When Jimmy Hanlin speaks glowingly of a town for its golf scene, you know you have something good going.
Hanlin is a course owner, golf pro, and co-host of a golf TV show. When it comes to this game we love, Hanlin’s an authoritative voice. And he loves the Grand Strand golf scene — especially after the summer rush.
“Fall weather is really good in Myrtle Beach,” said Hanlin, whom you might have seen in “Blaster’s 18 Holes,” on TV. “There are lots of accommodation options, and people don’t spend as much beach vacation time. They want to be out on the golf course.”
Hanlin travels the nation with co-host and former LPGA player Natalie Gulbis. So, he ought to know a thing or two about destination golf locations.
He owns two renown courses in Ohio, and his show sets off in search of dream locations for the avid golfer. That often brings him to the Grand Strand. “Myrtle Beach’s draw is that it has a little bit for everybody,” he says.
Golf is Big Business
As alluring as the sand, surf, and sun can be for the vacationer, there are big bucks in the golf scene.
The Grand Strand is home to 100 courses, from best-in-class resorts to prime public links. Some of the region’s best restaurants, from fine-dining to down-home cooking, are close by. So too are tons of attractions — and opportunities to kick back and relax between rounds.
“You have some pretty good restaurant options, and as many golf courses as you’re ever going to find,” Hanlin said. “You can rent a house, or stay in a resort, to be in an area with lots of restaurants and nightlife. There are a lot of other things to do.”
Hanlin cites plenty of ways to waste time, or hit at a lighted range, play par-3s, and activities outside of golf, too. “The options are endless,” he said. And things are about to take off in a big way in Myrtle Beach. So much so that Hanlin has started a concierge golf business here.
‘I Believe in Myrtle Beach Golf’
Hanlin went in with two partners to start Tee Time Transportation. It’s a business designed to serve the frequent Myrtle Beach golfer.
“It’s about getting golfers to the course, home, to dinner, and everywhere,” Hanlin said. “It’s like a high-end ride-hailing service. We’re working on putting together a fleet of sprinter vans to get golfers around.
“That’s how much I believe in Myrtle Beach golf.”
The array of picturesque courses that masters of golf designed is tempting enough. A recent upgrade to Myrtle Beach International Airport helps. So too does many more direct flights to the Grand Strand. No matter where golfers live, they’re a short ride from the nation’s best destination golf.
“The ease of getting in and out is a huge draw,” Hanlin said. Especially for groups. Weekend foursomes are common. But teams numbering as high as 100 often converge on Myrtle Beach for a golf getaway.
Travelers need options to optimize their experience, control costs, or both.
“You can play a high-end course, and slide in courses that aren’t as expensive to keep prices down,” Hanlin said. “Play at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Caledonia, and Barefoot Resort & Golf. The experience is always good. But a three-day day golf trip costs $300 to $1200-1300. Conditions will vary, but gives you the ability to have both.”
Golf Is on the Rise
Hanlin’s work — on TV, at his courses, as a pro, as a golf-related business owner — shows no signs of slowing down.
That’s in large part to golf’s increasing popularity. It’s developing both with new players and renewed love of the game for experienced ones.
“The numbers are showing it,” Hanlin said. “I’ve seen it more than that. People are playing whom I never thought would. Young people are coming out to play golf.”
Their interests reach beyond the local courses on which they’ve fostered a love for the game. What better place to expand their scope and interest than in a vacation destination?
“Everyone knows Myrtle Beach,” Hanlin said. “You can go there and play and have fun doing your thing. No rebranding needed.”
Hanlin recently stayed in North Beach Resort & Villas in Myrtle Beach, and had a great time. “They scheduled all our golf for us,” he said. He’s stayed in so many other places, and says the experience can be overwhelming. He appreciates the help MyrtleBeachGolf.com can give to show people what’s possible here.
No Place Like Myrtle Beach
Hanlin suggests you do your homework on golf-package providers.
He’s a big fan of MyrtleBeachGolf.com and the service they provide. “Don’t jump in,” he said. “Dive into Google reviews. Call a few, and feel out the customer experience.”
Hanlin mentions Pinehurst as another destination he loves for golf. But nothing compares to the Grand Strand.
“No other place has everything that Myrtle Beach has,” Hanlin said. “You get lots of flexibility on a getaway to the ocean, plus sneaking golf in. I don’t know that I’ve ever been to a place like Myrtle Beach. That’s why we looked into it for our business. No place is as well-rounded for a golf getaway.”