March 3-6, 2018

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Author Archives: Chris King

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Anchored By Avocet Course, Wild Wing Is Still Plenty Good

People like to talk about what Wild Wing Plantation used to be, a 72-hole facility that was among Myrtle Beach’s best, but the Woodstork, Falcon and part of the Hummingbird courses closed more than 10 years ago.

The shuttered layouts were good ones, no doubt, but It’s time to stop worrying about what Wild Wing was and instead focus on what it is. Currently home to 27 holes, including the Hummingbird nine, the facility is now anchored by the Larry Nelson-designed Avocet Course, a 4-star layout.

Here is what you need to know about the course as you make plans for your 2018 Myrtle Beach golf trip.

The 14th hole at Wild Wing is one of Myrtle Beach's shortest par 4s

Size doesn’t matter
Everyone loves a good, short par 4, and Avocet has one of Myrtle Beach’s best. The 14th hole plays 308 yards from the tips and just 265 from the white tees, so with a slight tailwind and a perfect shot, you might have a chance to drive the green. With four bunkers, swales and a three-tiered putting surface, No. 14 doesn’t give away birdies, but standing on the tee knowing maybe, just maybe, you will have an eagle putt is one of the day’s highlights.

The sixth hole is wild wing's toughest

Double the fun
Speaking of putting, your group won’t forget the double green No. 6 and No. 17 share. The 17th green has some undulation but isn’t overly complicated; the side the 6th hole uses leaves many begging for mercy. The three-tiered putting surface is flanked by a large bunker on the right and swales on the left. Every golfer has a bit of masochist in him or her and the sixth will scratch that itch, as it is Avocet’s most challenging hole. If a double green isn't enough, the ninth hole has a dual fairway with the preferred landing area separated by pot bunkers.

Wild Wing's 9th hole has a double fairway

Room to breathe
The fairways are tree-lined but not exceptionally tight, giving players some margin for error. As someone who occasionally struggles with a wayward driver, I appreciate forgiveness, and the guys in your group likely will, too. For low handicappers reading this, rest easy, there is plenty of meat on the bone from the blue tees (72.7/131).

Wild Wing has tree-lined fairways but gives golfers margin for error off the tee

Earning its name
What’s the best package that features Avocet? The appropriately named Rewards Package is the winner for my money. You get choose among Founders Group International’s 22 courses, including the likes of TPC Myrtle Beach, Grande Dunes, Pawleys Plantation and King’s North, and everyone in your group receives a 0 gift card for use on food and beverage, replays and a pro shop merchandise. The Rewards package starts at 1 and is difficult to beat.

handley's is an ideal happy hour spot after a round at Wild Wing Avocet

Where are you going to celebrate?
Where are you going after the final putt drops? Try Handley’s Pub & Grub in Carolina Forest. You drive by it on the way back to the beach, the food is good, beer selection is varied, and happy hour prices might keep you around longer than expected. Handley’s is less than a half-mile off Hwy. 501 and absolutely worth your time to find.

I get it, Wild Wing used to be a more prominent facility, but its downsizing didn’t impact the quality of the Avocet Course, which is an asset to any golf trip.  

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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Golf Instruction Zone: Four Practical Uses for Alignment Rods

In this series of brief tutorials, Steve Dresser of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy at True Blue Golf Club in Pawleys Island, South Carolina shows us four simple techniques for making practical use of alignment rods in your practice routine.

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Turn Your Traditional Putter to an Anchored Putter

I'm a big fan of using alignment rods, and here's one of many things you can use them for. I'm going to turn my existing putter in to an anchored putter. So I've got this end against my chest, and the other end down there in the putter itself. And this will allow me to get the feel for a nice … flowing and virtually wristless stroke. Just make sure you put the pointy end down there.

Improve Upper Body Control for Putting

Simply tuck an alignment rod under your arms, like so, and this will help you create kind of a one-piece putting stroke where we're not breaking quite so much here at the wrist, it's more controlled by the arms and the shoulders. So we simply get set up, and make our stroke. And what you want to watch out for when you're doing this, we want the rod rocking a little more up and down, you don't want to be a washing machine, where you're agitating sideways like this. Give it a try.

Improve Putting Follow Through

We get a number of players who kind of artificially produce a follow through when they putt – meaning, they really try to shove the putter down the line, and invariably it ends up going too far out to the right. So, in this case, we've just taken an alignment rod and stuck it in the ground at an angle. And I've put it over there where I don't want the putter to go. So now I can just make my stroke, and swing through, a little bit under this line. These are so versatile.

Reinforce a Proper Downswing

We all know one of the biggest errors we see people make when they swing the golf club is coming this way on the down swing. So I like to just put something in the way of that move. So I've got an alignment rod in the ground at about the same angle as the shaft, and my job is to take it back and swing under it on the down swing, helps me come in from the inside.

