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Artmbgolf Oct 2019 Report
MYRTLE BEACH -- TRIP REPORT 10/3 - 10/18, 2019
INTRO: Written in memory of MBGT member Gary Crenshaw, who sadly suddenly
passed away at home in April 2019, while I was in MB. I previously posted a topic about him.
I have done Fall MB trips with Gary for the last 10 years, a few Spring MB trips, numerous
local rounds and continuous MB discussions. Some of you have met and/or played with him
at MBGT outings, so you saw how positive, happy and friendly he was. As his kidneys got worse,
he started to do dialysis and also did dialysis during a few MB trips, until about 5 years ago,
when he got a kidney transplant. He never complained through any of that and was doing well
in recent years. He was a special golf partner, who was missed this trip and will be missed.
Thursday 10/3 -- TIGER'S EYE: (Ratings are 1 - 10, with 10 best)
I played with 3 Big Cat members, who complained about the owner not spending $, not
watering fairwaysto save mowing costs, not having a real super, not doing maint things, etc.
The new in summer 2017 Tifeagle greens were watered, and had good grass quality/coverage,
but were lumpy, kinda slow and full of little dirt worm castings. The greens likely are not rolled
or top dressed. The fairways were not watered in the drought, so mostly brown. Lots of
crabgrass was around. The bunkers were good, which I thought was odd, because when a
course goes down hill, ignoring the bunkers is one of the first signs. I recommend that package
golfers stay away from Big Cats. With rain and if overseeded, could still be acceptable at
Passport/Local rates. It's hard to rate when a good layout is in poor condition.
Maybe a 10/10 course in 2/10 condition is a 5 in this case.
The greens are undulating. From the proper tees, Tiger's Eye can satisfy all handicap levels,
with a good blend of forgiveness and challenge. Fairways are wide, with some elevation changes
and many are tree lined. Distance control iron shots are required, to avoid ending up in 3-putt
territory on the undulating greens. TE often single tees, in case you want a late AM tee time.
TE is fun to play and you can score there. There is no housing. Course: 5 Greens: 5
Friday 10/4 -- PRESTWICK:
I played with 3 from Mass. Conditions everywhere were great.
The greens were great, smooth and quick.
This Pete and PB Dye design has a Country club atmosphere, with a mix of wide and
narrow fairways. The primary challenge is around the small to medium sized greens,
surrounded by pot bunkers, waste areas, mounds, water, etc. It has a links look, but with
trees. The Dyes included some forgiving holes, not all out Dye on every hole. Holes 9 and
18 play around a big lake, heading into the clubhouse. The white tees at 6347 yards and
132 slope is challenging. Course: 9 Greens: 10
Saturday 10/5 -- MYRTLEWOOD PALMETTO:
I played the new in 2019 Sunday Hybrid greens and new bunkers. The greens were excellent
and medium speed. The bunkers have new soft sand and new sod around them, leaving flat
bottoms and grassed in lips. Take a drop if the new sod is an issue. The new bunkers give the
course a more modern look. After being closed for a couple months, the fairways and tees
were also excellent. Wide fairways and greens open in front make this a good warmup course.
Be careful choosing tees, because the white tees are 6516 yards, gold 6009. Holes 17 + 18 are
memorable, but the rest have a lot of sameness to them.
Myrtlewood Palmetto has a traditional design that plays through sparse pine forests, some
housing and along the Intracoastal Waterway on the last 2 holes. MW Palm does not return
to the clubhouse, so it provides single teeing for potentially a faster pace of play and
9:30-12:00 tee times. If playing 36 holes, play this course in the AM, for faster play possibility
and Pine Hills PM offering more tee times with a double tee. Course: 6 Greens: 9
GROUP PHASE: Two guys I have done numerous fall MB trips with arrive for the next 4 days.
Sunday 10/6 -- WILLBROOK:
The Champions greens were very good with good speed. Good conditions everywhere else.
WB has a country club feel, with attractive trees, vegetation and housing. Two of the more
difficult holes are #1 (stay left off the tee) and #10 (stay left). The course is mostly forgiving
off the tee after that. It's best to play wide on the doglegs, since the corners are not as easy
to cut as they look. Look for gators around holes #2, 5 and 6. The shorter holes have more
tricky and/or more protected greens.
