halfway.


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