With the recent reopening of three golf courses and anticipated reopening of two more over the next couple weeks, the Grand Strand should be back to full strength with approximately 90 courses, including about 80 open to the public, before the fall golf season.
More than a dozen courses in the Myrtle Beach market closed this summer to replace or repair greens due to damage from winterkill, a term used to describe grass that is damaged or killed by harsh winter conditions.
Eight reopened between June and mid-August.
Joining them, the Legends Resort Moorland Course reopened on Aug. 27 with new Champion ultradwarf Bermudagrass greens. It closed June 25, and over the past couple months some trees were removed, on-course restrooms were remodeled and some beautification projects were completed.
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Indigo Creek Golf Club has been open for about a week with new Sunday Bermuda greens. The course closed in early June, and additional work done to it includes drainage and irrigation improvements, some bunker renovations, and the removal of trees to improve playability and course conditions.
The course also has new carts, and clubhouse improvements include new carpeting and renovations to the ceiling and bar. A couple weeks ago, about 45 resident volunteers spent a day helping to clean up and beautify the course.
Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links has been closed since June 11 and is expected to reopen Friday with new Champion greens, according to George Gore, the course’s managing partner.
Brick Landing Plantation in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., closed on June 28 to replace its Jones Bermuda greens with Sunday Bermuda and is on pace for a reopening of next Monday for members and next Wednesday for the public. The property’s restaurant has been open throughout the course renovations.
Courses that were previously entirely or partially closed for greens repairs and reopened by mid-August were Long Bay Club, Myrtlewood Golf Club’s PineHills Course, Tradition Club, Diamondback Golf Club, Aberdeen Country Club, International Club of Myrtle Beach, Panther’s Run Golf Links, Lion’s Paw Golf Links and Sandpiper Bay Golf Club.
In addition, Wedgefield Plantation Country Club in Georgetown reopened last Monday to members and Saturday to the public.
The course had been closed since June 2016, when its owner shut the doors claiming the course was losing money. Harry Karetas, the owner of Terminal Storage in North Myrtle Beach, purchased the course last August and is leasing it to Georgetown native and resident Mitch Thompkins, who is operating it.
Thompkins said he is back ordered on sand for many of the course’s bunkers, but he received enough to fill bunkers on holes 16, 17 and 18 and is playing the remaining sand traps as waste bunkers until they are filled, possibly beginning this week. Greenside bunkers will be filled before fairway bunkers.
He’s converting some fairway bunkers to waste bunkers and other greenside and fairway bunkers to grass bunkers. He expects to have eight to 10 grass bunkers, and nine fairway waste bunkers. There will still be approximately 30 traditional greenside bunkers. The elimination of some traditional bunkers will cut down on course maintenance.
The course is hosting a Shriners tournament next weekend, a VFW tournament later this month and First Tee youth programming beginning next Tuesday.
World Am winner
Greg Williams of North Augusta shot a net 67 (gross 90) Friday to win the Flight Winners’ Playoff and title over a field of 3,184 golfers in the 35th PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Course. Williams edged second-place finishers Rob Durbin of York and Mark Dey of Decatur, Mich., by two shots.
Derrick Oyervides of Greer shot a 74 to cruise to a six-stroke win in the gross division, finishing with a five-round total of 363. Bobby Stiffler of Glen Rock, Pa., was second with a final-round 76. Steve Comings of Odenton, Md., shot a 73 Friday for a 372 total and one-shot win over Steve Humphrey of Lexington, Ky., in the Senior Gross Division. The tournament was played over five days on 56 Strand courses.
UA Tour coming
The Under Armour Tour is coming to the Grand Strand for one of its 12 regional qualifiers Saturday at Rivers Edge Golf Club in Shallotte, N.C. The amateur event features four divisions, and the top 15 players from each division advance to the tour’s 54-hole national championship next June 21-23 at three courses in Ocean City, Md.
An entry fee of $150 includes range balls and a golf shirt, and the four division winners – in handicap flights of 0-5, 6-11, 12-20 and 21-30 – win free national championship packages including three competitive rounds, two dinners for players and guests, and a gift package.
The national tour is in its third year. “We’re trying to get established in the area this year and hopefully the players will enjoy their time and we’ll come back next year at this time,” said tournament director Ray Taranto, who is the publisher of Eastern Shore Golf Magazine and Southwest Florida Golf Magazine.
Players can contact Taranto at 240-832-3237 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit TheTourUA.com.