October 8, 2015 – Myrtle Beach area golf courses continue to recover this week from record rainfall through this past Monday, and another batch of reopenings Thursday have nearly all of the Grand Strand’s approximate 85 public courses in operation.
A handful of courses are expected to reopen on Friday, leaving all or a portion of just a few courses to reopen in the coming days.
“It was perhaps a one-of-a-kind challenge for the industry,” said Bill Golden, president of marketing cooperative Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. “Props need to go to the industry and people on the golf course maintenance staffs. The amount of work that needed to be done, is being done and will need to be done to get the golf courses ready was amazing and kudos for the work that they did.”
True Blue Golf Club, Indian Wells Golf Club, Litchfield Country Club, Legends Resort’s Parkland Course and the King’s North Course at Myrtle Beach National are all expected to reopen Friday. The final nine holes of the 27-hole Brunswick Plantation may also reopen Friday.
The front nine at The Witch remains closed but is expected to reopen by Monday, and Aberdeen Country Club, which will have to wait on the Waccamaw River to recede, will likely be the last course to reopen.
Thirty-two courses reopened Tuesday, according to Golf Holiday, on the heels of rainfall totals between Thursday and Monday that exceeded 20 inches in many areas of the Strand.
Maintenance crews have been working frantically to restore playing conditions, considering the flooding occurred in the midst of the fall golf season when rounds and rates are near their annual peak.
Golfers may have to endure areas of standing water, bunkers in need of maintenance and carts being limited to cart paths for a few more days on some courses, but many courses are in very good condition.
“I think everybody has the same problem. The ground is so wet it will take a while for bunkers to drain with the water table being so high,” said Philippe Bureau, head pro at Carolina Shores Golf & Country Club, whose course reopened Wednesday. “We’ll pump it out like most of the other courses. Until then players get free relieve according to the golf shop.”
Two consecutive days of sun and temperatures around 80 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday have helped courses dry out, and Friday is forecast to have pleasant weather conditions.
Golf Holiday, other area golf marketing cooperatives, golf management companies, package companies and individual courses have made an effort to spread the word that Myrtle Beach’s courses have reopened.
“We’re fortunate, or more fortunate than other parts of the state as it relates to the damage,” Golden said. “Unfortunately it was a very high traffic and important weekend for the golf industry and we’ve lost a significant amount of rounds as a result.
“Now we have to reach out to golfers who have booked or are looking to book a golf vacation that the golf courses are open and ready for play.”