In an era where new golf course construction has slowed considerably, existing courses are increasingly aware of the need to stay fresh and attractive to members and visitors.
This is especially true in the densely populated golf destination of Myrtle Beach. Indeed, the last few years have seen a number of courses along the Grand Strand making their own adjustments in order to provide the best possible experience for the hundreds of thousands of golfers who visit the area each year.
The latest renovation trend kicked off in earnest back in 2009, when architect Craig Schreiner carried out a large-scale renovation at Pine Lakes Country Club, Myrtle Beach’s oldest golf course. There, Schreiner switched the nines and rearranged a couple holes on the current front nine, adding a brand-new carpet of salt water-tolerant Paspalum grass on top. The effort brought Pine Lakes back into the upper echelon of Myrtle Beach golf courses.
More recently, other Grand Strand layouts have nipped and tucked their ways to improved conditions and aesthetics. At The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Rees Jones, son of original course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., returned to make key adjustments to practically every hole at the vaunted championship layout. Chief among these was a re-grassing of the greens to Champion Bermuda.
Other recent renovation efforts in the area have taken place at Rivers Edge Golf Club, Tidewater Golf Club, Sandpiper Bay and TPC Myrtle Beach. At Rivers Edge, Paspalum greens were replaced with an up-and-coming strain of grass called Sunday Bermuda. The Tidewater renovation project introduced new MiniVerde greens to golfers, in addition to widening a few key fairways to provide enhanced playability. The project was overseen by Kris Spence whose firm oversaw renovation and restoration work at Greensboro, N.C.’s Sedgefield Country Club, host venue for the PGA Tour’s annual Wyndham Championship. Sandpiper Bay’s recent project revolved around its bunkers, which all received new drainage systems and brand-new, fried-egg-lie-resistant sand. Finally, TPC Myrtle Beach has made important updates to its bunkers, cart paths and clubhouse, as well as removing encroaching trees in order to facilitate better turf conditions on and around the greens.
The most recent consequential renovation effort on the Myrtle Beach golf scene has just finished up at Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club. Here, the focal point of the more than two-month project was to add sandy waste areas to strategic areas of nine holes, and renovated all greenside bunkers in order to make them more manageable for all golfers who visit them. The waste areas will help the maintenance staff cut down on the amount of maintained turf they must oversee on the property, as well as providing increased visual definition on a number of holes.
Looking ahead, Lockwood Folly Golf Club, one of the Grand Strand’s northernmost courses, is about to embark on its own renovation project this year. The member-owned, semi-private facility’s project will be twofold. First, its current TifDwarf Bermuda greens will be resurfaced with the same Sunday strain of Bermuda that Rivers Edge’s greens now sport. Secondly, a new, 15,000-square foot clubhouse will be built at Lockwood Folly – one that overlooks the river near which the course is situated.
Though new golf course construction has slowed in Myrtle Beach, these are exciting times, with new-feeling golf course experiences galore. And you can play all of the latest renovations during your next Myrtle Beach Golf Trip