Just the mention of a Myrtle Beach spring golf vacation brings a smile to the face of practically every golfer in America, especially this time of the year. Getting together with your buddies for a little fun in the sun, some laughs, and strolling down the lush green fairways of some of the top-ranked courses in America has got to be good for your soul.
It's a simple prescription that has made Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand the number one golf vacation destination in America year in and year out. It's easy to get to and the prices are hard to beat. Affordable non-stop flights are available from most major cities, and if you end up driving, so what? It's less than a half-day's drive from most anywhere on the eastern seaboard and the trip gives you time to decompress and recall all those swing thoughts that were working for you at the end of last golf season.
The cost of a place to stay in Myrtle Beach during the spring is a fraction of the peak summer prices, and you can choose from hotels overlooking the ocean or a golf course condo.
If you are charged with planning the Myrtle Beach golf trip for your crew, prepare for a labor of love. Even with 100-plus courses to choose from and places to stay, planning and booking a Myrtle Beach golf getaway is made easy with the information provided by Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday online at www.GolfHoliday.com. You can study the courses and accommodations and then request a free online "Quick Quote" for recommendations and pricing from the area's leading golf packagers, which can help you decide which of the area's 50 Four-Star courses are right for your group. Whether you are looking to play some of the best golf course's America has to offer or want to take a value-oriented trip, the depth and quality of Myrtle Beach's golf offerings are unmatched.
Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, a non-profit marketing cooperative, was founded in 1967 with the goal of promoting the area as a golf destination. At the time of the organization's birth, individual courses didn't have the money to market on a national level, but industry leaders had the vision to realize what they could accomplish by working together to promote Myrtle Beach as a whole.
"What has helped distinguish Golf Holiday and Myrtle Beach as a market is the unselfishness of its membership," says Chris King, Communications Director at Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. "Companies who otherwise compete for rounds and room nights on a daily basis have worked together for 45 years to make selling the virtues of a Myrtle Beach golf trip a priority. MBGH's membership consists of golf courses and package providers. Our membership area, often referred to locally as the Grand Strand, is a 60-mile stretch of Carolina coastline that extends from Georgetown, S.C., into Brunswick County, N.C.
Says King, "Myrtle Beach remains America's most popular destination based on the depth and quality of its golf course offerings. Over the last five years, 12 Myrtle Beach golf courses have been ranked among the nation's top 100 public courses by one the game's most respected rankings panels, a number unmatched by rival destinations. The area's combination of quality and value can appeal to the needs of any group, making Myrtle Beach golf's ultimate destination. "
As mentioned, The Grand Strand extends along nearly 60 miles of Carolina coastline. New roads have made it a lot easier to get from one end to the other, but to maximize your golf time, think about staying close to where you're playing. If you are going to do 36 holes, consider a replay of the course you just played or another course nearby.
Once the last putt drops, the good times are just beginning in Myrtle Beach. The area is home to as many top 100 restaurants and nightclubs as it is golf courses, making the nocturnal hours a blast as well.
There is plenty going on in the spring along the Strand, including the highly anticipated "Monday After the Masters", which occurs this year on Monday, April 15th. It's one of America's biggest Celebrity Pro-Ams, hosted by Hootie and the Blowfish. For details on how you could win a spot in the pro-am, visit online at www.HootieGolf.com.
Spring is a fun time to be in Myrtle Beach, and the reasons are obvious, especially to golfers. If you've not already planned a spring golf getaway, maybe you should. There's still time.
THE WORLD'S LARGEST AMATEUR GOLF EVENT
Imagine trying to sleep on a one-stroke lead, standing over a critical putt on the fourth day, or walking up the 72nd fairway with victory within your grasp. It's part of the allure of the Golf.com World Amateur Handicap Championship, the game's largest amateur tournament, hosted every year in Myrtle Beach the week before Labor Day. Generally speaking, multiday competition is reserved for professionals and elite amateurs, but the World Am is the very notable exception to the rule.
"This year marks the World Amateur's 30th anniversary," said tournament director Jeff Monday, "and it's going to be the best tournament yet. There is no other event in golf that provides combination of competition and camaraderie that makes the World Am so unique."
In years past, the World Am has offered participants a chance to win new cars, a golf course condominium, and a shot at winning big bucks with the stroke of a putt, and the 2013 event is expected to offer comparable opportunities.
The World Am is a 72-hole event, with more than 60 different flights based on age, gender and handicap. At the end of day-four, flight winners and all ties compete in the championship round for the title of World Champion. More than 3,000 participants competed in last year's event, and this year (August 26 to 30) that number should be even bigger, with golfers from all 50 states and over 25 foreign countries descending on Myrtle Beach.
While golf is the primary attraction--the event is played on 60 of Myrtle Beach's best courses--it's only part of what keeps golfers coming back. The heartbeat of the tournament is the World's Largest 19th Hole, a nightly party at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Each evening, players and a guest assemble at the 19th Hole to check the scores and partake of the free food and drink, provided by some of Myrtle Beach's best restaurants. The 19th Hole also offers an extensive golf expo, hitting cages and a star-studded lineup of special guests and entertainers. Among the big names that have appeared on-stage at the 19th Hole are David Feherty, Dave Pelz, Charlie Rymer, Annika Sorenstam and Sports Illustrated Golf Group's heavy hitters, including Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger.
The 2013 World Am's registration fee includes four rounds of golf, entry into the World's Largest 19th Hole for the participant and a guest, along with a tournament gift bag. For more information and online registration, go to www.WorldAmGolf.com.
So what are you waiting for? Shake off the early winter blues and head south to the land of golf and fun...Myrtle Beach.