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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The Best of Myrtle Beach Golf on Instagram

Enjoy a look at the week in Myrtle Beach golf via some of our favorite Instagram pics. 

The West Course at Myrtle Beach National, a four-star layout, is as inviting as ever, especially on a day when the high temperature is going to surpass 60. 

With temperatures expected to soar past 60, the West Course looks inviting!

 

Everybody's favorite Witch.

 

Myrtle Beach's favorite son continues to dominate on the PGA Tour. 

 

Willbrook Plantation is one of the South Strand's best-kept secrets.

 

Is there a prettier entrance in golf than the one at Caledonia? 

 

Terrific Thursday on Caledonia Creek. #golflife #allarewelcome

A post shared by Caledonia/TrueBlueGolf (@caledoniatruebluegolf) on Jan 11, 2018 at 6:59am PST

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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Minnesota Golfers Are Smiling With Launch of New Nonstop Flight Service to Myrtle Beach

Scientific studies have proven that planning a trip makes people happier, so Minneapolis/St. Paul golfers should have a lot to smile about this winter. 

Minneapolis golfers will love the Dunes ClubSpirit Air and Sun Country Airlines will be launching nonstop service between the Twin Cities and Myrtle Beach in April, providing North Star State golfers easy access to America’s most popular golf destination. 

The Sun Country service will be the first to launch, beginning April 6. The twice-weekly service will fly on Mondays and Friday, originating out of Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Sun Country will leave MSP at 7:30 a.m. and arrive in Myrtle Beach at 11:10 a.m., providing time to enjoy an afternoon tee time. Return flights will depart at 8:30 p.m., leaving time to play 36 holes on departure day. 

Spirit’s service, also departing from MSP, will begin April 12 and fly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The flight MSP will leave at 12:35 p.m. and arrive in Myrtle Beach at 4:25 p.m. Departing flights will leave at 5:10 p.m., providing golfers the ability to play on departure day. 

Enough with the flight details, here are the reasons Minneapolis/St. Paul golfers are going to love the new nonstop service:

  • Both flights begin in April, the heart of Myrtle Beach’s spring season, and Minnesota golfers will find Grand Strand courses in spectacular condition and average high temperatures of 72 degrees.
  • Myrtle Beach, the game’s most popular destination, according to Golf.com readers, is home to nearly 100 courses, including 14 that have been ranked among the nation’s top 100 public layouts in recent years. Courses like the Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Tidewater Golf Club, Grande Dunes and the four layouts at Barefoot Resort, among many others, provide the area with depth and quality other destinations are unable to match. 
  • As the birthplace of the golf package, Myrtle Beach allows players to combine golf and accommodations to maximize value. Check out a comprehensive list of Myrtle Beach golf package providers. 
  • For players new to the destination, Myrtle Beach offers another vital perk: our golf package providers are locals. They have their finger on the pulse of the area golf scene and will tailor a trip to meet the needs of your group. 
  • Both Sun Country and Spirit provide ridiculously low fares!

While winter in Minnesota is just beginning, there is plenty of sunshine on the horizon for golfers. 

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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Video Spotlight: Arrowhead Country Club

Join us on a one-of-a-kind video tour of one of the Grand Strand’s most popular and requested designs: Tom Jackson and Raymond Floyd’s Arrowhead Country Club, a superbly conditioned track that has become a staple of many returning golfers’ golf trip itineraries.

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Just minutes from Myrtle Beach’s world famous coastline, Arrowhead Country Club continues to offer one of the best golf experiences on the Grand Strand.

Designed by World Golf Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd and renowned course architect Tom Jackson, Arrowhead Country Club features 27 holes of incredible championship golf. The three nines – Cypress, Lakes and Waterway – boast meticulous conditions and stunning visuals, including five holes on the Intracoastal Waterway. This 23-mile section of the Intracoastal Waterway was the historic, final link that connected Massachusetts to Key West, Florida in 1936, a man-made, inland waterway spanning the entire eastern seaboard.

Challenging doglegs … scenic wildlife … an island green par-three … deciduous hard woods … expansive bunkering … and a natural routing to the course … There is little doubt as to why so many residents continue to return and enjoy their time at Arrowhead Country Club. The course conditions can be understated with an exceptional grounds crew providing the excellent conditions – every season, all year long.

Come experience what so many already have: a memorable golf experience that’ll keep you coming back for more … at Arrowhead Country Club, centrally located in the heart of Myrtle Beach!

Want to learn more? Visit Arrowhead Country Club’s profile page to see their most recent photo gallery, gain the insight of course reviews from fellow golfers, and read additional articles featuring this popular course!

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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Is Arrowhead Country Club The Right Course For Your Next Trip?

