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Members Club at Grand Dunes opening to public  

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S***H
(@s333h)
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01/29/2020 8:22 am  

The Members Club at Grande Dunes, which has been private since it opened in 2005, is becoming semi-private and opening to public play in a near future. More details in the Sun News of yesterday.

In 2014, the club has eliminate a policy established in early 2011 that allowed outside play from resort guests and select hotel and golf package providers. The idea was to restore the facility to the original intent by returning to its private roots. So it is an another change of direction. 

 

 

Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak


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Undercover Golf Pro
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01/29/2020 9:15 am  

One of the reasons is that the residents turned down a request for access through their development to the Waterway Hills development. Now, the residents will see a large uptick in golfer traffic. 

Golf is just an excuse to drink whiskey and smoke cigars


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coastalguy
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01/29/2020 9:28 am  

It seems as if they don't have the membership base to succeed in the myrtle beach market.I know they are managed by McConnell Golf which is a reputable company, but from my understanding and hearing first hand of the course the resort course is a better layout.


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1putt1
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S***H
(@s333h)
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01/29/2020 4:19 pm  

@mbgt-golf-gourse-reviewer

Thanks for the link. However i think that you should have a subscription to have access to the article.

Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak


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ArtMBGolf
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01/29/2020 8:59 pm  

It seems like MyrtleBeachonline.com allows a few article looks per day, week or 
month, without a subscription, but not too consistant.   If you browser has the 
option to "Open in Incognito Window", that works most of the time. 

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ArtMBGolf
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01/29/2020 9:06 pm  

The Members Club at Grande Dunes has been private since it opened in 2005.

That will change in April, when the club becomes semi-private and begins
accepting outside play through golf package providers.

“We are planning to bring package play to the Members Club and we’ll start seeing that as early as April of this year,” said Margaret LaCalle, Coastal North Division President of LStar Ventures, which owns the club.

The public will get an improved version of the course, as it is undergoing renovations this winter and will experience more this summer.

Public play could begin in late March if a bunker rebuilding project concludes on time, and it is currently on schedule, head pro Brian Vest said.

The Members Club, a 7,029-yard par-71 layout co-designed by Nick Price and Craig Schreiner, will be priced in the mid-high to high range in the market.

The club has begun working with select package providers. 

The public will not be able to call the pro shop for a tee time or book a time on the club’s website. The club is essentially following the model used for decades by The Dunes Golf and Beach Club.

Members are keeping their preferred tee time hours on specific days, though Vest said the course will differentiate itself in the market by starting off a single tee, which will open late morning and mid-to-late afternoon times that aren’t available at courses that send golfers off both the first and 10th tees.

LaCalle said LStar hopes to play approximately 35,000 rounds on the Members Club per year combining member and guest play.

LStar and McConnell Golf, which operates the golf course through a management contract, opted to open the course up to public play after a proposal to connect the Members Club and former Waterway Hills Golf Club property was narrowly voted down in July by Myrtle Beach City Council.

LStar’s goal was to build a private road from a planned development called Waterway Hills Village, which will consist of nearly 900 homes, to the Members Club at Terra Verde Drive. The connection would be blocked by a gate that could be opened by members of the club.

LStar was looking to increase membership at the Members Club by allowing future Waterway Hills residents the opportunity to join.

“To cover the shortfall coming from the residents we’re going to open it up to the public, so hopefully those additional rounds that we secure from the public will help offset the financial loss we’ve experienced year over year,” LaCalle said.

The more members the club gains, the fewer public rounds will likely be played, and vice versa. “If we can get it all from the members then we won’t have that many people coming in from the public,” LaCalle said.

 

Private areas of the clubhouse for members-only will remain, and only members will be able to use the club amenities after golfing hours, including the restaurant.

McConnell Golf of Raleigh, N.C., which operates a collection of 14 private courses – 13 in the Carolinas including The Reserve Club in Pawleys Island – began operating the Members Club in the summer of 2014 when the course was struggling with low membership.

McConnell chief operating officer Christian Anastasiadis said in July that The Members Club was losing money with 415 members in various categories, including approximately 200 golf members. He said only 29 percent of homeowners in Golf Village – the community around the club – were members, 16 percent of them golf members.

Some residents supported connecting the properties and others opposed it, including 300 who signed a petition against it.

McConnell’s management agreement with LStar includes the Grande Dunes Members Club, social Ocean Club, Anchor Café and Grande Dunes Marina. The public will see an improved course. LaCalle said renovations this year will approach $1 million.

