On Grand Strand Golf: Tournament created for Canadian visitors

ablondin@thesunnews.comJune 17, 2014 

Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday has created a fall two-person team tournament for Canadian residents and their partners called the Myrtle Beach Canadian Classic, and it has secured some of the beach’s best courses for the event.

The four-round tournament will be held Nov. 17-20 on eight courses: The Barefoot Resort Fazio and Norman courses, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, True Blue Plantation, Grande Dunes Resort Course, Myrtle Beach National’s King’s North Course, Prestwick Country Club and the TPC of Myrtle Beach.

Golf Holiday tournaments director Jeff Monday said the marketing cooperative hopes to attract 150 to 200 players for the inaugural tournament. At least one team member must be a Canadian resident.

“We’ve been looking to add different events to the calendar and we’ll keep trying different events throughout the year,” Monday said.

The event will have a mixture of formats with rounds of best ball, Texas scramble, combined team net and captain’s choice scramble being played at 9 a.m. Monday-Thursday. The entry fee of $375 per person includes a pair of events at the Crown Reef conference center – a Nov. 16 registration banquet with a gift bag, hors d’oeuvres and open bar, and a Nov. 20 awards party with open bar. A hockey night at an area bar may be organized.

The tournament will come at the tail end of golf season on the pre-Thanksgiving week that typically isn’t overly busy on area courses. Golf Holiday will promote the event at golf shows in Canada and to its database of Canadian golfers.

“We found people are looking for somewhere to go in late fall,” Monday said. “We feel we have the audience for it and calendar-wise it should work well.”

PGA staging events

There are several events this week surrounding the PGA of America’s upcoming PGA Professional National Championship that area residents can attend and/or take part in.

The tournament, featuring 312 club and teaching professionals from across the country, is being played Sunday through Wednesday at the Grande Dunes Resort Course and The Dunes Golf and Beach Club. Both courses will host the opening two rounds and The Dunes Club will host the final two rounds.

A youth clinic kicks off the events from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Arcadian Shores Golf Club. The clinic will be staffed by area PGA pros, is geared toward juniors from local youth organizations and will focus on the fun and fitness elements of golf, with instruction, games and giveaways.

Arcadian Shores will also host an armed forces clinic from 2-5 p.m. for both active and veteran military personnel and their families. Dennis Walters, the 2008 PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient who is paralyzed from the waist down, will display his shot-making skills in an entertaining program during the armed forces clinic.

The PGA of America and Carolinas PGA Section will host a series of PGA Family Fun Zone events over the weekend. The free family golf festivals are open to the public and include group lessons, games and other fun activities to encourage area families to play the game.

They will be held from 3-10 p.m. Friday at Celebrity Circle at Broadway at the Beach, from 4-8 p.m. Saturday at TicketReturn.com Field for Myrtle Beach Pelicans ticketed patrons, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday during the Youth Baseball Nationals Tournament at Grand Park at The Market Common.

A free Drive, Chip & Putt local qualifier for juniors ages 7-14 will begin at noon Saturday at River Hills Golf & County Club. Registration closes at 5 p.m. Monday.

There were 116 juniors registered as of Monday morning and spots were available in all age groups. Top finishers will advance to sectional qualifiers, and the final will be held at Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before the 2015 Masters Tournament next April.

Speeding up the pace

Through the generosity of sponsors, junior golfers and their guests can play for free in Saturday’s inaugural Speed Golf Summer Race at 1 p.m. at Blackmoor Golf Club.

The tournament is open to all ages and is a two-person team effort in which one person runs and plays and a partner caddies. A player’s combined strokes and minutes is their final score. Only six clubs are used and pins remain in the cup.

Better players are expected to complete 18 holes in about 90 minutes.

The entry fee for adults is $50 per person for either nine or 18 holes. Tournament director Meredith Kirk, LPGA teaching pro and National Golf Management spokesperson, is accepting registration through noon Friday.

Visit www.juniorgolfexchange.org to register or contact Kirk, or get registration forms at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golfsmith or PGA Tour Superstore locations. Tee times will be posted after 3 p.m. Friday on the web site and at Blackmoor.

The tournament is about half full with 22 participants.

Frank Theatres in Murrells Inlet, which includes a movie theater, bowling alley and arcade, is providing more than $2,500 in prizes and gifts, including four movie tickets for each participant as part of a goodie bag. Prizes also include rounds of golf for foursomes on area courses. Chick-fil-A is providing food following golf.

“I’m really pumped up about our prize packages because we’ve received so much support from sponsors,” said Kirk, the reigning Mrs. South Carolina. “The goodie bag the players get is really filled up with some cool stuff.”

All proceeds from the Speed Golf event will benefit the Junior Golf Exchange, a program created by Kirk that provides clubs free of charge at participating golf courses and facilities to junior golfers ages 14 and younger through club donations and purchases through the program.

“It will be a great opportunity to test the Speed Golf concept,” Kirk said. “Long term we want to continue a tournament like this every year.”

Baseball benefits golf

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are hosting a night for The First Tee of Brunswick County and First Tee of the Grand Strand on Saturday.

Tickets can be purchased and paid for through http://bit.ly/1iEwwPg or www.thefirstteebrunswickcounty.org. Any tickets purchased through the site will be available at Will Call at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, and $4 from every $11 ticket will go to local First Tee chapters. Tickets can be purchased for First Tee students to attend the game, as well.

In addition to the Pelicans’ donation, PGA Tour Superstore will also be making a donation based on ticket sales. The game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks is at 7 p.m. and will feature special events including a pre-game autograph session and appearance by Mountain Man of A&E’s Duck Dynasty. Call The First Tee of Brunswick County at 910-754-5288 for more information.

Show visits area

The GolfTalk Live radio show hosted by Tony Leodora, which airs Saturdays from 7-8 a.m. on Philadelphia’s WNTP 990 AM and 3-4 p.m. on WOND 1400 AM in south New Jersey, will be recorded Friday at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club.

The show will focus on the start of the PGA Professional National Championship (formerly the Club Pro Championship), being played at The Dunes Club and Grande Dunes Resort Course from Sunday through Wednesday. The final two rounds are at The Dunes Club exclusively.

The show can be accessed at www.golftalklive.net, and live Saturdays at www.wntp.com by clicking the "Listen Live" button.

The show’s affiliated Traveling Golfer show ( www.travelinggolfervideo.com) has a recently released special show from the south end of the Strand featuring nationally acclaimed courses True Blue and Caledonia Golf and Fish Club.

Potential Demo Day

Instructor Dale Ketola’s Potential Golf school at Farmstead Golf Links is holding a TaylorMade/Adams Golf Demo Day on Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The latest technology from Adams and TaylorMade will be available to try including the SLDR S line and new hybrids from Adams. Appointments are not necessary but are encouraged by calling Ketola at 843-833-3332.

Contact ALAN BLONDIN at 626-0284 or on Twitter @alanblondin, or read his blog Green Reading at myrtlebeachonline.com.

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