MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Golfers pouring into Myrtle Beach this spring are being greeted by a host of courses that spent the winter months upgrading in anticipation of their arrival.
Five Grand Strand courses enjoyed winter upgrades while two others have major renovation projects planned for this summer. Here is a look at the work that has been completed in recent months and what is planned:
● Prestwick Country Club replaced the bulkhead that helped maintain the greens on holes 9, 16 and 18. The new bulkhead supports the putting surfaces and provides the trio of holes with more visual appeal. General manager Jay Smith’s team also added a new bunker on No. 16 that runs the entire left side of the green, helping keep some balls out of the water. Prestwick’s clubhouse is one of the area’s best and it has received new floors and patio furniture, part of an ongoing effort.
● Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is a consensus top 100 public course and a $250,000 project to enhance playability and pace of play will leave golfers smiling. Fairways and landing areas were widened via a scrub and non-feature tree removal effort in the interior of the layout. The work will improve turf condition, enhance sightlines and make it easier for golfers to locate their ball, more reasons to play one of America’s most popular courses.
● True Blue, Caledonia’s sister course, is being restored to architect Mike Strantz’ original specifications thru scrub and non-feature tree removal. Thousands of native grasses are being transplanted to accentuate natural areas while opening up sightlines. True Blue is also replacing asphalt cart paths with concrete around selected tee and greens complexes, in addition to expanding the practice area.
● One of the area’s most scenic courses, Rivers Edge is reshaping the green surrounds on the stunning 18th hole, which plays along the Shallotte River. Among the enhancements is a rock feature that includes a set of stairs leading from the 18th green to the clubhouse. The first stage of a comprehensive bunker project has also been completed. Bunkers on holes 1, 6, 7, 9, 14 and 18 have undergone a complete renovation that features new shaping, drainage and sand. The bridges at Rivers Edge were also improved, making for a smoother ride.
● Thistle Golf Club, inspired by its namesake design in Scotland, is installing new, PermaEdge stacked sod bunkers, enhancing the experience at the 27-hole facility. The stacked sod bunkers will provide players an additional taste of what golf in the Olde Country is like.
In addition to the winter work, a pair of courses have already announced plans for substantial summer renovation projects.
● Grande Dunes Resort Course, one of the area’s premier layouts, will close on May 16 for a greens, bunker and clubhouse renovation project. Architect John Harvey, who worked with Roger Rulewich on the original design and construction of the course, will restore the new TifEagle bermudagrass greens to their original size, adding nearly 40,000 square feet of putting surface. Every bunker on the course will be renovated and have a Capillary Concrete bunker-liner installed, significantly enhancing drainage and playability. As part of the clubhouse project, the pro shop will be expanded by 400 feet and an indoor/outdoor bar will be installed. Grande Dunes plans to reopen on September 15.
● River Hills Golf & Country Club plans to close on June 20 for a two-month project that will see new TifEagle bermudagrass greens and Capillary Concrete bunkers installed. At the heart of the effort will be the restoration of the greens to architect Tom Jackson’s original specifications, which will expand the total putting surface on the course by 40 percent.
For more information on Myrtle Beach golf, visit PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com.