MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Planning a Myrtle Beach golf trip in advance helps guarantee a good time.
Harsh weather has arrived around much of the country, a development that heightens the anticipation of a Grand Strand golf vacation. While golfers try to stay warm, dreams of spring in Myrtle Beach offer the promise of better days. With that in mind, we have five tips that will help make planning your next golf trip a little easier.
Increasingly, people are waiting for the last minute to book travel, figuring a better deal awaits. That's not the preferred tactic with a golf trip. As the economy has gradually improved, so has the demand for tee times. Package providers are offering their best deals early. So if you want the most desired tee times, it's best to book in advance.
Golf directors make their living by knowing everything about the Myrtle Beach golf scene. Course conditions, value, aerification schedules and even where to go after golf. A good golf director -- and the Grand Strand has a lot of them -- is an invaluable resource. Book with a package provider and take advantage of their expertise.
Know what your golf group likes. If your friends like to party, book a later tee time. If you are traveling with serious golfers, book early and get your replay set up in advance. If the group leader understands his or her group, it's much easier to satisfy everyone's expectations.
If your group likes to play on the day of arrival and/or departure, schedule a tee time at a course you will drive past. Route 9 offers several appealing alternatives, such as Black Bear, Long Bay and Crown Park. If you are coming in on Route 17 or 501, the options are endless. There is no reason to drive by 30 courses on the way to your room.
If your group likes to compete, be it a Ryder Cup format or individual stroke play, figure out what you are going to do and determine handicaps in advance. Speaking of handicaps, once everyone has one, use the USGA's Course Handicap Calculator to figure out how many strokes each player will get on different courses (the layout's slope and rating can impact the number of strokes).
January 20, 2012