Art's MB Trip Report 4/21 - 5/6, 2022
MYRTLE BEACH -- TRIP REPORT 4/21-5/6, 2022
TRAVEL: My drive from Delaware is around 9.5-10 hours, with lunch and rest stops.
I use I-95 to Lumberton 74 - 410 - 701 - 9 - 31 or I-95 - 40 - 140 - 17.
The VA Express Lanes are being extended further south again.
LODGING: Ocean Reef
Thursday 4/21 -- MEADOWLANDS:
It had been 10 years since I last played ML. The undulating greens were good,
along with everything else. The course was sold out, but pace was still good at
4:15. It looked like most players were SR locals. Most would be happy to play
ML regularly as a Passport player or budget group, but you are not going to wow
an avid golf group.
The front nine (starting at clubhouse) is the more difficult nine, starting off with
3 challenging holes. The back 9 (across entrance road) is more open and forgiving.
Hole #3: Has a pond about 250 off the white tee, but the pond was made smaller
a few years ago, providing fairway room to the right side of the pond, to drive it further.
Hole #6: The raised fairway was eliminated a few years ago. You can see the green + water now.
Friday 4/22 -- TIGER'S EYE:
MBGT member SH joined me today.
The new in summer 2017 Tifeagle greens were watered, nice speed and plenty decent
for discount card rates. There were only a few bad spots. The worst green was the
putting green. The fairways had a lot of poa with overseed, so lies were OK, but the
color wasn't so good. The bunkers + tees were good enough. It's odd when a course
not doing proper maint, still rakes the bunkers. It appears that Big Cats isn't into
watering the fairways, so conditions may vary with the weather. I think that package
golfers may not be happy with Big Cats, but if you have rainchecks, your best option
is TE. TE could still be acceptable at Passport/Local rates. Compared to my last play
here 3 years ago, the greens are improved. I have a feeling TE has stopped the
degrading, but not enough has been done to feel like it will be improved from where
it currently is to where it once was.
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 here.
There is no housing.
Saturday 4/23 -- KINGS NORTH:
Conditions were good everywhere, one of the best conditioned on this trip.
The greens were very good.
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, 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 laying up out to the right of the green, try to get down close to the bunkers,
so you can avoid hitting over the water on your approach shot.
The Gambler #6 hole can back up the course until past it.
KN might play better starting on #10, so you are more ready for the Gambler.
On the SC par 3 #12, the bulkhead was rebuilt around the green a couple years ago.
They did a great job adding room for some rough and fringe round the green.
Sunday 4/24 -- BRUNSWICK PLANTATION:
It was 15 years since I last played here. I played the Dogwood/Azalea nines.
Good conditions for this price range. The greens were very nice.
Good for budget trips or warmup. It is annoying seeing housing lining all of
the holes, although there is reasonable room between fairway and house/OB.
Monday 4/25 -- THE DUNES:
Range balls are provided. SH joined me today.
The course was in awesome condition, but the greens were sanded heavily.
Seems that if they sand greens, it will be on Monday. The Champions greens still
putted good and fast, but it takes away from the experience.
With the firm fast greens, there can be some pins you can't get near.
The bunkers are very well maintained. The white tees are 6175 yards, but a bunch of
holes have landing areas into a upslope, 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.
Your best odds of getting The Dunes tee times are on Mon-Wed.
GPS and luxury car seats are now on the carts.
Tueday 4/26 -- THE DUNES:
I was using another raincheck and back to back days were the only tee time options
this week. The sand on the greens was less noticeable, but needs another day or
two to be normal. Sanding helps keep the greens smooth.
Wednesday 4/27 -- TIDEWATER:
Range balls were provided. Premium touch screen GPS is on the cart.
The tees, fairways and bunkers were all in good condition. The greens were decent,
but I feel they would be better with some sanding and fertilizer. The greens were
not overseeded and looked like they were starving for fertilizer, water and warm
weather. Putting was OK and won't ruin your round, but not what your group will be
happy with at high package rates. Some bad spots around the edges of some greens
continues to be a problem. They sod the spots, but IMO it isn't a very good sod job.
The greens are so big, that they could give up on those corners being a greens surface
and could expand the fringe. They actually hand mow the large greens.
Three out of 4 times I play there, the pin on the par 3 #3 is in the front about 2'
above the drop off to the lower tier.
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
about a 160-200 yard 2nd shot, 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.
About half of the greens are big with steep slopes. You have to concentrate on speed
a lot. The big greens seem to fool us on the amount of slope we see.
