As most Myrtle Beach golf courses have now reopened after Hurricane Florence, industry leaders speak out about the efforts they’ve made to bounce back, and what visiting golfers can expect when they arrive this fall.
Bob Seganti, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Golf Club: We’re in great shape considering the circumstances, the amount of rain we had. We had no damage whatsoever to the golf course that was permanent. We didn’t have any feature trees that came down. It’s simply a small debris clean up for us, leaves, small branches, et cetera. We had a couple of places where we got some minor flooding in some bunkers. That happens throughout the year.
Dave Genevro, Barefoot Resort & Golf: I think anybody coming down on a golf package this fall, whether they’re coming to Barefoot, or whether they’re coming to the Grand Strand area and playing other courses here, I think what they can expect is what they’ve found in the past when they came down when there wasn’t a hurricane. Fortunately, minimal damage. We have people here that know how to run golf businesses. Our facilities here will be as good as they’ve been in years past without a hurricane, because of it’s just a small step backwards for a few days to get things cleaned up, but I don’t think anybody has anything to worry about as far as conditions, or the experience that they’re going to see when they get here to Myrtle Beach.
Steve Mays, Founders Group International (22 Myrtle Beach-area golf courses): Really from our standpoint, we were lucky and we didn’t have a lot of damage. The challenges we saw were just really getting staff out to the golf courses. And you know, we have staff all across the Grand Strand with different scenarios and different circumstances from flooding and different types of damage. That was our most challenging piece, getting our teams out to the golf courses. But as resilient as our golf course teams are and the superintendents are, we got them out there, and really once we got to the golf courses, we just found a lot of debris, bunkers obviously needed to be raked. So it was relatively minor damage once we got out to the golf courses and really saw what was happening out there. So our biggest challenge right now is with the waters that are coming in, the floods that are happening, or rivers in and around the greater Grand Strand area.
Bob Seganti: (Visitors) can expect once again, two top-100 golf courses to be in very playable condition. The golf courses were in excellent tournament condition before the storm came, we just had a big Division I college golf tournament, so they can expect the usual quality playing experience that they always get at True Blue and Caledonia.
Steve Mays: From a golf course perspective, you’re going to find the golf courses just as you would any other fall, because again, we saw relatively little damage, and that’s across the Grand Strand. That’s just not Founders Group golf courses; from what we’re hearing from other golf courses, there was relatively little damage. Our only issues from a fall perspective, it’s really going to last for the next couple of weeks, are entryways into the Grand Strand. We are accessible right now – flights, there’s no problems at all right now. If you have your trip booked on an airline, come on in because the airport’s open and all the flights are running.
We will have some relatively … different ways to get into the Grand Strand. Some of the roads will be flooded, so really, I encourage all of you, if you’re coming down and driving down, especially from the North. If you’re west or south of us, you’ve got a much better, easier way to get into our area. If you’re coming down from the north, I’d really encourage you to go South Carolina Department of Transportation website, and also the North Carolina DOT website to really see what they’re saying as far as road closures and road openings.
Dave Genevro: We want to keep the people who were less fortunate than we were here on the Grand Strand in our thoughts and prayers. Not just today, but for the next months to come as they get their lives and their homes back together. And I’d also like to add to keep in mind all the emergency personnel, all the volunteers at shelters and places like that, they’ve spent a lot of time the last four or five or six days, and even days into the future. And what they’re doing to help people try to get their lives back together. We’re happy and we’re excited and fortunate that we didn’t have damage here, but there’s a lot of people that did, and I think we all have to keep them in our thoughts and prayers moving forward.