Golf

These two Myrtle Beach area courses are reopening this week with new greens, improvements

The 16th fairway of The Pearl West runs along the Calabash River. The Pearl West Golf Course is reopening this week after renovations to the course.
The 16th fairway of The Pearl West runs along the Calabash River. The Pearl West Golf Course is reopening this week after renovations to the course. jlee@thesunnews.com

A pair of Grand Strand golf courses are reopening this week with new greens and other improvements following renovation projects.

Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club reopened Monday, while The Pearl’s West Course is scheduled to reopen Thursday.

Both courses have changed their greens from bentgrass to ultradwarf Bermudagrasses, continuing a move toward the elimination of the cool-weather bent from the Myrtle Beach golf market.

Once considered the premier putting surface in the Carolinas, bent is now on only a half-dozen courses on the Grand Strand.

Shaftesbury Glen, a 6,935-yard Clyde Johnston design that opened in 2001, closed on June 10 for the installation of Sunday Bermuda on its greens.

Shaftesbury director of operations Ryan McCarty said the greens have been aerified and verticut three times this summer.

“The greens are full and lush and look fantastic,” McCarty said. “Especially with this heat it was the right move. These greens love the heat, they’re very tolerant to it and they grow like crazy.”

McCarty said the greens will be lightly overseeded this summer with poa trivialis, which was recommended by the superintendent at the sod farm that grew the greens, and 20 green covers were purchased for protection against extreme winter cold for the 18 holes, a practice putting green and a chipping green.

The building that houses the South Carolina Golf Center on the driving range will be converted this winter into a pub that is scheduled to open in the spring, and a smaller teaching facility with a hitting bay will be built to replace it. Josh Jackson is the center’s director of instruction.

The golf center and driving range feature the practice putting green that has been converted to Sunday Bermuda and a new chipping green that has recently been sprigged with Sunday.

In the last two months, a project to add waste bunkers to fairways throughout the course was completed with approximately 250,000 square feet of waste areas on nine holes that should improve drainage. Nine holes were done in early 2016. In addition, some mounds were built to separate holes and some tees were sodded.

Shaftesbury plans to have a customer appreciation reopening event on a day in October that will include food and skills contests with prizes.

MYB_0812pearlgolf02
The Pearl West Golf Course is reopening this week after renovations to the course. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

The Pearl West, a 7,006-yard Dan Maples design that opened in 1987, closed on June 1 to transition to MiniVerde Bermuda on its greens, which is also featured on The Pearl’s East Course.

While the course was closed, a few tee boxes were improved, course drainage was addressed in problematic areas, and numerous trees were removed to increase air flow and sunlight around some green complexes. The tree removal also opened up sight lines on a few holes, increasing views of the Calabash River and marsh.

“The course is immaculate,” The Pearl general manager Bob Gentile said. “The greens are rolling great and I’m kind of excited about opening that line of sight on some of the greens, too.”

Myrtlewood Golf Club’s Palmetto Course remains closed for renovations that include the installation of Sunday Bermuda greens and the rebuilding of bunkers. It may reopen in early September.

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Alan Blondin covers golf, Coastal Carolina athletics and numerous other sports-related topics that warrant coverage. Well-versed in all things Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the Grand Strand, the Northeastern University journalism school valedictorian has been a sports reporter at The Sun News since 1993, earning eight top-10 Associated Press Sports Editors national writing awards and 18 top-three S.C. Press Association writing awards since 2007.
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