“That was one thing we wanted to do to make sure everybody who is golfing at the Members Club will have a great experience and also to attract the higher-end clientele,” LaCalle said.

The layout is undergoing bunker renovations this winter and will close for three months or more this summer to replace its original bentgrass greens with TifEagle Bermudagrass.

0115golfdrone-10
Crews work to add sand into a bunker on the ninth hole at the Members Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach on Jan. 15. Josh Bell JBELL@THESUNNEWS.COM

Schreiner, an area resident, is overseeing the reshaping of the bunkers and plans to spend about 40 hours per week at the course over a couple months. Bunker work is expected to take three months and be completed by mid-March. The back nine has been completed and the front nine is now closed for the work.

The rebuilding of the bunkers includes improving drainage and replacing sand, while also eliminating 11 bunkers entirely and decreasing the course’s total bunkering by about 40 percent.

“When you step up to the tee you’ll notice there’s really not much difference,” said Schreiner, who added a forward tee to all 18 holes three years ago to give women and seniors more options. “What we’ve done is just shrink the bunkers, but the portions of the bunkers close to the strategic angles, it’s still intact in its entirety. We’ve just eliminated more of the aesthetic.”

Vest said the course is expected to close on May 26, a day after Labor Day, and reopen around Labor Day weekend, which is Sept. 4-7.

The greens will be expanded back to their original size, regaining space that will create more pin placement options, and some fairways will be reshaped and/or narrowed with added drainage.

“The sustained heat in July and August with the humidity just becomes so difficult,” Schreiner said of the change from bent to Bermuda greens. “If you look at the greens today they’re beautiful, but it comes at a price and it comes at a lot of labor in the summer months. The fact that they’re opening up play now, they want it to be good all year round so they’ve made a good decision I think to go with a Bermuda.”

Only a handful of Grand Strand courses still feature bentgrass, which was prevalent prior to the 2000s, particularly on high-end layouts. Courses with bent include Man O’War Golf Club, The Wizard, Crow Creek and Sea Trail’s Maples Course.

Vest said the Members Club will likely be more willing to host summer state and regional amateur events and Carolina PGA Section events with the new Bermuda greens.

 

 

 

A view of the clubhouse at the Members Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach on Jan. 15, 2020.  JBELL@THESUNNEWS.COM

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S***H
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01/29/2020 9:23 pm  

@artmbgolf

Thanks Art for publishing this article of the Sun News. I appreciate.

Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak


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Peter
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01/29/2020 9:28 pm  

thanks for posting that art.

anyone else surprised the membership percentages are that low?

i'll definitely check it out, but i've yet to find anyone who prefers it over the resort course.


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ArtMBGolf
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01/29/2020 9:59 pm  

The Grande Dunes Resort course is more challenging and also has the
waterway holes.      The Members course does not have waterway holes, but 
has some holes near Hwy 31 with road noise.  The Clubhouse is premium.  
 
The Members course is a fresh course for groups that have played all the top 
courses, create an opportunity for a 36 hole day and maybe they will allow replay
options with the Resort course.    The Resort course is very busy in peak season, 
so it can be hard to get a replay.  The Members course won't get a lot of package 
play initially, because non-MBGT members won't know it, unless their packager 
recommends it.    

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S***H
(@s333h)
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01/30/2020 7:48 am  

Important aspect in this article:

''Only a handful of Grand Strand courses still feature bentgrass, which was prevalent prior to the 2000s, particularly on high-end layouts. Courses with bent include Man O’War Golf Club, The Wizard, Crow Creek and Sea Trail’s Maples Course.''

I think that it is just a question of time. Bentgrass will disappear in a very near future in all the golf courses in Myrtle Beach. 

Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak


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Undercover Golf Pro
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01/30/2020 9:23 am  
Posted by: @s333h

I think that it is just a question of time. Bentgrass will disappear in a very near future in all the golf courses in Myrtle Beach. 

With the great Bermuda strains there is no reason for bent grass in MB

Golf is just an excuse to drink whiskey and smoke cigars


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jbshepherds
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01/30/2020 9:58 am  

Thanks for the update, It is a course that i will play one day but alot of others ahead of it. 

Let the Big Dawg Bite!!!


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leftygar1
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02/02/2020 12:45 pm  

@mbgt-golf-gourse-reviewer

Great article Bob, thanks for posting.


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