You likely have at least passing familiarity with Arrowhead Country Club, a 27-hole, Raymond Floyd design highlighted by holes that play along the Intracoastal Waterway. 

You don’t have to look hard to find that information, but we are here to provide a deeper dive. As you plan your next Myrtle Beach golf trip, here is a little background that might help you decide whether Arrowhead is a course you want to play on your next visit to the area. 

What will your group be talking about after the round? 
Sure, the holes that bring the Intracoastal Waterway into view are the obvious answer, but they aren’t THE answer. The list of courses in better shape than Arrowhead is only slightly longer than the one listing the number of people who outdrive Dustin Johnson. Arrowhead overseeds wall-to-wall, meaning its green 12 months a year and that’s just the beginning. You will leave the course raving about its conditioning, particularly its always pristine greens. 

Finding the fairway is vital at Arrowhead

What you need to do to succeed 
Floyd’s work at Arrowhead is creative but relatively tight. If there is one thing you must do well, it’s find the fairway off the tee. The course isn’t overwhelmingly long, so hitting a driver isn’t always a necessity. If you are hitting the big stick crooked, it might be worth sacrificing distance for yardage. 

Arrowhead enjoy a premium location

Location, Location, Location
Arrowhead also enjoys the benefit of an ideal location, just miles from Myrtle Beach International Airport. If you are staying in the heart of Myrtle Beach, the course will be a 10-15 minute drive from your hotel, and if you are staying to the north or south, it’s accessible off Highway 31 without having to get on 501. That’s all a long of way saying Arrowhead is as easily accessible as any course along the Grand Strand.  

Arrowhead is now part of the Ultimate Glens Stay and Play package

Which is the best golf package featuring Arrowhead? 
The options are many, but the newest deal featuring Arrowhead – the Ultimate Glens Stay and Play – is certainly among the best. The 4-night, 4-round deal includes golf at Arrowhead, Glen Dornoch, Shaftesbury Glen and Possum Trot, in addition to providing free pre-booked replays and range balls every day. Starting at just 9, the deal is hard to beat for quality and value. 

Grumpy Monk is an ideal happy hour spot after a round at Arrowhead

So, where are we going to settle up after the round?
If your group likes to enjoy post-round happy hour, Arrowhead is in close proximity to a couple highly recommended spots. If you are staying in Myrtle Beach, you will drive by Ron John’s on the way to the course. Outstanding burgers, wings and pizza complement a nice selection of craft beers. The Grumpy Monk, which serves more than 55 different brews, also comes highly recommended. The discounted appetizers are awesome –  southwest spring rolls and loaded kegs (tater smothered in ranch dressing, cheese, bacon and scallions) are winners – and the Monk serves excellent sushi (really).

There is no shortage of Myrtle Beach golf courses to choose from, but Arrowhead certainly merits careful consideration. 

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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Stay & Play Spotlight: The Clubhouse Package at Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort

Boasting an all-star lineup of course and lodging options, the new Clubhouse Package offered through Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort has quickly emerged as a favorite among vacationing golfers.

And with 3-night/3-round pricing for spring 2018 play starting at just 5 per golfer, it’s easy to see why.

The package includes nightly accommodations at the beautiful Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort in Pawleys Island, or additional room options offered through True Blue Resort  and Pawleys Plantation Resort. Together, these locations offer flexibility not only to accommodate varying group sizes, but also a range of lodging choices from seaside rooms to fairway villas. Daily breakfast is also included in this special.

The golf choices include an impressive array of 14 award-winning designs, spanning the Grand Strand from North Myrtle Beach with Tidewater Golf Club and the Dye, Fazio, Love and Norman courses at Barefoot Resort; all the way down to Pawleys Island with Blackmoor, True Blue and Caledonia among the renowned options along the south end.

If you prefer the heart of the beach for your golf action, you’re covered there, too – with Mystical Golf’s prized offerings at The Witch, The Wizard and Man O’ War among the featured attractions. Raymond Floyd’s Arrowhead Country Club is a highly popular return-visit course for vacationing golfers; Prestwick Country Club offers P.B. Dye’s handiwork at its very best; and Arcadian Shores Golf Club showcases the work of “The Open Doctor,” Rees Jones, complete with renovations that include new greens, new cart paths and a brand-new clubhouse.

For more information, including pricing, golf and lodging availability for your spring package, visit the Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort Website.

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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Design Spotlight: The Witch

As recently as 2010, The Witch Golf Links was recognized by Golf Digest as No. 36 in its listing of “Myrtle’s Super 60,” placing it in select company among the Myrtle Beach area’s most requested designs. Join us on a video tour of this Dan Maples layout, and see for yourself what has so many visiting golfers returning to The Witch year after year.

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There’s something lurking … in the swamp.