Practice some long up and down putts before playing here.
Thursday 4/28 -- LEGENDS MOORLAND:
I was initially booked with another single. We ended up as 4 singles.
I drove for a 76 year old, who had a handicap flag. He hit drives about 125 yards
from the red tees. I pointed out that he had a Diamana X flex shaft, which is a tour
shaft. He says he likes it because he hits it straight. 🙂 I suggested a SR shaft.
Apparently he was a low Hdc at one time, but has not adjusted with age/injury.
We waited some during a 2:30 front nine. As first off the PM shift, we had the back
nine all clear, but all these guys could do was another 2:30 on the back 9 although
nobody was waiting for us. I eagled #2 par 5 with driver and hybrid to 3'.
Conditions were good. Greens were good, but they have a lot of fairway bermuda
spots in them, that can bump the ball off line. A lot of golfers here don't rake bunkers
and walk up the steep slopes. If you have a competition, you need a footprint rule
here and elsewhere.
This is a PB Dye design, looking like a Pete Dye design with wide fairways,
big greens, waste areas, craters, mounds, a risk/reward 245 yd par 4, railroad ties, etc.
It is fairly forgiving off the tee, but a challenging approach shot course and fun if
you like the Dye style.
Friday 4/29 -- GLEN DORNOCH:
Today MBGT members SH and DenisG joined me representing MBGT.
Yardage book still supplied. The course was in good condition, except that the
roughs are thin to bare, mainly on the tree lined holes, which are many.
The worst roughs are on 10-12. See my story in Denis's report about the guy
calling his packager and Brian responding that he was the packager.
You would think a older course would have better rough by now, but the
densely tree lined holes don't let the bermuda rough grow. They could have
brought over sod from Heather Glen, but it might not grow well in those areas.
Some enter/leave the fairway areas have been roped off to allow the rough to
grow, so they are aware.
The old bermuda greens were finally replaced in the summer of 2018 with
Champions hybrid. The new greens were good, like other hybid greens around MB.
The new greens make Glen Dornoch a good choice now.
The White tees at 6000 yards still play challenging, because it is a tricky course,
with some tight and lay-up holes. It will be more fun for most from the white tees.
The first 3 holes on each side are short, making the total yardage play like it's longer
than listed. It is a linksy, scenic and challenging course. Best to start on #1 and
finish with the scenic/challenging 16-18 on the waterway. Some holes become
significantly harder if playing the blue or black tees.
On hole #18, you have the option to drive over the marsh (easy from white, hard
from blue), leaving a PW left. If you play safe to the right fairway (no bargain),
you will have to hit a 180-210 shot to the narrow protected green, which is a
double green with #9.
SPRING GROUP PHASE: I have been going to MB since 1978. We started this group
with all East coast guys PA/NJ/DE in 1998. One guy invited his brother from CA, who later
invited some CA friends. We grew to as many as 16. Lately we have had 10-12 on the trip.
In 2020 all of us canceled due to CV. In 2021 all canceled but me.
This trip we had 12: 8 from East Coast, 4 from CA.
Saturday 4/30 -- MYRTLEWOOD (PINE HILLS):
Since the new in 2018 Sunday hybrid bermuda greens, the conditions have been improved
everywhere. The greens were still overseeded, but putted great.
Pine Hills is a traditional style that is open off many tees, but position is important.
Its not very long or difficult, making it a good warmup course. Most water is to the side
and sometimes not visible from the tee. This is a Arthur Hills design. The back 9 is more
challenging, with more difficult green complexes, so try to book on #1 if you can.
Sunday 5/1 -- RIVERS EDGE:
The new in Sept 2015 Sunday hybrid bermuda greens were very good quality, but
already have fairway bermuda spots in them.
Sunday hybrid greens are now popular around MB, during recent upgrades.
The Greens had very good turf but are still slow, probably 6-7 stimp. This was a PM
round, so AM could be a little faster. Lots of putts left short. It's frustrating to fight the
greens after working hard on a challenging course to get par/birdie putts, then a good
putt is short multiple times or yanked/pushed when trying to hit it harder.
These greens can also mess up your stroke for a few days or loner. The fairways were
very good and the bunkers were groomed.
New sod and stairway at #18 green is making the finish look nicer.
Some new houses are going up, but I have to think the green speed has cost them
Monday 5/2 -- WORLD TOUR:
Range balls were provided. The mini-verde greens were good and they said 11 stimp.
