Golf

Another batch of Grand Strand golf courses reopen after winterkill damage is repaired

The 12th green at International Club of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet on Aug. 10, more than three weeks after it reopened with new Sunday ultradwarf Bermudagrass.
The 12th green at International Club of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet on Aug. 10, more than three weeks after it reopened with new Sunday ultradwarf Bermudagrass. ablondin@thesunnews.com

Though seemingly incessant rain over three weeks in late July and early August impeded or delayed some work on golf courses, another batch of Grand Strand layouts are reopening with new greens.

More than a dozen courses in the Myrtle Beach market closed this summer to replace or repair greens due to damage from winterkill.

Four reopened by mid-July, two more have since reopened, another two will reopen in the next week or so, and another four are set to reopen by mid-September.

Long Bay Club in Longs reopened last Monday after the repairing of its Champion Bermudagrass greens. The Jack Nicklaus design closed on June 14 and had been open to member play for a few weeks with a few temporary greens.

A few greens were either sodded or sprigged during the recovery process.

Myrtlewood Golf Club’s PineHills Course in Myrtle Beach reopened Saturday with Sunday ultradwarf Bermuda greens. It had been closed since June 22.

In addition to the new grass on the 52-year-old Arthur Hills design, greens were expanded back to their sizes following a renovation in 1993, mowing lines were moved closer to fairway bunkers to bring them more into play, and tees were reshaped.

Course operators will reintroduce tall fescue grass on about 10 acres on the outskirts of some holes in September, and another 10 acres of it will be phased in over the next couple years. The course featured the ornamental grass in its early years.

Diamondback Golf Club in Loris will reopen with new Sunday ultradwarf Bermuda greens for members on Wednesday and the public on Thursday, with a special rate of $27 from Thursday through Saturday.

“The greens are in perfect shape and we’re ready to go,” said Diamondback head pro Patrick Wilkinson. The course closed June 29 and rain delayed some improvements such as drainage work that is expected to be completed within the next couple weeks.

Tradition Club in Pawleys Island will reopen with Sunday Bermuda greens for a member-guest tournament on Friday and is expected to reopen to the public early next week. The course closed June 24 and some bunker work was completed over the past few weeks.

On Saturday, the Highlands nine at Aberdeen Country Club in Longs will reopen after the recovery of its Champion Bermuda greens to give the course its full complement of 27 holes.

By mid-July, International Club of Myrtle Beach, Aberdeen, Panther’s Run Golf Links and Lion’s Paw Golf Links had reopened with new or repaired greens.

In addition, Sandpiper Bay Golf Club in Sunset Beach, N.C., got back to a full 27 holes in late July with the reopening of the Bay nine with new Sunday Bermuda greens.

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.

The Legends Moorland Course closed June 25 and has an anticipated reopening with new Champion greens of Aug. 27.

Indigo Creek Golf Club closed in early June and is expected to reopen with new Sunday greens by Labor Day.

Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links closed June 11 and is expected to reopen in early September with new Champion greens.

Brick Landing Plantation in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., closed on June 28 to replace its Jones Bermuda greens with Sunday Bermuda and has an anticipated reopening of Sept. 12.

Winterkill is a term used to describe grass that is damaged or killed by harsh winter conditions. It affects warm-season grasses, and warm-weather Bermuda is the predominant turf on greens, tees, fairways and roughs in the Carolinas.

It’s believed the widespread winterkill that affected much of the mid-Atlantic and Southeast was caused by an ice storm and several consecutive days of below-freezing weather in early January, and may have been exacerbated by frosts in March following a warm February.

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