Many of the greens are crowned, making them tricky to read/putt. We played a PM round,
so we would be ready for dinner at Hanser House. Course: 9 Greens: 9
Monday 10/7 -- LEGENDS PARKLAND:
Today forum member JW11 joined us. Conditions were very good, greens very good.
Everything is big at Legends. Parkland has wide fairways, huge very undulating greens,
big/deep bunkers and is longer from the middle tees than most MB courses. Be careful
what tees you play. The white tees are a blue tee yardage of 6516. The green/SR tees are
at a white tee like yardage of 6099, with 2 180 yard par 3's. This is part of their pace of
play issues. This is Legend's more traditional style course.
Parkland did a bunker renovation in 2017, with some removed and the rest rebuilt.
Course: 9 Greens: 9
Tuesday 10/8 -- RIVER HILLS:
The course was scalped for overseed, but no seed or soaking yet. The Champions hybrid
greens were fairly good. RH is fairly challenging, has a number of tight holes, small greens
and has water and/or OB on many holes. So watch the tees you pick.
Holes 17 + 18 are very challenging finishing holes, with #18 having possibly the most
elevation change uphill in MB. There is a lot of housing on the course, but most are not
too close to the holes. RH is a good value course, but probably won't wow your group.
Course: 7 Greens: 7
Wednesday 10/9 -- BF LOVE:
BF has new carts with GPS and the Shark experience. Overseed starting late Oct.
The champion greens were excellent with good speed. Great conditions elsewhere.
Most fairways are wide. On many holes, you have alternate options off the tee,
to play safe/wide or to challenge hazards/bunkers. The wide side plays longer but
often provides a better angle to the green. There are fake ruins between holes 4 + 6.
The main ruins hole (#4) is driveable for big hitters, but plays longer than it looks.
Don't expect to bounce it on, because it's uphill and the
fairway slopes towards the bunkers. Course: 10 Greens: 10
COMMENT: Group phase is over.
Thursday 10/10 -- TIDEWATER:
Range balls were provided. Premium touch screen GPS is on the cart.
Can touch a spot to get yardage to it. The tees, fairways and bunkers were all in
good condition. The greens were excellent and fast. This is the best conditions that I
have seen TW. It looks like they have sodded every area that might have been bare,
even along cart paths. The scorecard has a White/Green course at 6031 yards, with
the 9 hardest rated holes being green tees. White is 6323, Green is 5734. The par 3 Hole
#9 is a lot like Augusta #16, but with a marsh instead of a pond. The par 4 dogleg left
hole #18 is very difficult, where even a good drive will leave a 150-200 yard 2nd shot,
depending on if you are left or right, possibly with a pine tree in the way.
Try to drive it as close to the far marsh as possible, rather than just past the deceiving
corner. Course: 10 Greens: 10
Friday 10/11 -- BAREFOOT DYE:
Range balls and GPS on carts were provided. Conditions and greens were excellent.
We played White tees at 6005 yards, which is all most need here.
The par 3 15th hole is one of the most difficult par 3's in MB, both long and protected.
Many bunkers/waste areas add intimidation with tricks to fool your eyes.
The fairways are reasonably wide, left and/or right are waste areas, pot bunkers, water.
On many holes, the waste areas are at angles to the tee, so you have to decide how
much you can carry. Some pot bunkers and mounds are just for show and start right
next to the first tee. The Dye course is primarily for low handicap or avid golfers.
The 18th hole is modeled after the TPC Sawgrass #18, at least as good as a
World Tour replica. If a hole is shorter or easier on BF Dye, the green is smaller.
The slopes on the greens are constantly changing, making them tricky to read, since
our eyes and feet see/feel slopes that may not be on our line. I feel the more I play
here the better I like it. The par 5's are the easiest holes. Course: 10 Greens:10
Saturday 10/12 -- LIONS PAW:
Today I played with JW11 and his neighbor.
Fairways brown and not watered. Some tees bare, some watered and nice on the
last 6 holes. Greens watered, but lumpy/bumpy. Like at TE, probably no other maint,
like rolling or top dress. Greens that were sodded after the 2018 winter freeze, appear
to have multiple types of grass, some looking like a checkers board, with alternating
color and grain. Sodded areas were a different slower speed than areas not sodded.
