A golf course is a living entity, subject to the whims of nature and fate. Occasionally those unseen forces create problems, but hard work eventually solves nature’s challenges, and golfers making the trek to Myrtle Beach this fall need to look no further than River Oaks for evidence.
Last year the 27-hole facility lost 18 greens, but River Oaks installed Champion Ultra Dwarf Bermuda last fall on the Fox and Otter nines and both are flourishing.
The Bear nine, which escaped last summer unscathed, already had Champion Ultra Dwarf, a strain of grass that shares many of the same properties as bentgrass. Champion provides the speed of bentgrass with much greater durability, particularly during the heat of the summer months in the South.
River Oaks installed the new greens last September and was in good condition by the spring 2008, but the entire facility, which is under new management, has improved as the fall season nears.
The Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association named Grande Dunes Golf Course of the Year. The course, one of the centerpiece amenities of the upscale Grande Dunes development, has been regarded as among the Grand Strand’s best since its opening in 2002.
By virtue of winning the MBAGCOA’s course of the year honor, Grande Dunes is eligible for state and national course of the year honors.
The Grand Strand’s only Roger Rulewich design, Grande Dunes has seven holes that play along the Intracoastal Waterway, providing some of the area’s most spectacular views.
For the “Golf Course of the Year” award, the MBAGCOA evaluated courses on golf course conditions, quality of ownership and management, contributions to the community and efforts to improve the growth of the game.
The National Golf Course Owners Association implemented the award in 1996 and the MBAGCOA has since nominated courses from the Myrtle Beach area.
Past Grand Strand recipients of the regional award include: Wachesaw Plantation East (2007), Burning Ridge (2006), TPC of Myrtle Beach (2005), Indian Wells Golf Club (2004), World Tour Golf Links (2003), Wild Wing Plantation (2002), Blackmoor (2001), Tradition Golf Club (2000), Bay Tree Golf Plantation (1999), Arrowhead Country Club (1998) and Myrtle Beach National’s King’s North (1996).
Burning Ridge, TPC, Wild Wing, Tradition, Arrowhead and King’s North went on to capture South Carolina Course of the Year Honors, and World Tour was named as the national “Golf Course of the Year,” the only Grand Strand layout to earn the distinction to date.