Golf

Myrtle Beach area's top golf properties join forces for premier package

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club has been named a top 50 course in the U.S. by Golf Advisor.
Caledonia Golf & Fish Club has been named a top 50 course in the U.S. by Golf Advisor. The Sun News file photo

Myrtle Beach has long been marketed to traveling golfers as a budget destination, and rightfully so with golf packages that often include lodging, golf and some meals at a reasonable price.

For what’s believed to be the first time, many of the market’s premier properties have joined forces to create a golf package that highlights the best the market has to offer that is priced accordingly.

Eight golf courses that have all been ranked by either Golf Magazine or Golf Digest among the 100 best public-access courses, and the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes, which has been named a Four Diamond property for eight consecutive years by AAA, are all part of a new five-night, seven-round “Honors Package.”

The golf courses are Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, True Blue Golf Club, The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Tidewater Golf Club, Grande Dunes Resort Course and the Dye, Fazio and Love courses at Barefoot Resort.

Golfers will have a choice of two of the three Barefoot courses in their seven-round package, which has a starting price of $1,195 and also includes breakfast each morning at the Marina Inn, daily lunch at the course, and a pair of dinners at the Marina Inn’s Waterscapes restaurant.

Car service is available to be added to the package.

You can play seven top-100 courses in one golf trip. How many other golf destinations can do that? That’s what makes this a great high-end destination.

Chris King of Kingfish Communications

Bob Seganti, director of golf operations at True Blue and Caledonia, was a catalyst in the creation of the package, and Kingfish Communications owner Chris King collaborated on it.

“It was born out of the idea that everyone knows what wonderful value Myrtle Beach has, and this was a package put together to give more attention to the quality of courses we have here,” King said. “You can play seven top-100 courses in one golf trip. How many other golf destinations can do that? That’s what makes this a great high-end destination.”

The package is available to be booked now by calling 843-913-2856 or visiting http://marinainnatgrandedunes.com/golf_packages.html.

Bradley venturing out

Golf instructor Nick Bradley of Sunset Beach, N.C., has been expanding his brand and business outside the realm of golf while working with some notable students.

Bradley, 45, has completed his third book titled “See, Feel, Do,” which is a personal development book for individuals, teams and companies after Bradley’s first two books – “The 7 Laws of the Golf Swing” and “Kinetic Golf” – were innovative golf instruction books.

He has also become a contributing writer to the Charlotte Business Journal and is often booked for speaking engagements.

“I’ve been keeping busy,” Bradley said.

Since September, the London native has been traveling twice a month to Duke University to work with the Maguire twins of Ireland. Leona is Golfweek magazine’s top-ranked women’s amateur in the world and Lisa was once a highly-rated junior who Bradley is helping regain her form.

He also continues to work with 2014 European Ryder Cup Team captain Paul McGinley, who is playing on the European Tour and will be eligible to play on the Champions Tour next year. Bradley met with McGinley last month in Florida.

Bradley is working out of the South Carolina Golf Center at Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club in Conway, which now has 30 players in a comprehensive junior program.

Spangler passes

Robert Spangler, who spent more than 25 years in the Myrtle Beach golf industry, died of a heart attack at the age of 47 while at a friend’s house in Murrells Inlet on Jan. 23.

His long career in the Myrtle Beach golf industry began as a cart attendant before Spangler became an assistant pro at Quail Creek Golf Club in 1988. He was an assistant at Pawleys Plantation in 1989, and assistant then head pro at Indigo Creek from 1990-93. Head pro jobs followed at Indian Wells/Indigo Creek from 1993-94, Island Green in 1995, Tradition Club from 1995-2004, Bald Head Island Club in 2004, Oak Island Golf Club from 2004 until August 2010, and Island Green Country Club from Oct. 2010 until its temporary closing in August 2012.

Spangler nearly died in an auto accident while driving home from a charity golf event the day after the closing, and he struggled with health issues following the accident.

He had recently been working with a friend at the Turtle Market Convenience Store.

Spangler had two teenage children. His family requested donations in memoriam be made to The First Tee of Brunswick County, which Spangler worked with as the head pro in Oak Island.

On the First Tee

The First Tee of the Grand Strand’s spring After School and Saturday programs will be starting March 18 and the organization is accepting registrants.

Programming at eight sites will be 90 minutes one day a week for eight weeks for youth ages 7-14 at a cost of $40. Fitted clubs will be provided for participants without their own clubs.

The private Wachesaw Plantation and the Hackler Course at Coastal Carolina are new sites this year.

Experienced First Tee coach Vin Petreccia will lead instruction at Wachesaw with support from club members, and CCU’s PGA Golf Management Program students will give instruction at the Hackler. First Tee program director Patrick O’Brien, a CCU grad, helped organize the Hackler programming. Students have run a night golf event and a scramble event to benefit The First Tee.

Programming will be at Eagle Nest Golf Club from 2-3:30 p.m. Saturdays, Willbrook Plantation from 4-5:30 p.m. Mondays, Wachesaw from 4-5:30 Tuesdays, Cane Patch Par 3 and Driving Range from 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club from 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Legends Golf Resort from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursdays, Crown Park Golf Club from 4:30-6 p.m. Fridays, and the Hackler Course from 4-5:30 p.m. Fridays.

Parents and participants can register at www.thefirstteethegrandstrand.org.

More than 800 fourth-graders will be bused to either Tradition Club, Wedgefield Country Club or Cherry Hill Golf Club in Andrews as part of The First Tee’s Georgetown County School Day Program, which features 90 minutes of instruction in golf and nine core values.

The School Day Program is capped by the Scott Marlowe Champions Challenge on May 19 at Wedgefield. Each county school will send a team of 22 fourth graders for a nine hole skills challenge.

Golf Channel personalities and South Carolina natives Kelly Tilghman and Charlie Rymer have committed to again participate in the Todd Welden Future Generations Invitational fundraiser for The First Tee at Caledonia on July 19, and other details of the tournament are being finalized.

Champions of champions

The South Carolina Golf Association’s Tournament of Champions at Tradition Club in Pawleys Island was postponed in January because of bad storms throughout the state, and despite frigid temperatures in the 30s this past weekend, the qualifiers weren’t about to let it be postponed again.

So more than 80 S.C .club champions and net and gross winners of SCGA one-day tournaments in 2015 played through the cold Saturday and Sunday to determine the champions of the champions.

SCGA executive director Happ Lathrop served hot soup on the seventh hole, and recalled the first TOC 20 years ago when the Tradition Club fountain was frozen.

The forecast for the first round that year was a high in the 30s with a chance of rain, so Lathrop suggested they make it a one-day tournament on the following day, which was predicted to be warmer.

“I said, ‘We’ll play Sunday and make it a one-day tournament,’ and people said, ‘We came to the beach to play golf. We didn’t drive all this way to not play golf,’ ” Lathrop recalled.

The winner of the Men’s Club Division on Sunday was Wade Ramsey of York with a 3-over 147. Mike Gravley of Greer won the Senior Club Division by three strokes with a 1-over 145, with Michael Hirsch of Pawleys Island tying for third at 151 and Andy Congdon of Garden City finishing fifth at 152.

Justin Butler of Greer shot a final-round 71 for a 146 to take the One Day Gross Division, Mike Minyard of Simpsonville won the One Day Senior Division with a 160, Makalyn Poole of Williamston won the Women’s Division with a 155, and Les Bradstreet of Columbia won the One Day Net Division in his 19th TOC with a net 141.

More than 100 players were registered to play in January, and Lathrop said some of the women’s club champions were lost to the Dustin Johnson World Junior Championship at TPC Myrtle Beach.

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