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Willard Byrd Course at Sea Trail Soars

September 16, 2014 by Chris King

Willard Byrd golf course at Sea Trail PlantationSea Trail Golf Resort is home to layouts designed by the Open Doctor, Rees Jones, Dan Maples, who has designed more Myrtle Beach golf courses than any other architect, and Willard Byrd, who completed the trio with the opening of his course in 1990. 

On the name recognition index, Byrd doesn’t enjoy the cache of his Sea Trail compatriots, but his work at the Sunset Beach, N.C., facility might be the best of the bunch. The Willard Byrd Course at Sea Trail has an ideal combination of playability, challenge and value that appeals golfers.

The Byrd course isn’t particularly long, playing 6,750 yards from the blue tees and 6,251 yards from the white tees (where most of us play), so long, forced carries and the need for a space-age driver are minimized.

Byrd created a layout that allows golfers ample opportunity to hit the driver, but doesn’t make length a prerequisite for success. The course, which has seven doglegs of varying severity, rewards shot-making and creativity, challenging players to hit a variety of shots.

Those challenges are what make the course appealing to low-handicappers despite the relative lack of length.

“Byrd is more demanding on the good golfer,” head pro Eddie Pratt said. “That’s why they like to play it.”
 

Mid to high handicappers are fond of Byrd because his designs aren't overly penal from the white tees. Regardless of your handicap, Byrd rewards players that pay attention to where they are hitting the ball. Playing to the proper side of the dogleg and awareness of hazards are vital success.

“It’s more of a shot-makers course,” Pratt said. “It’s not a course where you hit it, find it and hit again.”

The Byrd Course is home to several large man-made lakes – the biggest is 20 acres – but the water isn’t an overbearing threat. The course’s fairways are plenty wide, giving players ample room to find the short grass.

The key to success lies in a player’s ability to execute with short irons. There aren’t many long approaches, but the greens are well guarded, most of them surrounded by sand. If you miss a green, you will likely be chipping out of or over a bunker.

If the threat of missing the green weren’t enough, hitting it hardly ensures success. The Byrd Course’s greens are often large and multi-tiered, so hitting the right part of the green is vital to scoring well.

One thing players don’t have to worry about is the condition of the greens. Sea Trail installed new Champions Bermuda on the greens as part of a two-year project, and the results have been well received.

byrd 7.jpgPar 3s
The par 3s are Byrd’s strongest collection of holes. The seventh, a 190-yarder, is Pratt’s favorite hole on the course and the 186-yard 12th isn’t far behind. Both holes require relatively long tee shots over sand and require a sturdy commitment to your club selection. They encapsulate what’s so enjoyable about the Byrd Course – a good score is very much within reach but It must be earned.

The 174-yard second hole requires a carry across one of the (alligator filled) man-made lakes to another three-tiered green. The 16th is the longest par 3 from the blue tees, playing 202 yards, but the shortest from the white tees (155 yards). With no water and healthy size green, it’s the easiest hole on the back nine, according to the scorecard.

Par 4s
Byrd’s par 4s speak to its reputation as a player friendly course. While the par 4s feature several doglegs, not one of them plays longer than the 392-yard fifth hole from the white tees.  Setting the fifth hole aside, there isn’t another par 4 that stretches to 380 yards from the white tees. With even minimal distance off tee, players will have manageable approaches.

A prime example is the fourth hole (407 blue/378 white), which features an almost 90-degree dogleg left.  A 225-yard drive from the white tees will leave players well positioned, but a waste bunker runs along the left side and mounds on the right complicate any mistake in that direction.

The aforementioned fifth hole is the course’s hardest. In addition to being long and straight, the hole has subtle elevation change.

“On the tee box it looks flat but there is a steady incline,” says Pratt. “You are always hitting one or two more clubs than you expected on your second shot.

The most difficult hole on the back nine, according to the scorecard, is the 400-yard, 10th hole, a dogleg right with sand on both sides of the fairway, and a relatively small green.

The final two-shotter is the 382-yard 17th hole. Long hitters can bomb away but a lake runs up the entire left side of the fairway and mounding on the right can punish a slice. The 17th green is classic Byrd; it’s large – 39 yards deep - but surrounded by four bunkers.

byrd 3.jpgPar 5s
The par 5s on the Byrd Course offer players a couple chances to pick up strokes.

The third hole (535 blue/468 white) is relatively short but it has a severe dogleg right. A large waste bunker and a tree on the right side make cutting the corner difficult. Play this one by the book and be content to reach the green in regulation. The ninth hole isn’t complicated. It’s long and straight. If you can get home it two from the 542 yards on the blue tees (or 517 from the whites) more power to you. Most of us can’t.

Opportunity potentially beckons on the 13th hole (528 blue/493 white), but there is a significant risk-reward component. The hole is straight but each side of the fairway sports a large bunker and one of the course’s lakes runs in front of the green. Long hitters can go for the green in two, but you better be certain you can get there. Any ball that is short will be wet.

The 18th is regarded by many as Byrd’s easiest hole. It’s short (468 blue/442 white) and not overly tight, giving many players the opportunity to go for the green in two, assuming your drive is in the fairway.

The Verdict: The Byrd Course at Sea Trail doesn’t receive the accolades of its Grand Strand brethren (including the on-site Jones Course), but it’s a good layout with good conditions. There isn’t much housing, and players have the opportunity to score if they play well. If you are a low handicapper, play from the blue tees and enjoy the challenge.

In short, if the Byrd Course offers value and challenge, a combination everyone seeks on a Myrtle Beach golf trip.

Have you played it?

Help other Myrtle Beach golfers by adding YOUR Myrtle Beach golf course review on the Sea Trail - Byrd Course page!

