If you want to get one last round in at the golf course that Golf Digest named the best new course in America when it opened in 1987, you have three more days.
Heather Glen Golf Links in Little River will close at the end of business Thursday.
The 27-hole facility consists of the original 6,783-yard 18 holes designed by Willard Byrd that earned the lofty distinction by Golf Digest, and a nine-hole addition designed by Clyde Johnston that opened in 1990.
The 430-acre property is slated to become a housing development beginning sometime next year.
Heather Glen managing partner and general manager George Gore said the course is closing now because it has been losing money in the winter months in recent years. Gore was among the first hires at the course as an assistant superintendent in February 1986, fresh out of college.
He jokingly said to bring him a tissue if you play the course. “I don’t even want to be around there this week but I have to,” Gore said. “It’s been a good run but it has come to an end.”
The property is already zoned for housing, but home builder D.R. Horton wants to change the zoning to accommodate its planned 1,000-unit development.
Its initial rezoning request through Thomas & Hutton engineers was voted down on Oct. 3 on the second of three required readings by Horry County Council.
The resubmitted rezoning request is on the agenda to be discussed Thursday during an Horry County Planning Commission Workshop, then will be formally discussed at a planning commission meeting on Dec. 7, beginning its process for approval or disapproval by the county council.
The new request includes a development with 766 single-family homes with minimum 7,000-square-foot lots, 234 duplex units, 58 acres of ponds, 42.6 acres of wetlands and 93 acres of open space.
D.J. vs. Trump
Coastal Carolina alumnus and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson played a round with Tiger Woods, former PGA Tour member Brad Faxon and President Donald Trump on Friday, and perhaps the biggest revelation to come from Faxon’s account of the round – to Johnson most likely – was that Woods was outdriving him about half of the time both hit driver.
In an article for Golfweek magazine, Faxon said both players hit driver on about 10 holes at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., and Woods hit it farther than Johnson about five times.
Johnson is known for his prodigious length. He was second on the PGA Tour in driving distance last year at 315 yards per measured drive, and generally hits it as far as he needs to depending on the situation.
So Woods keeping up off the tee is a sign the 14-time major champion may be just about fully healthy as he returns to competition this week in the Hero World Challenge he hosts at Albany in the Bahamas.
Faxon shared an exchange on Golf Channel that Johnson and Woods had on the first tee. Johnson told Tiger to use a bunker as an aiming point, and not to worry because he couldn’t reach it, and Woods drove it into the bunker.
Faxon did mention that he was also impressed by Johnson in his first round with the Columbia native, and that Faxon missed a 9-foot birdie putt on the final hole that could have won the best ball match for him and Trump. Johnson and Woods played the 7,600-yard back tees while Faxon and Trump played the course at about 6,500 yards.
Johnson is back in action this week for the first time in a month as one of 18 players in the Hero World Challenge. Johnson is scheduled to tee off at 12:16 p.m. Thursday in the first round with Brooks Koepka.
Johnson tied for second and lost a six-stroke lead entering the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China on Oct. 29 with a 77 in the final round.
Johnson’s former CCU teammate, Zack Byrd of Murrells Inlet, barely missed out on the final stage of the European Tour Qualifying Tournament.
After advancing through the first stage, Byrd birdied four of his final seven holes in the second stage to get into a 10-man playoff for two spots and was unable to advance.
He shot a 4-under 67 in the final round at Las Colinas Golf & Country Club in Alicante, Spain for a 3-under 281 total.
“It’s a pretty tough one to swallow,” said Byrd, who played predominantly this year on the Sunshine Tour based in South Africa. “But I’ll dust off and play well in the European events I will get into coming up.”
Based on his Sunshine Tour results, Byrd said he is in the field for the European Tour’s $1.2 million Joburg Open in South Africa from Dec. 7-10, and believes he’ll get into the tour’s $1.1 million BMW South African Open from Jan. 11-14. He is currently among that event’s top six alternates.
Byrd anticipates playing on the Sunshine Tour and in some European Challenge Tour events in 2018. The Challenge Tour is Europe’s equivalent to the Web.com Tour in the U.S.
Coastal Carolina graduate Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden reached the final stage of European Tour Q-School but missed the cut to the final two rounds of the 108-hole event by eight shots. He shot a 6-over 292 through four rounds with scores of 71, 75, 74 and 72 at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain.