Like TE, not recommended for Pkg play. Has a mix of tree lined and wide open holes,
with 2 attractive oyster shell lined par 3 holes. Most holes are not real memorable or
unique. The oyster shell and water carry par 3 #3 is the signature hole.
Hole #10 is very challenging, so hope you are not starting on #10.
Has good replay potential with other Big Cat courses. It is fairly long from the 6466
white tees. Course: 5 Greens: 4
Sunday 10/13 -- BF NORMAN:
Same new carts as BF Love. This is a single tee course.
GPS has a mistake on #9, with distance to the green. It is missing the hazard between
fairway and green. Excellent greens and conditions. I played with 2 BF members,
who noticed with me that the putting green was faster than Norman. On this trip, the
faster putting green matched the Fazio speed. Greenside sand is normal sand.
The waste area sand rocky sea shell infested gravel like sand.
Hole #18 is back to being a par 5, like it was originally.
The condo holes are less annoying the more I play it. Course: 9 Greens: 9
Monday 10/14 -- BF FAZIO:
It was looking like a rain out for this day. Weather cleared, so I went out in the PM
and ended up playing alone. After 9 holes caught others, so took my time putting.
The greens were not as plush or green as the other BF courses, but they were faster.
Being a PM round, the greens were also beat up more than the other BF courses.
I saw the GM on the putting green afterwards and got to ask him about that.
He said the Fazio super likes to maintain them with less water and chemicals.
I noticed Fazio greens were faster than the other BF courses, but stressed like
Sunday on the PGA Tour. Conditions elsewhere were very good.
The fairways are wide, but you need to avoid the fairway bunkers, because you can't
advance the ball very far from most them. Avoid the green side bunkers also, since
they are deep. This is a single tee course, so take advantage of that, for quicker early
play to get to a replay or for 9:30-12:00 tee times. The white tees look short, but they are
a good length for most at par of 71. The 3 BF resort courses send carts to the starter
near your tee time, then the starter sends you to the first tee. If you want to putt more
than a minute, be early and walk down to the putting green. BF Resort courses have a
shuttle to the range. If you want to hit balls, consider driving to the range
yourself, before going to the bag drop. Course: 10 Greens: 9
Tuesday 10/15 -- LEOPARDS CHASE:
Today I played with JW11 and UGP. Despite reports, I had rainchecks to use and I
inspected several greens after playing TE, so I knew it was acceptable for us.
JW had not played the better back 9. This Big Cat is about 2 miles away from Tigers Eye.
Range balls were included. They still have a temporary clubhouse.
The bent greens were recovering from summer heat, had some bad spots, a lot of fairway
bermuda invasion spots, some crabgrass spots, but had pins in good spots.
Bermuda spots in the greens will gradually ruin them. Speed was about a 7.
Where the bent was good, it was very good. The fairways were mostly green and
better than TE + LP. Most tees were good, some overseeded.
Bunkers were good. With rain, overseeding and cooler weather for the greens, LC could be
good for snowbirds/locals. I don't recommend it at package rates.
There are 5 par 5's and 5 par 3's, for lots of variety. The 3 par 5's on the back 9 are all
interesting risk/reward holes. The signature par 4 18th hole has a scenic waterfall flowing
out of the green, for an attractive hole. LC starts out easier and not so unique, but gets
more interesting and challenging as soon as you reach #10. The back 9 is a lot more
interesting and memorable than the front 9, so be patient. LC is more challenging than
TE and usually single tees. Course: 7 Greens: 5
Wednesday 10/16 -- INTERNATIONAL CLUB:
Today I played with JW11. This was new for JW11 and it's been 7 years since my last
round here. I am back to see the New in 2018 Sunday hybrid bermuda greens.
The greens were medium speed good, but with a lot of the worm dirt casts that TE had.
After a night of rain, the course was soaked, so CPO. Tees, fairways were good.
It is lined with pine trees, has shallow bunkers and not difficult if you stay out of the trees.
Houses are on about half the holes and wooded wetlands surround some holes.
The clubhouse is nice. The layout is decent, but not very unique/memorable.