Tomasz Anderson Shoots 60 at True Blue; ODU Wins Golfweek Program Challenge

September 09, 2014 by Chris King

Tomasz Anderson shot a 60 at True BlueOld Dominion won Golfweek’s fourth annual program challenge, but Jacksonville State’s Tomasz Anderson stole the show, shooting a stunning final round 60 at True Blue Golf Club.

Anderson captured individual medalist honors with a 19-under par score of 197 in the 54-hole event.

He flirted with golf’s holy grail, a 59, as he blistered True Blue, one of America’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play. Anderson finished with 12 birdies and six pars (SEE ANDERSON'S SCORECARD).

“When I made par it felt like a bogey,” he said with a laugh.

A senior who claimed medalist honors at the Golfweek Program Challenge for the second time, Anderson shot a 68 and 69 in the opening two rounds but felt his game was coming together.

“I’ve been playing well for two or three weeks now,” he said. “It’s not so much that I was making a lot of birdies but (I was making) no errors. I was just waiting for it to click and today it did.”

After making par on the first two holes, Anderson caught fire, birdieing the next four. He settled for par on the eight and ripped off five more birdies in a row, a torrid stretch that raised the prospect of a 59.

“Then I missed two 8 footers on 13 and 14,” said Anderson, who was playing lift, clean and place after the Grand Strand endured a surplus of rain in recent days. “I was thinking about (59). I knew on 13 or 14 I might need one of them.”

The 60 was the best round of Anderson’s life, competitive or practice.

ODU’s team score of 1,725 was the best of the event. The ODU men’s team was 31-under par (833) (MEN'S SCOREBOARD), good enough to best second place Jacksonville by three shots and Jacksonville State by four.

Furman won the women’s competition (WOMEN'S SCOREBOARD), which was played at True Blue’s sister course, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, with a score of 867, 12 strokes better than Campbell.

The Golfweek Program Challenge is a one-of-a-kind college tournament that invites 12 schools to bring their men’s and women’s team to the Myrtle Beach to compete in a 54-hole tournament on two of America’s premier layouts – True Blue and Caledonia.

The tournament crowns team and individual winners but what sets the event apart was the Program Challenge championship, which is annually awarded to the school whose men’s and women’s teams have the lowest combined scores.

Myrtle Beach 9-11 Unity Memorial Readies For Rememberance Ceremony

September 09, 2014 by Chris King

the myrtle beach 9-11 unity memorial ceremoy will take place thursday at 7 pmThe Myrtle Beach 9-11 Unity Memorial will hold its annual remembrance ceremony on Thursday, September 11 at 7 p.m. on the 29th Avenue side of Broadway at the Beach.

The public is invited to attend the event free of charge.

The annual ceremony is hosted by the friends of the Unity Memorial and the Chicora District of the Pee Dee Area Council, BSA, and the featured speakers will include retired New York City Firefighter John J. Waters III.

The 9-11 shrine is bookended by the Unity Memorial and a mounted piece of steel beam from the North Tower of the World Trade Center that was given to the Myrtle Beach tourism community by retired FDNY members.

The Unity Memorial was conceived by members of Cub Scout Pack 891 in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy.  They brought together Scouts, individuals and businesses from the Grand Strand to erect a monument to remember the way Americans stood together in the days following the tragedy.

The ribbon beam from the World Trade Center is mounted at the opposite end of the memorial, a timeline surrounding it walking visitors through the tragic day’s events.

The inscription on one of the plaques located on the pump house sums up the purpose for the Unity Memorial, and that is "The tragic events of September 11, 2001 remain a dark memory for America. Yet, in the days that followed these events, Americans stood side by side in unprecedented numbers to remember the souls lost, heal the wounded, repair the damage and resolve that freedom must always prevail in the face of terror and tyranny.”

In the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks, the Myrtle Beach tourism community hosted countless first responders to provide them a respite from the work of restoring Ground Zero, and MBGH launched the FDNY 9-11 Memorial Golf Outing, forging a relationship with the FDNY and its membership that continues to this day.

As a show of appreciation for the friendship, a piece of ribbon beam from the North Tower was presented to MBGH in May 2011, leading to the completion of the Myrtle Beach 9-11 Unity Memorial.

The Three Best Holes at Shaftesbury Glen

September 08, 2014 by Chris King

Shaftesbury Glen features some of the widest fairways on the Myrtle Beach golf sceneShaftesbury Glen arrived on the Myrtle Beach golf scene in 2001, and the Clyde Johnston design quickly carved out a player-friendly reputation. The course sports some of the widest fairways along the Grand Strand - making it a favorite for those of us with a crooked driver – and elevated, bentgrass greens.

To provide a better perspective on what players have to look forward to, we asked Shaftesbury Glen’s director of operations, Ryan McCarty, to tell us the course’s three best holes, and he happily obliged.

1. The 579-yard second hole is reachable in two only for Myrtle Beach golf’s one-percenters (distance not money qualifies you for this exclusive club), so it rewards three quality shots.

A fairway bunker on the right is reachable off the tee, but there is ample room to land the ball. Your second shot should favor the left side of the fairway, which brings the water into play but provides the best angle of approach

“You need to make sure you hit a good approach shot, but it’s definitely a hole you can score on if you play it the right way,” McCarty said. “Don’t try to overpower the ball.”

2. On a course renowned for its elevated greens, the elevation change on the 10th hole is among the most dramatic. The short par 4 – 360-yards from the tips - is a scoring hole, but players must avoid a fairway bunker on the left that is approximately 240 yards from the white tees.

Place the tee shot in the middle of the fairway and you will have a decent shot at birdie, but your approach will need to be a soaring one.

3. What’s not to like about a risk-reward par 5 with a pair of oak trees framing the fairway? The 519-yard (from the tips) 13th hole offers a shot at eagle, but drives that don’t find the fairway could lead to a second shot obstructed by an oak tree.

Three bunkers to the left of the green are deep enough bury a small car in, so going for the green in two comes with peril. But who is to say you won’t find the sand on your third shot?!

