Managing International Golf Travel to Myrtle Beach and COVID-19

Even in a pandemic, this traveling group from Bogota, Colombia shows how international golf travel to Myrtle Beach is possible – thanks to the collaborative effort of Seaside Golf Vacations, state government agencies and local healthcare providers paving the way.



Mark Rosenberg:

Well, the biggest challenge really was just trying to ensure that the group was going to come because it was literally down to the last four or five days. This group booked about nine months ago. And it was a lot of time and effort and logistics that went into getting the group booked, but then it came down to, are they even going to be able to come? Because the United States has the requirement that people have a negative COVID test within three days of their arrival. So the group had to be tested and get the results back. So it was literally two days before their arrival that I found out for certain that they were coming.

Then, before they can return home, the country that they’re returning to has a requirement that they have a negative COVID test within 96 hours of the time the flight leaves the United States. So it became a timing issue of, “When can we get the test done so that it’s early enough that we get the results back, but not so late that they fall outside of the boundary of that 96 hours?” South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recommended that I contact a mobile care clinic here. And they’re able to do the test for an $85 fee for the first patient, and then $35 for each additional patient.

Dr. Michael Petrillo:

So for this group, we are actually going to be testing them for COVID-19 using a PCR test. We get results back in a day, and the patient comes in and we take a picture of their passport so we can identify them and make sure that their documentation is exactly as it is on their passport. We swab their nose, a very easy process. We don’t have to go way up into the nose anymore, we can go just around the outside of the (inner part of the) nose and it takes about 10 seconds to do. And it’s a very easy and painless process.

Juan Morales:

Mark is very close to us and he made this amazing trip possible for 24 players from Colombia. We are from Bogota, the capital of Colombia, so we want to meet new courses like South Carolina. It’s an amazing place to play golf. (Our players) are very, very happy with that.

Juan Carlos Devis:

The pandemic changed our mindsets for all of us. And one of the things that mattered the most was the friendship, the value of the people that are around you. And probably a year ago, we’d never thought of having this kind of trip with 24 friends. So all of us have had a tough year and golf is a good way to reunite with your friends, people that we haven’t seen. We haven’t seen each other probably in a year.

Off Camera:

What was it about Myrtle Beach in particular that attracted your group to want to come here?

Juan Carlos Devis:

Actually, (Myrtle Beach is) quite famous between people that play golf in Colombia. We’ve wanted to make a golf trip since probably five years ago. We have been talking with a lot of people that have come here and they all said that this was the place to come.

Off Camera:

What has the experience been like for you so far?

Juan Carlos Devis:

Amazing. First, the people are so kind. Everyone is so kind and you breathe golf. Everyone is ready to help you. Everyone is thinking about golf, and the golf courses are amazing. We are not used to playing on these kinds of golf courses, so we are happy and probably will come back here again.