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Peter
(@say8pet)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 163
Topic starter  

What Myrtle Beach golf courses REALLY try to differentiate themselves from all the rest, and how? I'm thinking less about pricing/packaging and the fickle conditioning but unique offerings that may stand out.

What would draw your interest? It may be a "constant" condition or a daily/weekly/monthly/seasonal  "gimmick." Off the top of my head, I can only think of the superintendent's revenge days at The Legends and the (Tuesday?) weekly nine hole shotgun at River Oaks. Both are absolute blasts.

My initial thoughts:

walking only for an entire day?

a PGA professional watches your swing-and comments-on a par three?

a Frankenstein routing day? Tee it here and play to that green? Or every hole becomes a par three with temporary tees?

N.B. I wouldn't recommend any alterations that would harm a course's normal play or conditions. Have at it.

P.S. For those who may sigh at my lack of golf management/financial awareness, tell me when or how you've tried it.

 


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uncgolf
(@uncgolf)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 63
 

Most of the MB courses don't have routings that would allow you to play from one tee to a different green. You'd have to either play over the top of condos/houses or go through the woods. I'm sure there are a few exceptions, though.


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ArtMBGolf
(@artmbgolf)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1517
 

Ideas like those are usually done at private courses or a public course 
advertising an event.  It's hard to do unique formats when the golf 
package players are booking many months in advance and don't know 
about the special days.  All packagers would need to know the events. 
 
A walking allowed day is doable, since you don't have to know, other 
than to take advantage of it.  MB doesn't have a lot of walkable courses. 
 
Pine Lakes had big dog and drinks/chowder and outfits in starters. 
Caledonia has Chowder.  I don't think that makes golfers play there.   
BF has discount Wednesdays. 
Some courses have under 17 free with adult.  
  
Interesting design, scenery and consistent condition is what group
leaders are looking for.  
 
I think a "Great Pace Day" would be interesting.  It could be 3, 3.5 
or 4 hours.  When booking, it has to be known that you will be
pushed/harassed to meet that time.    It has to be a single tee.
It could have a special rate.   The problem is that it may chase
away as many golfers as it attracts.    

*** Please Show Your Appreciation For MB Advice/Info In MBGT With Your Course or Trip Report! ***


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BNLongdriver
(@bnlongdriver)
Administrator/Golf Director Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 138
 

LOL, Azalea Sands tried larger holes, shorter course, longer course, incentive for faster play, caddy girls, a late night bar in the club house, they tried the the limiting chemical/water usage - they have tried every PGA incentive program and then some whacky idea's  - nothing worked that is sustainable, they're back to a normal golf course now. 

World Tour was a gimmick, it last 5 years .. replica holes, 10 minute tee times, an Ambassador for every 4 groups to pull pins and fix ball marks and rake traps. They gave a nice money clip or tee gift to every player. Only problem was everyone played it once - that's how gimmicks work.  It took 4 years for everyone to play it and then the slow bleed started, Mel saw it and sold it.  It was a "one and doner" for 90% of the people and is now just a normal course with some cool holes. Gimmicks don't last ... after all a gimmick by definition is a "trick" ..

 

Brian Noblin
Myrtle Beach Golf Talk
Myrtle Beach Golf Packagers
Tidewater Golf Vacations
844-706-7503


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uncgolf
(@uncgolf)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 63
 

I wish every public course used 10 minute tee times. It makes for more enjoyable rounds. Obviously they are more interested in getting as many groups on the course as possible, though, for revenue purposes.

8 minute tee times are one of the reasons so many courses in Myrtle Beach have rounds that turn into miserable slogs where you have to wait constantly. The fact that Tidewater, Rivers Edge, and Caledonia (and some others) use 9 minute times helps make them some of the best courses in the area. It's a minor thing compared to the overall quality of the design and the course conditions, of course, but it certainly helps.


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Undercover Golf Pro
(@undercover-golf-pro)
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Joined: 3 years ago
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The best gimmicks are good course design and great course conditions, especially the greens - time tested and true

Golf is just an excuse to drink whiskey and smoke cigars


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lwildernorva
(@lwildernorva)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 109
 

Ten minute tee times make a lot of sense, but courses think the more they cram in, the better.