“You can go for the glory or play it safe,” McCarty said. “To hit your second shot, clear the bunker, and hold the green is quite a difficult shot.”

The payoff is a possible eagle or more likely birdie.

Who takes a Myrtle Beach golf trip to layup?

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More about Shaftsbury Glen Golf Club

Myrtle Beach’s Best Restaurant? Aspen Grille is Near the Top of List

September 05, 2014 by Chris King

Aspen Grille is one of Myrtle Beach's best restaurantsA golf trip to Myrtle Beach is about the area’s 100+ courses and unmatched value. But the Grand Strand is golf’s best destination, in part, because of what the area offers away from the course.

Those off-course attractions begin with 1,500+ restaurants. Identifying the best of the bunch isn’t easy, but there are a handful of restaurants that are at the top of nearly every list, and Aspen Grille is one of them.

Located on 51st Avenue North in the heart of Myrtle Beach, Aspen Grille is located in a non-descript strip of shops – the type of place you wouldn’t find if you didn’t know what you were looking for – but there is nothing pedestrian about the experience.

Executive chef and owner Curry Martin, who worked in Paris and Napa Valley before opening Aspen Grille, has created a restaurant that is sophisticated yet simple, highlighted by a kitchen staff and menu that has few peers.

The appetizer offerings are led by the fried green tomatoes, covered in pecan smoked bacon, Parmesan, and béarnaise sauce, and the local shrimp risotto. If Chef Curry’s signature pork belly appetizer is being offered as a special, don’t ask questions, just order it. You can thank me later.  

There are no wrong answers on the entrée menu, but if there is a better seafood dish in Myrtle Beach than Aspen’s scallops over roasted mushroom risotto, fried spinach and white wine butter sauce, I have yet to have it.

The scallops are always cooked perfectly and the risotto and spinach are nearly as good. The shrimp and grits and local caught fish specials also come highly recommended.

Any of the steak selections and the rack of lamb are good, too, but it’s hard not to order the scallops.

The perfect end to what might be the best meal in Myrtle Beach? The blueberry bread pudding. Even if you’re not a bread pudding fan, give it a try. It’s that good.

The Verdict: If you’ve read this far, you know the answer. At a cost of approximately $30 per entrée, Aspen Grille will not disappoint. Identifying the best restaurant in Myrtle Beach is a nearly impossible task, but the number of establishments that might be as good or better than Aspen Grille can be counted on a couple fingers. Make sure you call ahead for reservations.

Top 5 Reasons to Take a Fall Golf Trip to Myrtle Beach

September 04, 2014 by Chris King

Fall golf in Myrtle Beach is a good timeWhile you enjoy the final days of summer, keep in mind there is still ample time and even more good reasons to plan and book a Myrtle Beach golf trip this fall.

Instead of worrying about the end of your season, here are the top five reasons to take a Myrtle Beach golf trip this autumn.

-- Since we are talking about the weather, fall temperatures in Myrtle Beach are optimal. Long after a chill begins to descend on our friends in the northeast, things remain beautiful along the Grand Strand. The humidity will have retreated and the average high temperature in October is 77 degrees, ideal conditions for golf.

-- Most people don’t enjoy the benefits of a 12-month golf season, so fall represents the end of the golf year. After a summer of play, your game should be in peak form so bring your ‘A’ game to Myrtle Beach and end the season on a high note.

-- Course conditions are picturesque in the fall. The majority of area layouts feature bermudagrass greens, which thrive in the summer heat, leaving them in pristine shape come October. Bentgrass is at its near-perfect best in the fall, thriving in the cooler weather and providing a fast, smooth surface.  You can expect primo conditions.

-- Spring has been and will remain the most popular time for a golf trip, but fall isn’t far behind and will deliver even better value.  Take advantage of Myrtle Beach golf packages that make the trip enjoyable and very affordable.

-- The best reason to take a fall trip? Who doesn’t want to spend several days with buddies playing golf in Myrtle Beach and enjoying the area’s multitude of off-course options? Myrtle Beach always delivers a good time on and off the course.

What are you waiting for? Jump-start the process with a Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday Quick Quote and start planning your trip this fall.

A great time awaits.
 

Golf Tip: How to Improve Your Distance Control on the Greens

September 03, 2014 by Chris King

Distance control when putting is one of the game's most vexing problems. There are few things more frustrating than a 20-foot birdie putt resulting in a tap-in for bogey. Classic Swing Golf School's Ted Frick has the cure for what ails you on the greens - a tip guaranteed to improve your distance control. 

 


Click for Myrtle Beach golf schoolsThese Myrtle Beach golf schools can turn your
golf vacation into a game-changer!

Lower your handicap, fine-tune your advanced skills, or build a solid foundation for a golf game that will serve you for a lifetime. Wouldn't that just be the perfect Myrtle Beach souvenir? Check it out! And, don't forget, you can get these tips by email too!

Big Break Myrtle Beach Cast Members Get THE Call

September 02, 2014 by Chris King

Listen in as the cast of Big Break Myrtle Beach finds out they have been selected to participate in the show, which begins airing on October 7 at 9PM! (More Big Break Myrtle Beach)

 

Dennis Rasku Wins 3-Way Playoff to Capture 2014 Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship

August 29, 2014 by Chris King

Dennis Rasku of Pompano Beach, Fl., made a net birdie (gross par) on the first hole to win a 3-way, sudden death playoff and the World Championship Playoff at 31st annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club.

Rasku, a 9 handicap, Tony Wallace, a 5 handicap from Fayetteville, N.C., and Ben Hamby, a 7 handicap from Winter Springs, Fla., all shot net 72s to get into the playoff. (Complete ResultsDennis Rasku won Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championhship)

Rasku hit his approach to 22 feet and two-putted for par, on the Dye Club 410-yard ninth hole, besting Wallace and Hamby, neither of whom received a stroke on the hole. “From the weather to the World’s Largest 19th Hole, we enjoyed a wonderful week at the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship,” said Jeff Monday, World Am tournament director. “Congratulations to Dennis on earning the right to call himself World Champion and to our entire field for a great week of golf.”