Conditions elsewhere were good. The International 9 has been closed, but still not
redeveloped yet, with it's 9th hole open as a practice hole. They had no rumors on
if the 3rd 9 will be developed or rebuilt. The 6200 Gold/Back tees are like White tees.
This is not a difficult course, so it can be a premium warm-up, with it's nice practice area.
The best replica hole is Augusta #12, but it's strange that this hole is 20-30 yards longer
than the real Augusta #12. It might be best to play it from 150, whatever tee that is, to
get a real feel for the real length. TPC Sawgrass #17 is good, but the green is smaller
than the real TPC #17. Augusta #11-#13 is played in sequence. There is St Andrews
#1 + #18 side by side, with huge greens I have not noticed being that big on TV.
While you have probably heard of all the included courses, you probably don't know half
of the holes well enough to decide if they are good copies, having seen them on TV
once/twice and maybe not in years. It's fun to play if not too focused on how realistic the
holes are. New this trip was loading the carts at the bag drop and allowing carts to drive
to the parking lot after play.
Tuesday 5/3 -- KINGS NORTH:
Conditions and greens were still excellent from the week before.
Most of the rough here is like a fairway lie during the spring season, when the bermuda
is just starting to grow. Unlike Glen Dornoch, the rough here gets sun with sparse trees.
Wednesday 5/4 -- GRANDE DUNES:
Range balls provided, GPS on carts. We read the article about getting new greens this
summer. Currently the greens are putting very good. They have some thin spots and
fairway bermuda spots, so the upgrade is a good idea and needed, but there is no
reason to stay away right now. The current greens are still big. They have orange paint
spots showing the upgraded size of the greens. My guess is the orange dots are where
the fringe will expand to. The expansion varies, with little in some areas and a lot in some
The greens have many pin position choices and the wide fairways allow playing
position or just letting it rip. When you play the proper tees here, there are 5-6 holes
where you can carry it to the fairway downslope, to get bonus yards. The waterway holes
are 8,9,10,14,15. This is a tour style course with waterway views.
Thursday 5/5 -- TPC:
Range balls were included. Conditions were good everywhere.
The greens were smooth and fast.
There are 3 forced carries from the tee, that will help confirm if you are playing the
proper tees. IMO the carry on #15 is a bad design, since playing safe to the right puts
you behind trees. TPC is challenging, but still fair, unless maybe you are a beginner.
Much of the challenge is the green complexes, where most of the greens require
accurate approach shots and spin. It is a difficult course to scramble around the greens.
Hole #9 is a brutal long uphill par 4, designed like a par 5.
Houses are now left of the lake on #18 and almost down to the tee.
TPC Myrtle Beach has a good logo that says Myrtle Beach, if you want MB apparel,
so others don't have to ask where is that course.
White tee players should consider making up combo tees, playing the gold on 3,4,9,11,15.
Before Founders bought TPC, the previous owner had the Blue on the White tee box, and
white on SR tee box, etc. It is no longer short from the white tees, if you haven't played
there lately. You can't score at TPC if hitting long clubs to the greens.
Friday 5/6 -- ARROWHEAD:
MBGT member Polekat joined us today. Range balls are provided. We played Lakes/Waterway.
Conditions were excellent. The MiniVerde greens were excellent, smooth,
no overseed. AH isn't long from the white tees, but it is fairly
tight, not always a driver from the tee. I like the Cypress/Waterway nines the best.
I feel the Lakes plays the easiest, if you can stay out of the lakes.
GREENS RATING SUMMARY: (Quality/smoothness/decent speed, not the stimp)
10 (Outstanding) > TPC
9 (Excellent) > Kings North - The Dunes(10 without sand) - World Tour
8 (Very Good) > Meadowlands - Brunswick - ML Pine Hills - Arrowhead
7 (Good) > Tidewater - Moorland - Glen Dornoch - Grande Dunes
6 (Above Average)> Tigers Eye - Rivers Edge
5 (Average) >
4 (Below Average)>
RESTAURANTS: (In no particular order)
Boundary House, Lil Pigs, Jersey Mikes, River City, Clarkes, Outback. All were good.
J PETERS: This is a newer chain with 3 locations. I ate at the Cherry Grove location on 17.
It has a menu like Carolina Roadhouse and they copied the salad. Nothing fancy inside.
DAGWOODS: I was at the new location, on 17 just north of Barefoot, across from Oscars.
The style inside is like a sports bar, not an actual deli. They have all kinds of sandwiches,
regular size and jumbo. Their steak/subs rolls are great, made there.