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SecondandGoal
(@secondandgoal)
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Posted by: @lwildernorva

Ten minute tee times make a lot of sense, but courses think the more they cram in, the better.

It's funny, but the USGA actually did a study on this, and found you can get the most golfers on the course by using 10 minute tee times, closely followed by 9 minute gaps. Anything less than that caused congestion and increasing pace of play issues ("I'm waiting anyway, so I may as well take my sweet time."), which led to fewer total rounds being played, because they lost a lot of afternoon rounds.

That's not a major problem down here, because afternoon/twilight golf isn't as much of a thing down here as it is in other parts of the country.


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Peter
(@say8pet)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 163
Topic starter  
Posted by: @bnlongdriver

LOL, Azalea Sands tried larger holes, shorter course, longer course, incentive for faster play, caddy girls, a late night bar in the club house, they tried the the limiting chemical/water usage - they have tried every PGA incentive program and then some whacky idea's  - nothing worked that is sustainable, they're back to a normal golf course now. 

World Tour was a gimmick, it last 5 years .. replica holes, 10 minute tee times, an Ambassador for every 4 groups to pull pins and fix ball marks and rake traps. They gave a nice money clip or tee gift to every player. Only problem was everyone played it once - that's how gimmicks work.  It took 4 years for everyone to play it and then the slow bleed started, Mel saw it and sold it.  It was a "one and doner" for 90% of the people and is now just a normal course with some cool holes. Gimmicks don't last ... after all a gimmick by definition is a "trick" ..

 

 

bhlong, can I assume Azalea and World Tour were not part of your package deals? 27 holes at WT may not have been an unsustainable "gimmick," but 18 survive and seems to be doing well. Is it just a "one and doner" now?


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Peter
(@say8pet)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 163
Topic starter  
Posted by: @secondandgoal
Posted by: @lwildernorva

Ten minute tee times make a lot of sense, but courses think the more they cram in, the better.

It's funny, but the USGA actually did a study on this, and found you can get the most golfers on the course by using 10 minute tee times, closely followed by 9 minute gaps. Anything less than that caused congestion and increasing pace of play issues ("I'm waiting anyway, so I may as well take my sweet time."), which led to fewer total rounds being played, because they lost a lot of afternoon rounds.

That's not a major problem down here, because afternoon/twilight golf isn't as much of a thing down here as it is in other parts of the country.

nova, are you thinking of bill yates? supposedly, he advised them. His book (Out of Time) is a tough read but gives golfers the perspective of how we play.


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ArtMBGolf
(@artmbgolf)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1517
 

@say8pet 
 
Brian has always had all of the courses that will book visitors.  
 
There were some very good holes on the closed 9 at World Tour. 
As far as I know, they closed the International 9 with the intent to 
develop that land.  They were also installing new greens on the 
remaining 18 holes, so they had 9 less greens to upgrade. 
 
WT is interesting to return to occasionally or to bring others who
have not played it.   The problem with the idea is that even avid 
golfers are only going to know 1/3 of the holes, even though 
they have heard of all the courses involved.    Most will only 
know the 4 Augusta, TPC Sawgrass #17, 2 St Andrews holes.    

 

This post was modified 3 days ago by ArtMBGolf

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uncgolf
(@uncgolf)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 63
 

I think all of tribute/replica courses struggle to be very good. When you're just copying holes from various locations, there's no flow to the course whatsoever. The holes don't really connect or feel like they belong together -- because they don't!

 


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lwildernorva
(@lwildernorva)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 109
 

I've played a couple of replica courses. They're OK, but there are multiple problems. You can recreate #12 at Augusta, but you can't recreate the exact setup of the trees and flowering bushes behind the green nor its place in the round. The latter is true of all the holes that attempt to copy #17 at the TPC Sawgrass. With other holes, such as those that copy the links courses in Scotland and Ireland, the difference in turf is dramatic. Most courses in America cannot be built with the kind of turf used on the Scottish/Irish links courses--the most dramatic example of this is the Links at Spanish Bay, a course that Tom Watson and Sandy Tatum intended to be a copy of those links courses, down to the turf, but the turf didn't thrive in California conditions so the turf was changed, curtailing most of the bump-and-run approaches to the greens that can be an option for the original links courses--so a copy of anything at the Old Course, Turnberry, Lahinch, etc. will provide the look of the hole, but not the feel or playability, plus, in many instances, the lack of wind comparable to the original course robs the hole of one of its main defenses.