Mark Gardiner of Mascoutah, Ill., shot a 1-under par 71 to win the World’s Am first Gross Division Championship. Gardiner’s score was the best of the day, net or gross. [COMPLETE WORLD AM COVERAGE]

Additionally, Brazilians Joao Tomazelli and Denis Song Min Cho shot a team total of 155 to win the International Pairs event and earn the right to compete in Scotland next year in the IP World Finals.

The World Championship Playoff is the annual culmination of the Myrtle Beach World Am, a 72-hole net, stroke play event. This year, more than 3,400 players from 48 states and 34 countries vied for the honor of hoisting the victor’s trophy.

Players were arranged into flights according to their handicap and at the conclusion of the four rounds, all flight winners (and ties) advanced to the 18-hole world championship playoff.

The World Am features five competitive divisions, ranging from men and women 49 years-of-age and under to the super seniors, who are 70 years-of-age and older. Players with handicaps as low as three and as high as 34 have won the event.

The weather throughout the week was ideal. The Dye Club, which has been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, was in pristine condition and provided an excellent test of golf for the finals.

The World Am web site www.worldamgolf.com offers a daily glimpse of the tournament with updated standings, news releases and photographs.

The 32nd annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship will be held August 31 – Sept. 4, 2015.

Photo Gallery: Day 4 at the Myrtle Beach World Am

August 29, 2014 by Chris King

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Photo Gallery: 31st Annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship

August 28, 2014 by Chris King

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Photo Gallery: Win McMurry Lights up the World’s Largest 19th Hole

August 27, 2014 by Chris King

Television personality Win McMurry was at the World's Largest 19th Hole last night as part of the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship.

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Meet the Cast of Big Break Myrtle Beach

August 26, 2014 by Chris King

The cast of Big Break Myrtle Beach

The cast for Golf Channel’s 22nd season of its popular Big Break reality competition series – Big Break Myrtle Beach – was revealed today, featuring six men and six women hoping to take that next step in their professional golf careers.  They will compete for a grand prize of more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, including an exemption to either the 2015 Valspar Championship on the PGA TOUR or the 2015 Portland Classic on the LPGA Tour.  Big Break Myrtle Beach premieres Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

Produced in partnership with Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and South Carolina Tourism and filmed at Barefoot Resort and Golf in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Big Break Myrtle Beach features a cast of 12 who are at different stages in their professional golf careers.  Several are playing full time on the Symetra Tour and various mini tours throughout North America, while others turned professional solely to qualify for Big Break Myrtle Beach. All 12 will compete against each other in hopes of making their lifelong dream of walking the fairways on the PGA TOUR or LPGA Tour a reality.

The contestants are:
Jimmy Brandt (31, Auburn, Ala.) – Competing full time on the mini tour circuit, Brandt accumulated six victories and 16 top-10 finishes on the Hopkins Tour in 2012 and 2013.  Brandt earned conditional status on the Web.com Tour in 2011 and 2012 via PGA TOUR Q School, and is looking to return to golf’s biggest stages.  His father, who introduced him to the game, also is his full-time caddie.

Katie Detlefsen (25, Eagan, Minn.) – One of the top female junior golfers to come out of Minnesota and a recipient of the prestigious Dinah Shore Award in 2010, Detlefsen has been an LPGA Class A Teaching Professional since graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2011.  A college teammate of fellow Big Break Myrtle Beach competitor Carolin Pinegger, Detlefsen is using her teaching skills in pursuing her dream of competing on the LPGA Tour. Detlefsen also was a recipient of the prestigious Dinah Shore Award in 2010, an award given annually to a female collegiate golfer who excels in academics and athletics, while also demonstrating outstanding leadership skills and community service.

Katy Harris (35, Humble, Texas) – A top amateur golfer and All-American at Louisiana State University, Harris hung up her golf clubs following graduation in 2001 due to a hand injury. Nine years later, in 2010, Harris decided to give professional golf another try.  Since returning to competitive golf, she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open three consecutive years (2011-13), recorded victories on the Cactus Tour, CN Canadian Women’s Tour and the Symetra Tour and earned conditional status on the LPGA Tour for the 2014 season.
Charlie Harrison (23, Atlanta, Ga.) – A graduate from Wake Forest University in 2013, Harrison is currently competing on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and the mini tour circuit.  He recorded his first victory as a professional in 2013 on the Open Atlanta Golf Tour.

Christian Heavens (25, Orlando, Fla. / East St. Louis, Ill) – An alumnus of the First Tee of Greater St. Louis, Heavens credits golf for saving his life and as an avenue that helped him escape from the pressures of the streets of East St. Louis.  A graduate of Georgetown College in Kentucky where he competed on a First Tee Scholars scholarship, Heavens currently is competing on the mini tour circuit and the Florida Professional Golf Tour.

Dave Markle (29, Shelburne, Ontario, Canada) – One of the top amateur golfers from Canada (12th ranked amateur in the world in the R&A World Amateur Golf Rankings in 2008), Markle is competing on PGA TOUR Canada and the mini tour circuit.  Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2011, Markle is an ambassador for the Canadian Diabetes Association, helping raise awareness and funds for Diabetes research.

Toph Peterson (28, Gilbert, Ariz. / Logan, Utah) – A graduate from Utah State University, Peterson is giving professional golf another push after stepping away from the game to start up a designer walking bag company. He currently is competing full time on various mini tours.

