Grande Dunes Resort Course, one of Myrtle Beach’s most acclaimed layouts, has reopened after undergoing an extensive greens, bunker and clubhouse renovation project led by architect John Harvey, who worked with Roger Rulewich on the original design and construction of the course.
Grande Dunes, which features five holes that play along the Intracoastal Waterway, reopened to the public Sept. 15, just in time for players to enjoy the remodeled course during the area’s popular fall season.
Harvey’s renovation work ensures that Grande Dunes maintains a prominent place near the top of the market in America’s most popular golf destination.
Among the project’s highlights:
● The greens at Grande Dunes, already among the area’s largest, have been restored to their original size, reclaiming nearly 40,000 square feet of putting surface that had been lost over time. The size restoration represents a 33 percent increase.
● Grande Dunes has installed new TifEagle ultradwarf bermudagrass greens, a hearty strain of grass that has performed exceedingly well in Myrtle Beach’s subtropical climate, and new drainage.
● Every bunker on the course is being renovated with a Capillary Concrete bunker liner installed, eliminating washout and drastically improving drainage, both factors that will significantly enhance playability. Premium bunker sand is also being installed.
● As part of the clubhouse effort, the pro shop has grown by 400 feet, an indoor/outdoor bar added, and the course’s outdoor seating area vastly expanded, encouraging players to enjoy the Grande Dunes experience after the conclusion of their round.
“Two of the most common things people talk about on a course are the greens and bunkers,” Harvey said of the project. “People will notice right away that the putting surfaces will be larger and more diverse with the pinning areas, allowing for more variety and strategy. The reshaping of the bunkers will add to the course’s visual appeal and the new sand will significantly improve playability.”
“Grande Dunes is one of Myrtle Beach’s crown jewels, and this renovation project ensures the course continues to provide the type of experience golfers have come to expect,” said Steve Mays, president of Founders Group International, Grande Dunes’ parent company. “John Harvey, who worked side-by-side with Roger Rulewich to open Grande Dunes in 2001, has been the ideal person to lead this project.”
Today, we are at the Resort Club at Grande Dunes, and this is the grand reopening. I know the work that you guys have done here is something you’re really proud of.
Yeah, exactly right. This is one of our premier properties and really one of the premier properties in Myrtle Beach, so we’re so excited after our big bunker renovation, as well as our greens renovation, to get it open and get people out there playing again.
Well I know with 21 golf courses, the thing that you guys do so well is every year you’re investing in one or two of your properties. And a lot of people don’t realize, they think a golf course just goes in the ground and sits there forever. That’s definitely not the case. You got to do things, regular maintenance, and if you don’t do that, you don’t get the best playing surfaces.
Yeah, that’s exactly right. That’s what our goal has been. That’s what our vision has been, to continually update and revitalize our golf courses to make sure Myrtle Beach stays as the premier golf destination in the world. This year, we’re working at Grande Dunes with the bunkers and the greens. We’re also working at River Hills, bunkers and greens. We did the clubhouse renovation here, and really over the past four years, we’ve already touched 10 of our golf courses and did 10 separate projects, and it’s important to do. Customers expect it and we want to make sure our properties are at the best level.
Yeah, the Resort Club here at Grande Dunes, not only the golf course, but the clubhouse. I haven’t been here since y’all started these renovations. You walk in there and it has a really great vibe to it.
Correct. That’s the goal. We want the local community to not be afraid to go over the bridge, to come visit us, to eat, to come for happy hour, to just sit back and enjoy everything that we have to offer, and it’s just a great piece of property.
Talk about working for a company that is willing to make really significant investments in its product, like what we see here at the Resort Club at Grande Dunes today, the grand opening, new greens, new bunkers, new kinds of grass, and a lot of work in the clubhouse, as well. That’s refreshing to see the company that you work for investing in its product.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s very refreshing. Founders Group International has invested in a lot of our properties. We try to focus on a couple every year, and just to continue to reinvest will help. Obviously, Myrtle Beach is “The Golf Capital of the World,” and Founders wants to be leaders in that … and trying to carry that banner to get golf to the forefront and make it just more and more prevalent in this market, and it’s good to see. Grande Dune is one of our flagship courses. Just to see what this place looks like right now is so exciting. It’s definitely one of my favorite properties, for sure.
So Tom, you are the new head professional here at the Resort Club at Grande Dunes. This is a grand opening day. It’s got to be a day that’s a lot of fun for you.
Yes, sir. Yeah, I’m excited. What an opening! What a day to be the first new head pro out here at Grande Dunes, to have this a great golf course, great design, redesign, and I’m just very excited.
And what’s the most significant change for you? Is it a hole? Is it the grass in general? Is it the bunkers? What’s the biggest change for you?
I think it is the greens size. When you hear that they’re going to take the greens back to the original size, you don’t know how big that is until they get out there and do it. And the greens, they are the same layout, but they look so different from the drastic size change of them.