Soderberg has split time between the European Tour and Challenge Tour for the past three years and will likely be predominantly on the Challenge Tour again in 2018.
After finishing in the top 35 on the Challenge Tour money list in both 2015 and 2016, he earned 16 starts on the European Tour in 2017 and made 10 cuts with one top-10 finish to earn 136,000 Euros and finish 165th on the Order of Merit. He finished 132nd in the 2017 Challenge Tour standings with six cuts made and about 8,500 Euros in nine starts.
In 2015, Soderberg finished third in the European Tour’s Nordea Masters event in Sweden to earn 71,000 Euros, the equivalent today of about $84,500.
Stateside, a pair of players with Grand Strand ties reached the second stage of the Web.com Tour Q-School but failed to reach the final stage.
Myrtle Beach resident Dan Obremski, who played at CCU from 2006-10, finished third at his first stage site to reach the second stage but failed to advance at Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Fla., shooting a 1-under 287 to fall seven strokes shy of advancing to the finals.
Longtime PGA Tour member Tommy Gainey of Bishopville, attempting a comeback from a shoulder injury, also fell short of advancing at that site by eight shots.
Former Strand resident Tyler Light failed to advance from the second stage at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, by eight shots with a 3-over 291.
Former South Carolina star Matt NeSmith, a past winner of the General Hackler Championship at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, also failed to advance from the second stage.
Those who failed to advance through the first stage included Patrick Lundy of Little River, former Coastal Carolina and Socastee High player Easton Renwick of DuBois, Pa., CCU alumnus Alfredo Ruiz of Myrtle Beach, and CCU graduate Andrew Dorn of Cincinnati, who is spending the winter in Orlando.
The Web.com Q-School finals are Dec. 7-10 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz. All final stage qualifiers will have at least partial status on the 2018 Web.com Tour.
Daly earns award
Matt Daly, head pro at the Tournament Players Club (TPC) Myrtle Beach, has been named the Carolinas PGA Section’s Public Course Merchandiser of the Year by the section’s special awards committee. Merchandiser award winners are recognized for demonstrating superior skills as merchandisers in the promotion of golf.
Daly has been a CPGA member since 2006 and has previously worked at clubs including Blackmoor Golf Club, Pine Lakes Country Club and the Grande Dunes Resort Course, and said his merchandising philosophy has evolved with credit to his mentors and experiences, along the staff at TPC Myrtle Beach and support from the retail team at Founders Group International, which manages TPC.
Daly was one of 10 winners of the CPGA’s annual awards.
The others: Jeff Dotson of The Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, N.C., is the Golf Professional of the Year; Doug Weaver of Palmetto Dunes Resort in Hilton Head Island is the Palmer Maples Teacher of the Year; James Hackenberg of Jimmy Hack Golf of Easley won the Horton Smith Award for developing and improving educational opportunities for PGA pros; and Andrew Shuck of Charlotte Country Club won the Bill Strausbaugh Award for mentoring positively impacting careers of PGA pros.
Jeff Shores of Huntersville, N.C., and the Golf Squad LLC youth and elementary school program won the Player Development Award; Tom Mason of Par Tee Golf Center in Columbia won the Youth Player Development Award; Elliott Jones of Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte is the Assistant Pro of the Year; Brian Joyce of Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington is the Private Club Merchandiser of the Year; and Erica Mason of Old Edwards Club in Cashiers, N.C., is the Resort Course Merchandiser of the Year.
Award winners will be recognized at the 25th CPGA Special Awards and Honors Ceremony on Feb. 18 at Greensboro (N.C.) Country Club.
College golf seminar
The Carolinas Golf Association is holding an informational seminar for prospective college golfers and their parents from 7-9 p.m. on Dec. 28 at Pine Needles Golf Club’s Knollwood Hall in Southern Pines, N.C.
The free education seminar is open to anyone and is designed to give junior golfers and their parents information about the recruiting process and transition to college golf. Presenters include UNC Wilmington interim men’s golf coach Daniel Bowden, UNC Greensboro men’s golf coach Terrance Stewart, N.C. State men’s assistant coach Van Williams and James Madison University golf team member Walker Cress.
Topics include the NCAA Eligibility Center; Ping College Golf Guide; events; the recruiting process, dates and NCAA guidelines; junior golf resumes; and scholarship opportunities at the Division I, II and III levels.
Register at https://www.jotform.com/73244028156958 or call Jason Cox at 910-673-1000.