Course: 6 Greens: 7
Thursday 10/17 -- THE DUNES:
I played with 2 guys from NY. Range balls were provided. The course was in great
condition everywhere and I was thinking even better than I have ever seen it.
The previous days casual water wetness was completely gone here.
The Champions greens were perfect, also firm and fast. Some other courses had
greens as fast, but not as flawless. With the firm fast greens, there can be some pins
you can't get near. On many holes you are better off being on the up slope short of the
green, than bouncing over the green, with a chip you maybe can't stop.
The bunkers are the best maintained in MB.
The bunkers got the Billy Bunker system in 2018, to help them drain, but they play
the same for golfers. I did notice that the rebuilt fairway bunkers are farther out,
affecting #4 the most. If you can carry those 2 bunkers on #4, you can reach the green
in 2, but like myself and most I have played with, odds are you will be in the water
more than on the green in two.
The white tees are 6175 yards, but a bunch of holes have landing areas into a up slope,
so it plays longer. The greens are elevated, so there are no bounce ups. The wooded
areas are cleaned out, so finding balls in the woods is easy, helping the pace of play
and reducing penalties. On Waterloo par 5 #13, I feel it's better to hit your tee shot
further down the fairway (staying left of red stakes), for a better angle across the water
to advance further up the fairway, rather than taking an iron and trying to play near the
water from the tee. Hole #13 is usually a good gator viewing hole, with some big ones.
One big one was out today. Course: 10+ Greens: 10+
Wednesday 5/1 -- KINGS NORTH:
Greens verticut for overseeding, with some overseed starting to grow on the greens.
Good conditions elsewhere, not overseeded yet. Greens putted OK, but not as true
as normal. There is good room off the tee, you can see most hazards. You need good club
selection on most iron shots, to carry front water or bunkers and to get makeable or
2puttable putts on the undulating greens. There is no housing, a lot of fun unique
signature holes and you can score if you play well. Each 9 starts off with 2 basic holes,
but the rest of each 9 is so good. KN is one of my favorites to play and I play it on
most trips. On The Gambler par 5, shorter hitters can use the island, then play back
to the fairway, to make it a shorter hole. The long way around isn't a whole lot more
forgiving. If it's CPO, skip the island, unless you are going to walk the hole carrying
your clubs. When approaching the green from the island, you need middle of the green
yardage just to carry the water on the right half of the green. When laying up out to the
right, try to get down close to the bunkers, so you can avoid hitting over the water on
your approach shot. Course: 10 Greens: 8
Oyster Bay: Greens on 9, 18 and putting green were excellent. Looked slow, but good turf.
Fairways and tees look very good.
ST Maples: Bent greens on 9 + 18 looked good. They looked like they had been rested and
maintained, not new greens.
COURSE RATING SUMMARY: (Rating scale of 1-10 within MB, with 10 = among best in MB)
10 (Outstanding) > The Dunes - Kings North - BF Dye - Tidewater - BF Love - BF Fazio
9 (Excellent) > Prestwick - Willbrook - Parkland - BF Norman
8 (Very Good) >
7 (Good) > River Hills - Leopards Chase
6 (Above Average) > MW Palmetto - Int Club
5 (Average) > Tigers Eye - Lions Paw
4 (Below Average) >
GREENS RATING SUMMARY: (Quality/smoothness/decent speed, not the actual stimp)
10 (Outstanding) > The Dunes - BF Dye - Prestwick - BF Love - Tidewater
9 (Excellent) > MW Palmetto - Willbrook - Parkland - BF Norman - BF Fazio
8 (Very Good) > Kings North
7 (Good) > River Hills - Int Club
6 (Above Average)>
5 (Average) > Tigers Eye - Leopards Chase
4 (Below Average)> Lions Paw
RESTAURANTS: (In no particular order)
Rapone, China Buffet, Fuddruckers. All were good at they do.
CALIF DREAMING: Same company and menu as Carolina Roadhouse, less crowded.
The salad that comes with dinner is very good.
CAROLINA ROADHOUSE: Returned here also. Always a good meal.
ABUELOS: Coastal Grand mall. Good Mexican.
HOOK and BARREL: Upscale Seafood and Bar. Has some meat also.
Reservations suggested. Everything is said to be fresh and was.