Carolin Pinegger (23, Orlando, Fla. / Schladming, Austria) – One of the more decorated junior golfers out of Austria, Pinegger moved to the United States at age 16 and played college golf at the University of Central Florida (where she was a teammate of fellow Big Break Myrtle Beach competitor Katie Detlefsen).  She turned professional following graduation in 2013 and is competing full time on the Symetra Tour.

Krista Puisite (23, Austin, Texas / Riga, Latvia) – A decorated junior golfer from Latvia where she was a member of the Latvian Junior National Team, Puisite turned professional in early 2014 after graduating from Texas State University. She is competing on the mini tour circuit and the Symetra Tour.

Anthony Quezada (19, Phoenix, Ariz.) – One of the youngest competitors in Big Break series history at age 19, Quezada turned professional in 2013 to achieve his dream of competing on the PGA TOUR.  An alumnus of The First Tee of Phoenix, Quezada recorded 33 victories with the Junior Golf Association of Arizona circuit. He, along with fellow Big Break Myrtle Beach competitor David Markle, has Type I Diabetes, and wants to use golf as a platform to spread awareness for Diabetes research.

Tessa Teachman (24, Baton Rouge, La.) – Currently a member of the Ladies European Tour, Teachman is playing competitive golf in good health for the first time since college at Louisiana State University, where she finished third individually at the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships as a senior.  Following graduation in 2012, she underwent wrist surgery to repair multiple torn tendons in her right wrist – an injury that plagued her throughout college.  Following rehabilitation, she earned status on the Ladies European Tour in late 2013 and is playing a full schedule on the LET and the mini tour circuit in the United States in 2014.

Emily Tubert (22, Burbank, Calif.) – A three-time All-American at the University of Arkansas, Tubert is competing on Big Break Myrtle Beach fresh off of graduating from college in May.  While she might be one of the younger competitors on the series, on paper she is one of the favorites. Her resume includes: winning the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, member of the 2012 U.S. Curtis Cup Team, three-time All-American at the University of Arkansas, and a participant in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur.  Earlier this year, she was the recipient of the prestigious Dinah Shore Award, an award given annually to a female collegiate golfer who excels in academics and athletics, while also demonstrating outstanding leadership skills and community service.

PAIGE MACKENZIE JOINS AS CO-HOST: Serving as co-hosts for Big Break Myrtle Beach will be Tom Abbott and Paige Mackenzie. Mackenzie, a seven-year veteran of the LPGA Tour who also currently serves as a Golf Channel analyst, will make her Big Break co-hosting debut, providing analysis from a player’s perspective and detailing the pressure the competitors will face with each challenge.

GRAND PRIZE: The winner of Big Break Myrtle Beach will receive more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, including:
    •    An exemption to the 2015 Valspar Championship or the 2015 Portland Classic on the LPGA Tour.
    •    $75,000 in cash, including $5,000 courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods, $10,000 courtesy of Macanudo and $10,000 courtesy of Adams Golf.
    •    Full, exempt status to the 2015 NGA Pro Golf Tour or the 2015 Symetra Tour with all entry fees paid.
    •    An endorsement contract from Adams Golf.
    •    $10,000 in car rental credit courtesy of Avis Car Rental.
    •    $10,000 in travel credit courtesy of Travelocity.
    •    A seven-day, six-night all-expenses paid return trip to Myrtle Beach with accommodations provided by North Beach Plantation and six rounds of golf that can be played at any of Myrtle Beach’s 100 premiere golf courses.

HOST GOLF COURSES: Filmed on location in June, the series will unfold on three of Barefoot Resort’s award-winning golf courses – The Dye, Fazio and Love Courses – as well as Pawleys Plantation on Pawleys Island.
    •    The Dye Course, a classic Pete Dye layout, has been ranked among the nation’s top 100 public courses by Golf Digest and was recently named 2013 South Carolina Golf Course of the Year by the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association.
    •    The Fazio Course, designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio, has been ranked as one of America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses by Golf Digest.
    •    The Love Course, designed by Carolina native Davis Love III, has been ranked among America's Top 100 You Can Play by Golf Magazine for years and as the top-ranked golf course in Myrtle Beach by Golf Digest.
    •    Pawleys Plantation, the award-winning Jack Nicklaus design just south of Myrtle Beach on Pawleys Island.

The Marina Inn and Resort at Grande Dunes served as official host resort for the competitors and production team during the filming of the series.

SERIES FORMAT: Golf Channel’s Big Break show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness.  During Big Break Myrtle Beach, the competitors will be subject to skills challenges from tee-to-green, including the popular “Glass Break” and “Flop Wall.”  One contestant will be eliminated each week, with the last player standing awarded his or her Big Break, an opportunity to compete on the PGA TOUR or LPGA Tour in 2015.

For the past 21 seasons, Golf Channel’s Big Break competition series has proven to be the launching pad for many aspiring professional golfers looking to take that next step in their golf careers, including PGA TOUR winners Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey and Matt Every, and U.S. Solheim Cup participants Kristy McPherson, Gerina Piller and Ryann O’Toole, all playing full time on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour, respectively.  Several other past Big Break competitors are currently competing on the world’s top tours, including Anya Alvarez, Nicole Smith, Jackie Stoelting and Kim Welch on the LPGA Tour and Tony Finau, Hugo Leon, James Nitties and Mark Silvers on the Web.com Tour.

Big Break Myrtle Beach: Enjoy a Preview of the Fireworks

August 26, 2014 by Chris King

Big Break Myrtle Beach doesn't debut until October 7 at 9 p.m. on Golf Channel but get an early look at the drama-filled season.

 

Photo Gallery: Myrtle Beach World Am, Round 1

August 25, 2014 by Chris King

The first round of the 2014 Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship is in the books! Get a look at some of the action from on the course.

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31st Annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship Tees Off Under Sunny Skies

August 25, 2014 by Chris King

The World Am enjoyed great weather on Day 1The 31st annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship began play today as more than 3,400 players from around the world compete on 60-plus Grand Strand courses for the honor of being crowned “World Champion.”

