Golf

Iconic Myrtle Beach golf course to close to outside play for three months this summer

Noah Norton of Georgia Tech tees off from the 12th tee during the final round of the 17th General Hackler Championship at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club on March 11 in Myrtle Beach.
Noah Norton of Georgia Tech tees off from the 12th tee during the final round of the 17th General Hackler Championship at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club on March 11 in Myrtle Beach. For The Sun News

The Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach will close to outside play for 12 weeks this summer for renovations to bunkers and drainage.

The renovation project will be done in two nine-hole phases from June 5 through Sept. 1.

Nine holes will be open for member play each six-week interval as work is done on the other nine holes.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a construction site out there, so we didn’t want to have a guest come in and have to play around heavy equipment,” The Dunes Club head professional Dennis Nicholl said. “The members can appreciate that because they know something is getting improved on their golf course.”

All of the iconic course’s bunkers will be redone with the help of architect Rees Jones through a building process that is designed to hold sand high in the bunker faces and make the bunkers playable after heavy rain.

Jones is the son of The Dunes Club designer Robert Trent Jones and has overseen renovations in the past to the course, which opened in 1948 and has hosted national USGA and PGA of America championships, as well as the Senior Tour Championship from 1994-99.

“The bunkers will save us time from maintenance and they’ll be much better from a playability standpoint,” Nicholl said.

The Dunes Club’s golf shop reopened on March 6 with a new design after being closed from Nov. 15, when the professional staff moved to a trailer in the parking lot. It has a split-room design with resort and member sides, a separate members-only room, a fitting room, redesigned offices and expanded merchandise lines.

“The look and feel is so cool, and we have a few higher-end vendors like Peter Millar and Polo,” Nicholl said.

Two bathrooms on the course that were built more than 40 years ago between holes 2 and 15 and holes 3 and 6 were rebuilt in the theme of the old Chapin fishing cabin that was on the swash and hosted a meeting in the late 1940s to discuss building the golf course.

Drainage work will target low points on the course such as the 10th and 13th holes, as well as areas between holes 3 and 6. “This course is already one of the best draining courses in the area because it’s all sand next to the ocean, but we’ll just make that product a little better,” Nicholl said. “We’re rolling on with the renovations here this summer.”

Alan Blondin: 843-626-0284, @alanblondin

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