There’s something waiting … in the shadows …

Do you think you’re ready to experience … The Witch??

Carved from more than 500 acres of remote, primitive marshland, The Witch is unlike any course you’ve ever experienced before, surrounded by more than 23,000 acres of protected wilderness. Designed by Dan Maples, this mystical masterpiece features a tale of two nines.

The secluded front nine meanders through rugged swampland. Old growth cypress trees, black water lakes, long leaf pines and shadowy trails define this mystical layout. Each hole reveals its own challenge, from a forced marsh carry on the par three Hole #3 to navigating the dogleg signature hole at No. 9. And there’s always trouble lurking, with hungry alligators ready to feast on any errant shot.

Returning to the mythical clubhouse, the back nine features distinctive elevation changes from tee to green, offering challenging lies requiring thoughtful club selection on every shot.  This mystifying layout plays to a par 71 and includes five par 3’s, and plays to almost 6,800 yards from the back tees. The finishing par four 18th Hole plays uphill to a green surrounded by three bunkers, all under the watchful eye of this enchanting clubhouse.

Come experience pure golf nestled in the mysterious setting of wild marshland adjacent to the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge.

Experience the magic … experience the mystery …

Experience…The Witch!

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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Golf Instruction Zone: The Knockdown Shot

In this installment of our Golf Instruction Zone video tip series, Steve Dresser of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy at True Blue Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C. shows us how to execute the iron shot that will effectively cut through the wind.

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We're really lucky to live very near the beach. One of the drawbacks is the wind can really kick up sometimes. Wind can really wreak havoc with your game. To me, it's the most difficult element to deal with. I can deal with a little bit of rain, even cold, but wind can really mess with your golf ball a lot.

You want to learn to hit the ball lower when the wind is really blowing, and hit what's called a knockdown shot with your irons. To do that, you would play the ball a little farther back in your stance than you normally would. You might even put a little more weight on your left side and you're going to have your hands more left of the ball than you normally do.

Your wrists now are already cocked by virtue of having your hands more left of the ball, and with this style shot all you're really going to do is bring the club up a little bit to about three quarters and then when you come into the ball, you want to make sure you return that same shaft angle to the ball. Effectively, you're taking loft off of the club at impact.

This is actually also really good for your full swing and hitting regular iron shots, because it teaches you to contact the ball with the handle ahead of the clubface and to take a divot after you hit the ball. For this particular instance, it's going to help us keep the ball low and out of the wind.

My target is behind me and one thing I should mention is, don't do this with anything longer than about a seven iron or so. You'll start de-lofting it so much you can't really get it up in the air very high.

Again, I've got the ball a little bit back in my stance, my weight a little bit forward, handle forward and the real key is to hit the ball with the handle forward. You see, you've got kind of an abbreviated follow through when you do that. Really hits that low, piercing shot, and it'll still land very softly on the green, believe it or not. 

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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Year in Review: Three Myrtle Beach Golf Courses Install New Greens

The biggest story along the Myrtle Beach golf scene didn’t generate a viral video or bring Golf Channel cameras to the area. But the renovation work at Arcadian Shores, Crow Creek and Tiger’s Eye ensured three of the area’s most popular layouts will continue to star in the eyes of traveling golfers. 

Crow Creek was one of three courses that installed new greens in 2017Courses like Tiger’s Eye, Arcadian Shores and Crow Creek are at the heart of what makes a Myrtle Beach golf trip so popular. They deliver the combination of quality and value that competing destinations are unable to match, much less exceed. 

Arcadian Shores, a Rees Jones design, was closed for 4 ½ months over the summer, installing new Sunday ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass greens, repaving every inch of cart path, improving irrigation, and installing new sand in select bunkers. 

The results were spectacular, pushing a design locals have long felt was one of the area’s best toward the upper echelon of Myrtle Beach golf courses.

The Tim Cate designed Tiger’s Eye closed for two months to install new TifEagle Bermuda grass greens. TifEagle has been the grass of choice for several other high-profile courses in the Southeast in recent years, including TPC Sawgrass and Harbor Town. The staff at Ocean Ridge also provided the course a facelift during the summer project, sprucing up the bunkers that are a significant part of the layout’s visual appeal.

While the installation of the new hybrid Bermuda strains has become the norm along the Grand Strand, Crow Creek bucked the trend, installing new V8 bentgrass greens. 

V8 is a newer, more heat resistant strain that will allow it to withstand the summer heat along the Southeast coast. A cool season grass, the bentgrass, widely regarded as the game’s finest putting surface, will be pristine during the Myrtle Beach area’s peak spring and fall seasons.
 
The work reflected the area’s commitment to ensuring Myrtle Beach remains golf’s premier destination. 

Source: Recent Myrtle Beach Golf News


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