With participants from 34 countries – including the U.S. India, Japan, Australia, England, France, Germany, Italy, China, Sweden, South Africa and Canada – this year’s tournament has a decidedly international flavor. The field also includes players from 48 states.  

The competition is comprised of 72 holes of golf on a different course daily. The rota of premier area layouts includes the Norman, Fazio and Love courses at Barefoot Resort; Caledonia Golf & Fish Club; True Blue Golf Plantation; and Rivers Edge. Divisional winners will compete in a fifth round championship playoff on Friday, Aug. 29 at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club (flight winners and ties).

Today also commences the opening of “The World’s Largest 19th Hole” at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The vast festival of golf features equipment demos, entertainment, open bars, concerts, prize drawings and food from superb area restaurants. Television personality Win McMurry and Golf Magazine travel guru Joe Passov are among those scheduled to appear, and the Katrek and Maginness on Tap Radio, which is broadcast nationally on Sirius/XM, will originate each night from the 19th Hole.

“The Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship is a celebration of golf and the people who love the game,” said tournament director Jeff Monday. “It’s great to bring 3,400 avid golfers together for 72 holes and the camaraderie of the 19th Hole. We are looking forward to a great week, capped by crowning our World Champion Friday afternoon at the Dye Club.”

Burgess, Gore, Hilliard Inducted Into Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame

August 24, 2014 by Chris King

Critt Gore and George Hilliard were inducted into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of FameDoc Burgess, Critt Gore and George Hilliard were inducted into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame Sunday evening at Pine Lakes Country Club.

Established to pay tribute to the men and women who have played significant roles in the development of the Myrtle Beach area golf industry, the Hall of Fame was founded in 2009.
 
“Doc Burgess, Critt Gore and George Hilliard were vital to Myrtle Beach’s growth as a golf destination,” said Bill Golden, president of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. “Their industriousness and vision helped set the standard for the Grand Strand golf community, and they are richly deserving of their spot in the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame.”  

A man of uncommon vision, Burgess, who was inducted posthumously, was truly one of the giants of the Myrtle Beach golf community. His combination of a keen intellect and strong work ethic made him one of the driving forces behind the area’s emergence as a world-class golf destination.

Burgess, a dentist by trade, helped form the Myrtle Beach National group in the 1970s and was vital to its growth into one of America’s most successful multi-course facilities. He was also a pioneer in using technology to make the golf business more efficient.

A tireless work ethic helped make Gore a cornerstone of the Myrtle Beach golf community. Along with a group of investors, he bought Possum Trot in 1980 and has been an integral part of the community ever since. With Gore setting the tone, Possum Trot built its reputation as the Grand Strand’s friendliest course, and he was just getting started.

He was part of a group that built Heather Glen and Glen Dornoch, two layouts that significantly enhanced Myrtle Beach’s national profile. While the native Pennsylvanian was busying running three successful layouts, he always had time to help the community. Gore was a member of the Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owners Association board of directors from 1986-89 and served as president of the organization in 1988-89.

After 26 years of service in the United States Air Force, Hilliard became executive director of the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association in 1988.

With the help of a dedicated golf community, he spearheaded numerous programs, including the area’s first computerized tee time reservation system, the Myrtle Beach Golf Passport program, the industry’s health insurance program for course employees, and statewide and national efforts for tax reductions for course owners.

For more information about Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, visit www.themyrtlebeachgolfhalloffame.com.

VIDEO: 2014 Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship - It’s Finally Here!

August 23, 2014 by Chris King

Photo Gallery: Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Registration, Day 1

August 23, 2014 by Chris King

Registration for the 2014 Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship got off to a smooth start on a sun-baked Saturday in Myrtle Beach. The tournament's 3,400 players began checking in at the North Myrtle and Myrtle Beach PGA Tour Superstores this morning, and we are less than 48 hours from the first shot of the event being struck. Enjoy a sampling of the sights and sounds from the opening of registration.

 

 

Great Myrtle Beach Golf Weekend is Ready to Tee Off

August 22, 2014 by Chris King

The World Am kickoff party is a rollicking good timeOne of the best weekends on the Myrtle Beach golf calendar is upon us!

Registration for the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship, which will be played on more than 60 area courses August 25-29, opens Saturday morning at 9 a.m., kicking off one of the game’s greatest events.

More than 3,400 players are from 48 states and 34 countries are pouring into the area for the 72-hole event, which levels the playing field for players with the game’s most rigorously enforced handicap system.

The World Am schedule for the weekend is: .

August 23
9 am – 7 pm:
Registration at both Martin’s PGA Tour Superstores
 
August 24
9 am – 5 pm:
Registration at both Martin’s PGA Tour Superstores
5 pm – 7 pm: Kickoff party at Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach

Play in all 76 flights at this year’s World Am will begin Monday morning at 9 a.m.

While the World Am captures most of the headlines, it’s hardly the only big golf event this weekend.

The Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame will induct its sixth class Sunday evening in an event that is closed to the public. Doc Burgess, Critt Gore and George Hilliard will take their place among the titans of the Myrtle Beach golf community. We will have pictures from the event and more information after the ceremony.

Five Things You Must Bring to the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship

August 21, 2014 by Rick Limpert

An extra club glove towel at the World Am will be a bonusYour clubs are clean, that new putter has been broken in and you've spent more time at the driving range and practice green in the last month than my wife spends at an outlet mall.

That all must mean the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship is upon us.

The stakes are high as well over 3,000 golfers from all over the world converge on Myrtle Beach for golf, sun and fun.

As you are standing over your garment bag and "carry on" bag, there are certain things you need to pack along with that extra golf shirt and a few extra sleeves of balls.  

Here's a friendly reminder of five things you don't want to forget if you are playing in the 2014 Myrtle Beach World Amateur.

