The alarm didn’t even vibrate. I caught it 3 minutes before 4 am and got out of bed, showered, and put on Boss pants and my new $50 Columbia rain coat from Dick’s. I waited too long to get one I liked and I wasn’t paying $90 for an overpriced Walter Hagen version. I scooped Jeff and Sam L. at around 5 and we headed south. A quick stop at McDonald’s 3 hours in and a Subway pick up at a Love’s station were the only pit stops in an otherwise easy drive down 95 to NC. Our aim was to play 72 holes in 3 days for a fun filled weekend.
Chicora Golf Club – Dunn, NC
Adam tried to get a tee time and they laughed at him. Down south, tee times are secondary and they let us play a 5some. $2 Natty Lights should give a sense of the atmosphere around these parts. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture but the course was in a condition you’ll rarely see. The Bermuda grass greens were painted green, and that was it. The fairways and rough were brown. Even still, the course was in relatively good shape and a bit different than what we are used to. I played decent with an 89 (toot, toot from Adam) and the rest of the group had their ups and downs. The round worked out perfectly with the timing giving us a break on the long drive and leaving 2+ hours in the car after.
We safely got to Myrtle and checked into the Dunes Village Resort featuring 2 indoor water parks. I booked a package through an agency and the hotel was given 4.3 stars on Google with 4,000+ ratings. Little did I know that the water parks drew overweight Southerners with their 8 children. We were the only golf group staying there. It wasn’t necessarily bad, we were only a bit out of place. They also had 2 TV’s per room which was a sound mystery. Even still, the accommodations were smooth and we were centrally located.
After the drive down, we went to get some food at the River City Cafe and this was an excellent selection by Adam. As we downed salted peanuts waiting for the food, I look back at this point of time as one of the high points knowing that the trip was just about to begin. The burgers were kick ass (I swear they were freaking fantastic) and the fries were awesome as we enjoyed local Huger Street IPA’s.
Legends – Myrtle Beach, SC
We woke up at 6am to get to Legends around 7am. Legends has a formula for golf and its main priority is making many golfers as possible happy. Breakfast is a one meal fits all which was smart to move people in and out. The clubhouse is massive, practice facility humongous, and there are people everywhere ready to play. You could honestly spend your life at this facility if you wanted to and I’m sure people do.
We played a course called Heathland first. They took our group picture, charged us $20, and I somehow misplaced it or else I’d post it. We started from the green tee boxes and then the decision was made to switch to the harder whites. It didn’t matter much to me as getting to the hole wasn’t nearly as problematic as putting it in. The greens were holy lightning at times and the undulation made the reading equally difficult. We put together a group match and I wasn’t carrying our team’s weight.
We were a little backed up on the 10th but it was a beautiful day so no one was complaining. The 12th hole was a par 3 where we got swindled out of $100 bucks for the Make a Wish foundation. A native was collecting $20 for a chance to win $10k if you got a hole in 1. They gave the $20 back if you hit the green and $50 for a birdie. Adam, Hafer, and I all hit the green but there were no birdies. Hole 13 was a hard par 5 that got Sam so mystified he punched the steering wheel to use up 4 of my band aids. Who says golf isn’t a contact sport? After a 48 back 9, I shot an even triple digits which wasn’t my finest effort. I believe Adam was low man with a 93 or so.
We had a quick lunch at the club before setting off for 18 at the more challenging Moorland course. Hafer and Jeff traded spots and I had the pleasure of playing with Mr. Straight Arrow Genero himself. I had a par on #1 and figured this was going to be a great 9 now that I’m limbered up. Hole #11 (we started on the back) quickly smashed hope with its volcano green that left me with a triple. These holes were truly a spectacle and shot making was key. Hafer made par on an incredibly difficult par 5 which was blog worthy (pic below). A shot a 51 on the front and a 48 on the back and finished with a 99. Jeff shot 93 which won the 2nd 18.
We caught a 2nd wind and went to Broadway at the Beach for a few drinks and dinner. The area is very modern with plenty to do but wasn’t so happening under Covid times. We went to another bar after and they look at you funny if you wear a mask. “Must not be from around here.” I ordered 4 Bud Lights, a Lager, and a Captain and coke and it was $23 to give some perspective on pricing. It was a long day so we called it a night and had one more round lined up for Saturday.
World Tour Golf Links – Myrtle Beach, SC
A picture perfect Saturday started with the Waffle House. If you like butter and delicious breakfast, go to the Waffle House. It’s incredible. We had a 9:30am tee time and warmed up a bit before hand. The 85 year old, hoping to make it 86, starter gave us the course spiel that he’s probably given for 40 years and we were primed and ready to play.
The 1st hole shared the fairway with 9 replicating St. Andrews (Andrews #18). The excitement began on #2 when Adam plunked one of the house on the left and Hafer hit the green in 2 on a par 5 when the group ahead hadn’t left the green yet. Hole 3 mimicked the island green at TPC Sawgrass and we were told they take out 4,500 balls every 4-6 weeks from the lake. You couldn’t ask for better golf weather. Wads put a ball 1 ft from the pin on a George Crump designed hole from the Pine Valley Golf Club, golf’s #1 rated course. Sam almost had a hole in 1 on a hole designed after a “postage stamp green” from Royal Troon. The course had Amen’s corner which was neat as well. TC managed to edge the Wads out with a par on the 18th from Bay Hill for a 1 stroke W. This was truly fun golf and you can’t spend time any better.
After the round we went to Greg’s Cabana for some BBQ which hit the spot. Greg’s is run by Hafer’s brother and the chicken was tender and ribs tasty. We traveled back and stopped in a Hookah shop for some cigars which was an adventure. After the round was the only free time we had from the trip and hung out at the kiddie pool smoking cigars. The night concluded with us seeing the Carolina Lean outside at Ryptdz which was entertaining. I don’t know if that’s phrased correctly but it’s when your truck is higher up front than the back so when you run over a pedestrian, you don’t see it.
First Time to Myrtle
Driving 9 hours to play golf for a weekend teeters on the time spent traveling vs time spent enjoying the time off dilemma. I’d probably fly next time and ship my golf bag to avoid the driving. This may inhibit some of the adventure of a “road trip”, but I think having the extra time would make the trip more fun because we had little free time. That being said, I’m glad we drove down because it felt different to see real people in different parts of our nation. It’s been too long.
I don’t know if I need to comment on the golf in Myrtle…it’s awesome. Hands down one of the best golfing experiences I’ve had in my life. The courses are notable and they go the extra effort to make them memorable. I know there are so many courses down there you could spend months and barely hit them all. Taking more time in Myrtle to play more golf and experience more of that lifestyle would not be an idea I’m opposed to.
We happened to hit an amazing stretch of weather for February so we may be spoiled. We were told it rained 40 of 45 days or something before hand. We could wear shorts with perfect 70 degree weather during the day for our trip. The people are extremely friendly and hospitality is first class for the area. The southern charm is legit when compared to the assholes from the Northeast. They enjoy country music, hunting, beer, and simple times. These are two different worlds and the people act as such.
To speak to the Covid situation, it’s like living a lie when you see how these people treat Covid. They either all already had it or they don’t give a shit. This isn’t to say people don’t wear masks, it’s only that most people are not scared of the virus which is a complete 180 from where our PA governor has us thinking entirely different. What’s right? Who knows but these people are doing it different than we are and it’s worth noticing.
I had a great time hanging out with the boys and it’s almost sacrilegious that we haven’t felt that this was possible for the past year. I still think the trip was diluted a bit with Covid concerns, but we’re getting there. Until next time.