Their check says they will add 4% if paying with a CC. This charge seems to be spreading.
GIOS ITALIAN: The new location is in the old Applebees on 79th ave N.
Their original location in Pawleys has been open for a number of years.
I ate in both. The 79th ave location is nicer more upscale looking. You would never
know what it was before. The menus are the same.
They have a lot of wines also. The Servers are excellent. Most Entrees $18-35.
If you like meatballs, the meatball app is very good.
FLAMINGO GRILL: Is fairly big with an interesting look inside.
It suits all tastes with steak, prime rib, seafood, pasta. Try the lobster bites.
FIRE + SMOKE: This a small upscale restaurant located in strip mall on 79th Ave N.
Reservations are recommended. Food is excellent and kinda expensive.
Oddly bread wasn't served. When a guy asked we were told $2 a loaf. We thought it was
odd and bush for a upscale place. Even Outback still serves bread.
Here the are adding 3% for CC.
THOUGHTS - OBSERVATIONS - INFORMATION:
- Rt 31 has been open down to 707. It may save a little time, but it's only part of the
trip down to Pawleys. It's great for TPC. It is more relaxing than driving down 17.
- The old Dollhouse at Waterway Hills is a big restaurant center now.
New buildings replace TDH building, which was torn down.
SOHO Prime Steak, Sushi, Oyster Bar, Seafood. I guess they want to do it all.
- For the group, I booked the Founders Group Black Friday Package, which provided
rates like recent years for these courses. Covid, Inflation and Dynamic Pricing have
skyrocketed MB premium course Spring rates $40-100, depending on course, time of
day, day of week, etc.
- It will be interesting to see how this pricing plays out moving forward. Dynamic pricing
had already bumped $125 courses to $170-200 by Dec and they weren't very busy yet.
My group plays premium courses and they voted against paying $250 for Caledonia and
$300+ for The Dunes. Lodging rates are also up. I think coming out of CV, that golfers
would pay anything in 2022, but the question is will that continue?
- We have guys wanting to play 4-6 days, so I have organized the trip where they can pick
their number of nights and rounds, to control energy or cost, with the 4 main courses in
the middle 4 days. I will have to ask what is the most they want to spend on 1 round and
max total for the middle 4 rounds. You may find that your guys will notice the cost more
if the total goes over $1000 for room + golf.
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Great report as always Art - your reports are the benchmark for MB trip reports.
Sounds like your view of the Rivers Edge greens matched ours - they weren’t fun to put on and were frustrating because you just felt they needed to drop the mower blades when cutting them.
Congrats on the eagle on Moorland #2 - it’s a design that puts doubt in your mind from the tee box as you’re not really sure where the fairway is let alone the landing area and then it’s a pretty narrow channel of fairway from there all the way to the green.
As always Art, a great trip report, enjoyed reading all your thoughts. Nice you played a few games with Forum Members, Denis, S**H and Polecat.
ARTesque… as always @ArtMBGolf!
Thank you so much for being so generous with your reports!
And it was a privilege to share a round of golf with you at Glen Dornoch 10 days ago!
Quebec City, Canada
Great report. Thanks Art.
I was waiting for your trip report Art because i knew that it would be an another great trip report. Glad you made an excellent golf trip. As always, i enjoyed to play golf with you. It was fun to play with DenisG also for the first time. Excuse me for the quality of my english during our rounds of golf. I regret to not be perfectly bilingual like DenisG. It would have been easier for you to understand me during our conversations on the course and for me to better understand you. Sorry about that.
''It's just golf, let's have fun''
Great report Art, as usual the gold standard.
The Dunes sands their greens almost weekly (or every other week) in the growing season on Mondays. So it's best to play there Wed to Sun.
I tried going I-40 to North Myrtle but Waze app insists that 95 - 74 - 410 - 701 - 9 is the way to go. After trying both ways I think Waze is correct that it saves about 10 minutes vs I-40.
You played a lot of great courses. Hope to get in a round with you in your Fall trip.
Great report. I felt like part of your group by your detailed description of courses. 🍻
Good to see the 3 forum members joined you.
Great info and report Art.
Thanks for reporting and I'll see you in October.
You'll see me at the Ladies tees.
"King Of The Mid-tiers"
Art thanks for the Wicked good Trip report, you are the godfather of reports. I am glad you enjoyed yourself and has a great time. Thanks for playing 2 of the courses i am playing this year and was nice to hear about them before coming down in summer.
Let the Big Dawg Bite!!!
Nice report Art