Sunscreen
It's August on the South Carolina coast. That means the sun will be bright and hot. There is no reason NOT to use sunscreen to protect your skin. Take the advice of New Zealand native, Ben Steward, who created Golfersskin after a friend of his died of skin cancer, tragically at the age of 33. While you can use almost any sunsceen and it will be effective, Golfersskin is currently being used by more than 200 players on the top professional tours around the world.

"What makes Golfersskin really good is the way we have removed all non-essential oils from the formula. It’s free of all the nasties, which means it is not greasy and won’t run into your eyes, no matter how much you sweat. Nor will it interfere with your grip,” explains Steward.

You can get Golfersskin at www.golfersskin.com or on Amazon.

Golf Towel
During four and possibly five rounds of golf, you are going to sweat and your clubs are going to get dirty. You will need more than one quality towel to get through the week.

There will be a Club Glove "Caddy Towel" in your 2014 World Am "Gift Bag," but why not have more than one at your disposal. Club Glove premium microfiber towels come in different shapes and sizes, but they all serve an important need- keeping you dry and clean.

PGA pros and their caddies rely on these towels week-in and week-out. If they are good enough for the best players in the world, they will survive a week with you.

These premium towels are gentle, but also durable. They can be used to clean and polish glasses, plastic, chrome and other delicate surfaces. Hand or machine wash in cold water with mild detergent.

Other facts:
- Pro Tour-size 17" x 40" caddy towel features a large elongated center slit for fitting over club head
- Free matching 8" x 12" "greenside" pocket towel
- Waffle-textured towels are super absorbent
- Holds 300% of its weight in water
- Non-abrasive and virtually lint free
- 8" center slit easily fits over golf clubs in golf bag
- 11 different colors to choose from

The All-In-One Golf Gadget
An important part of golf is helping maintain the course as we play it. This can mean being weighed down by a bunch of tools you need to get through 18 holes.
Not anymore, as Whetstone Cutlery has brought golf tools to a new level with their All-In-One Stainless Steel Golf Tool. Available on Amazon and at finer retailers this gem is not only a divot repair tool, but also a key ring, a hidden pocket knife, a ball cleaning brush, a pen, contains a magnetic ball marker, cleat tightener and a club cleaner.
It's a compact size that fits in your pocket or on a key ring.

Energy Drops or Powder for Water
Here's a prediction. You will sweat while playing golf for four days at the end of August in Myrtle Beach. You need to hydrate each and every day. Companies like Nunn, Mio, Elete and even Gatorade are making drops or powder you can add to bottles of water. This makes a great energy drink with electrolytes.

Avoiding dehydration helps you stay alert, avoid cramps, and ward of extreme exhaustion. These energy supplements mixed with water replenish essential carbohydrates and electrolytes lost through sweating. They only cost a few bucks, so it's a solid investment.

Tiger Balm
You know what comes with four straight days of golf?

Aches, pains, sprains and soreness.

Here's a free tip.

Bring along some Tiger Balm ointment. For over 100 years, Tiger Balm has been THE ointment and sports rub for getting out those aches, pains and muscle soreness.
Another use is for those of you that will be frequenting and partying at the 19th Hole each night.

Should you wake up in the morning saying those famous words, "I'm never drinking again," all you have to do is apply some Tiger Balm to the back of your neck and temples and rub it in. Wait a few minutes and your pain will start to melt away.

Tiger Balm: "Works where it hurts."

Remember, even before you get to Myrtle Beach and hit that first tee shot to hydrate some more.

Here is to a great World Am!

 

Rick Limpert also writes for YahooRick Limpert is an Atlanta-based sports, technology, and travel writer. He writes for Yahoo.com, a daily tech piece for Examner.com and has been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Sports Illustrated. You can follow Rick on Twitter at @RickRoswell. 

31st Annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship Poised to Tee Off

August 19, 2014 by Chris King

The “Everyman’s Major” – the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship – is ready to tee off.

More than 3,400 golfers from around the globe have registered for the 31st annual World Am, which will be played August 25-29.

Among the 60+ Myrtle Beach golf courses hosting the 72-hole tournament are Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, all four courses at Barefoot Resort, TPC Myrtle Beach, Rivers Edge and Pawleys Plantation.

Players have been placed into one of 76 flights, based on age, gender and handicap, with all flight winners and ties advancing to the World Championship Playoff on August 29 at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club, where a champion will be crowned.

A look at this year’s field:

  • This is the third consecutive year and the tournament has enjoyed growth and 3,400 players are the event’s most since 2008.
  •  291 women are slated to play in hopes of becoming the World Am’s fifth female world champion.
  • Players are coming from 48 states with Idaho and South Dakota being the only delinquents.
  • States sending the most players to the World Am are, in order, North Carolina (316), Florida (289), South Carolina (276), Virginia (254), Texas (245) and Georgia (214).
  • The field is comprised of players from 34 countries. The nations represented are: United States, Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Guam, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, United States-Outlying Islands, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands.

While the competition attracts players to the tournament, the event’s camaraderie is a primary factor in the bringing them back. The World Am’s social hub is the World’s Largest 19th Hole, which is held every night at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

Participants receive free food and open bar, live entertainment, a 60-exhibitor golf expo, demo alley and many other activities at the 120,000-square-foot 19th Hole. Television personality Win McMurry will be appearing on the main stage and the Katrek and Maginness On Tap radio show, which is broadcast nationally on Sirius/XM radio, will originate from the 19th Hole.

To enjoy daily coverage of the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship, go to www.WorldAmGolf.com.

Five Things You Need to Know About Eagle Nest Golf Club

August 15, 2014 by Chris King

Eagle Nest Golf Club is a Myrtle Beach golf favoriteEagle Nest Golf Club is one of the pioneers on the Myrtle Beach golf scene, helping open the door for area’s expansion into Little River and even Brunswick County, North Carolina.