We all vary on some aspects of what makes a good course, but for me, a high single-digit, I still value course conditions first (all aspects, tees, fairways, greens, bunkers--difficult to find consistently at many courses), the physical setting in the sense of views or location in a hilly or waterfront area second, a mix of some memorable shots with some strategic holes that allow multiple options, including gambling for a great score versus a decent but just as difficult alternative for those who might not be able to cut the dogleg or the corner of the lake third, interesting land that rises and falls or presents multiple uneven lies fourth, a cohesive routing with a solid mix of challenging holes and easier holes, flat holes mixed in with rolling holes, and beautiful holes interspersed with more mundane holes fifth, and then all of the other course amenities (driving range, short game, and putting green, nice clubhouse and 19th hole, cart and cart amenities, including GPS, and pleasant staff) sixth.

Some courses obviously fit all six criteria easily, but I'd say that if you can hit three of the six, you've got a really good course, and even with two of the six, a golfer should be happy going around your 18.

This post was modified 4 days ago by lwildernorva

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uncgolf
(@uncgolf)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 63
 

@lwildernorva I've also played a couple and agree with basically everything you said. Even if the conditions are excellent, it's tough for them to have a cohesive routing that feels like an actual golf course and not just a collection of random holes. That doesn't make them bad courses; it's just basically impossible for them to be as good as a course with a good original design and good conditions. They're always going to feel disjointed.

You mentioned the weather conditions at the links courses, but that's also true of places like Augusta. You also can't recreate the swirling winds at the 12th hole at Augusta, or the standard winds at numerous different courses. Even if it was an exact replica with every single slope of the green laser measured to be 100% accurate, it's still not going to be the same hole because of the missing physical surroundings, turf conditions, and weather conditions (as you said). You just can't make it play the same as the original.


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BNLongdriver
(@bnlongdriver)
Administrator/Golf Director Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 138
 
Posted by: @say8pet
Posted by: @bnlongdriver

LOL, Azalea Sands tried larger holes, shorter course, longer course, incentive for faster play, caddy girls, a late night bar in the club house, they tried the the limiting chemical/water usage - they have tried every PGA incentive program and then some whacky idea's  - nothing worked that is sustainable, they're back to a normal golf course now. 

World Tour was a gimmick, it last 5 years .. replica holes, 10 minute tee times, an Ambassador for every 4 groups to pull pins and fix ball marks and rake traps. They gave a nice money clip or tee gift to every player. Only problem was everyone played it once - that's how gimmicks work.  It took 4 years for everyone to play it and then the slow bleed started, Mel saw it and sold it.  It was a "one and doner" for 90% of the people and is now just a normal course with some cool holes. Gimmicks don't last ... after all a gimmick by definition is a "trick" ..

 

 

bhlong, can I assume Azalea and World Tour were not part of your package deals? 27 holes at WT may not have been an unsustainable "gimmick," but 18 survive and seems to be doing well. Is it just a "one and doner" now?

I book all courses here, Azalea Sands is a $25 course that tries to sell itself for like 50-60 bucks, so I offer it but do not actively "sell it". We might have booked 2 groups there is 3 years ... people travel to play golf, they want to play something nicer or better than what they play at home. Azalea Sands is as basic as you can get.... 

World Tour has 3 rates:
$100 gift card rate when booking 3 other FGI Courses
Lowest cost possible 
Inclusive which is $10 add on to include range balls, lunch and a drink.

Yes, now that World Tour got rid of it's GIMMICK, closed 9 holes, operate as a daily fee course and dropped the price by $100 they're doing fine, in the mornings but the PM is rough ... 

 

 

This post was modified 4 days ago 2 times by BNLongdriver

Brian Noblin
Myrtle Beach Golf Talk
Myrtle Beach Golf Packagers
Tidewater Golf Vacations
844-706-7503


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