Fish off the boat in Murrell's. Entrees in the $28-30 range, some with 1 or 2 sides, but
pay for an optional salad. Corner of 82nd Parkway and 17 business.
FIRE and SMOKE: Was the favorite of the group dinners. Premium food and price.
Not very big and now popular, so reservation recommended.
SAM SNEADS: Always good if out that way on 501 at Carolina Forest.
HANSER HOUSE: On 17 in Litchfield. This was new for me. Has a lot of good reports
for seafood. I felt it was only decent.
CHEESESTEAK FACTORY: Surfside Beach. Good cheesesteak. Also has subs, salads, etc.
LIL PIGS: For fans of this BBQ, they have ribs on Fri night and on Saturday.
LONGHORN: This is a higher tier than Outback. Very good steaks for about half of the
cost at the A La Carte steak places.
THOUGHTS - OBSERVATIONS - INFORMATION:
- Road repaving in Little River, North MB and Restaurant Row. What is done is nice.
Use Rt 31 when you can.
- I95 has repaving in spots in NC.
- 701 was repaving at 410, so 410 entrance was closed. I followed 701 to 74 on my way home.
- Rt 140 is done between Rt 17 and Rt 40, for those who like that route.
- The road through Carolina Forest has started to be made wider.
Trip Reports are never too long and are a valuable part of MBGT. Besides helping
group leaders plan, they also help to keep MBGT alive. As you benefit from MBGT forum
advice, please show your appreciation to the forum members (mostly Group Leaders),
who are "working for Trip Reports", by reciprocating with your own Trip Report.
Besides sharing info, the primary benefit of Trip Reports is to provide each other with a
continuous flow of course conditions. Writing a Trip Report also brings back more trip
memories than you would have thought. Try it!
The number of Trip Reports has been declining every year since 2009, to
half as many now. Help us stop that decline! Do your Share by Contributing.
Course conditions are the most important info to report on.
Thanks for participating in MBGT with Trip/Course/Restaurant Reports and various
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*** Please Show Your Appreciation For MB Advice/Info In MBGT With Your Course or Trip Report! ***
Art what a very good report on lots of good courses.You always do such a great detail on every course. Which make us group leaders a heads up on what courses that have issues. Hate to hear about the Big Cat courses they were some of the first course I played back in the early 2000's when they were in good shape. Again job well done.
The King of Myrtle Beach Trip Reports!! You are certainly right about group leaders using reports like this one to help choose courses for future trips. Thanks for all the details.
Since we were there at the same time I was anxious to see if we played any of the same courses. Turns out just one - Prestwick. Our opinions were also about the same. The day our group played there the pin placements were exceptionally difficult and the scores reflected it. It is an outstanding but difficult course.
This is a great site and I also hope that more forum members participate and encourage new people to join.
Art, as always a fantastic report, from the courses you played to the places you ate many will use this as their guideline to book their next MB trip. You also had a chance to hook up with other Forum Members which I have found over the years is a very good thing to do. Thanks again for your detailed report.
A great report and a great tribute to Gary Crenshaw.
Gary was indeed a great golf partner and a really good guy.
He is missed by many.
Great golfing 4 rounds with you this year Art.
Guys if you ever come down in October, try to get in a round or 2 with Art. He's a good guy and (obviously ) very knowledgeable about the MB golf scene ...and a pleasure to golf with.
Nice job Art. See you in about 50 weeks.
"King Of The Mid-tiers"
As always Art, your trip report is very interesting and very useful. This one will help a lot of group leaders and many golfers. I will give you a note of 100%... like all the others that preceded😄.
I think that trip reports are essential for this forum. Like Art, i will encourage everyone to post a trip report. If you have not the time to write a detailed trip report, write a short one or a quick update including the conditions of the greens and the fairways, etc. Say us what you have like and dislike during our round. I am sure that everyone will appreciate to receive these information for a future trip. At the end of the day, if we have more trip reports, everyone will win.
Hey Art, you have Myrtlewood Palmetto rated a 6 for the course but you state that "the fairways and tees were excellent". Is your 6 based primarily on the course layout?
I have it scheduled for Feb, I'm not really concerned about the layout, so I just wanted to get your perspective o the course condition only.
Thanks for the detailed report as always!