The Gene Hamm design has sent countless golfers home happy since opening in 1972, and the facility has recently redoubled its commitment to conditioning and customer service.

Eagle Nest has been a beach vacation institution for years but what do you need to know before enjoying this old school design?

1. If you haven’t been to Eagle Nest in several years, you owe it to yourself to return. The club has brought in a new general manager and superintendent in recent years, and the results are obvious. Course conditions are outstanding and customer service is even better.

2. Eagle Nest offers as relaxing an atmosphere as there is on the beach. The environment is casual and the emphasis is on having a good time. Did I mention that you are allowed to bring coolers on the course?! This is a good place to open your Myrtle Beach golf trip.

3. What can you expect on the course? The chance to score will be readily available. Hazards and forced carries are minimal and the greens, while large, don’t have crazy break. Eagle Nest is a player friendly layout but …

4. The course has long marketed itself as having the three toughest finishing holes along the Grand Strand. That’s up for debate, but the 16th, 17th and 18th holes will present a stern challenge for any level of golfer. The 17th hole is the third longest hole in Myrtle Beach, and the 185-yard 18th requires a meaty carry over water to get to the green. You better make hay on the first 15 holes and hang-on at the end.

5. The improvements to course conditions and customer service have been great, but Eagle Nest isn’t finished. By this time next year, the course will have repaved its cart paths and rebuilt all the tee boxes.

Myrtle Beach Dominates Golf Magazine’s List of South Carolina’s Best Public Courses

August 14, 2014 by Chris King

Heritage Club is one of the best public courses in South CarolinaIf being voted Best Golf Destination in the world by readers of USA Today wasn’t enough to convince you of the virtues of a Myrtle Beach golf vacation, Golf Magazine has provided plenty of corroborating evidence.

Myrtle Beach dominated Golf Magazine’s list of the best public courses in golf-rich South Carolina. The biennial list of “The Best Courses Near You” was unveiled in the September issue of the magazine.

Seven of the 10 best public golf courses in the Palmetto State are located in Myrtle Beach and 13 of 20 overall, according to Golf Magazine. In a state renowned for the quality of its golf, Myrtle Beach’s dominance is a powerful testament to depth and quality of the area’s offerings.

Caledonia led the Myrtle Beach area contingent, ranking third on the list, followed No. 4 Dunes Club, No. 6 True Blue, No. 7 Love Course at Barefoot, No. 8 Tidewater, No. 9 Fazio Course at Barefoot, No. 10 TPC Myrtle Beach, No. 13 Dye Course at Barefoot Resort, No. 15 Grande Dunes, No. 16 King’s North at Myrtle Beach National, No. 17 Heritage Club, No. 19 Pawleys Plantation, No. 20 Heathland at Legends Resort.

The Grand Strand was well represented on the North Carolina side of the border as well. Leopard’s Chase at Ocean Ridge Plantation was the ninth ranked course in the Tar Heel state, followed by No. 11 Tiger’s Eye at Ocean Ridge, No. 13 Rivers Edge, and No. 19 Oyster Bay.

Speaking to the diversity and quality of Myrtle Beach’s architectural offerings, layouts designed by Jack Nicklaus (Pawleys Plantation), Robert Trent Jones Sr. (Dunes Club), Davis Love (Love Course), Tom Fazio (TPC, Fazio Course), Pete Dye (Dye Course), Arnold Palmer (King’s North, Rivers Edge), Mike Strantz (True Blue, Caledonia), and Dan Maples (Heritage, Oyster Bay) earned their place among the best courses in Carolinas.

The “Best Courses Near You” list was released in conjunction with Golf Magazine’s unveiling of the “Top 100 You Can Play,” a ranking of America’s best public courses. Myrtle Beach was well represented on that list as well as four courses earned a spot on the list, including two in the top 50.

Caledonia was ranked the 27th best public courses in America, followed by Dunes Club (No. 42), True Blue (No. 77) and Love Course at Barefoot (No. 85).

Are you willing to share your own experience? If you've played one of these courses, just click on their name above, and add your own review at the bottom of their page! 

Tip from the Pro: Sweet Spot Delivery

August 13, 2014 by Gordon McCawley

Picture 1

From putt to drive, there is no better feeling in golf than hitting the ball directly in the sweet spot of the clubface.

It's quite rewarding as well!

The sweet spot is the area of the club face between the heel and the toe. For most golfers, it is simply the center of the face of the club head (Picture #1).

One of the main reasons this point of contact can be so elusive at times is that, from putt to drive, the orbiting club head, and specifically the sweet spot, must be trained to approach the ball from inside the target line. If the orbiting club head gets outside the target line before impact (Picture #2), nightmares will certainly follow.

The intelligent mind instructs the golfer to swing down the target line at impact in order to hit the ball straight. Unfortunately, the golf club is built on an angle so if you want to find the sweet spot, you must learn to attack the ball from inside the target line.

As Homer Kelley stated in The Golfing Machine, you must feel in to out through impact.

Picture 3

Picture 2

For a visual, reference Picture #3.

The red line is the delivery line guiding the sweet spot and the white line is the target line.

For consistent sweet spot delivery, the golfer must learn to differentiate between the target line and the delivery line.

The delivery line (the red line in the picture) is the answer to sweet spot contact.

As Homer Kelly once said, “divots are not just taken down, but down and out through impact.”
 

Ted Frick is the Owner and Director of Instruction
at the Classic Swing Golf School

 


Click for Myrtle Beach golf schoolsThese Myrtle Beach golf schools can turn your
golf vacation into a game-changer!

Lower your handicap, fine-tune your advanced skills, or build a solid foundation for a golf game that will serve you for a lifetime. Wouldn't that just be the perfect Myrtle Beach souvenir? Check it out! And, don't forget, you can get these tips by email too!

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