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Archive for the ‘Golf Tips’ Category

GPS vs. Rangefinders: The Full Lowdown on Both

Monday, November 25th, 2013
Myrtle Beach Sunrise

Myrtle Beach Golf Morning

In this day and age, every golfer is looking for an advantage over the course or a fellow golfer.  In the past 7 years, there have been tremendous advances in the game of golf from a technological standpoint.  Not only do clubs allow golfers to hit the ball farther, but the ball is traveling longer distances than ever before.

The main advantage to the golfer is being able to find the accurate distance to the hole.  Have you ever watched a professional tournament on t.v. and seen a player just walk up to the ball and hit it?  Of course not.  When they hit their shot, they know the exact distance, wind direction, and elevation.  Obviously, they have the luxury of a caddy.  Amateur golfers on the other hand need to rely on other ways to improve their game.  This started the competition between GPS and rangefinder companies.

GPS Layout

GPS Layout

Companies such as Golf Logic try to put this information in the average golfer’s hands via GPS.  Apps can easily be downloaded for free or yearly fees on most smartphones and can give the novice golfer an overview of the hole as well as any bunkers, water, hazards, etc. that is between their ball and the hole.  In addition, it gives a somewhat accurate distance to the green.  Many courses today have golf carts equipped with GPS to help speed play as well as promote items in the clubhouse and pro shops.  Courses that have newer advanced GPS systems can keep golfers updated on national sporting events, weather, and even stock market changes.  However, there are disadvantages to the hand-held GPS.  The average golfer may not need all of the fancy gadgets to score 90 on a course.  He may lose focus on his game and think he can make an extremely difficult shot when in reality he should just hit a safe shot, make par or bogey, and move onto the next hole.

Bushnell Tour v3

Bushnell Tour v3

While some prefer the technology of GPS, others tend to favor the simplicity of a rangefinder. Rangefinders vary in price and functionality. Leading manufacturers such as Bushnell and Leupold have models ranging anywhere from $200 to $500.  The main advantage is that these devices can also be used off the course while practicing or for activities such as hunting and target shooting.  Bushnell’s newest rangefinder, the Tour V-3 Slope Edition, comes equipped with JOLT technology which sends micropulses when the exact target is acquired.  This eliminates all doubt a player has when hitting a shot.  Disadvantages of the rangefinder is that it is only accurate for direct line of sight.  If you’re playing a hole that is a dogleg right and the flag is blocked out by trees, then you cannot get an accurate reading.  As is the case with GPS, a rangefinder does not allow you to see any hazards that may be between you and the target.

Regardless of preference, these devices make yardage books obsolete.  Golf courses often undergo renovations or modifications which makes their yardages books inaccurate.  A simple device like GPS or a rangefinder eliminates any inaccuracy.

If I were asked which device I prefer, my answer would most definitely be a rangerfinder due to its convenience and precision.  However, if GPS is available, I will also use that in order to obtain the most accurate information to hit my upcoming shot.

 

Double-Teeing & Making Sure You get the Tee-Times YOU Want

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Golfer Swing - DoubleTee
Did you know that golf courses all over the world set up their tee sheets differently?

Many factors weigh into the process, but here in Myrtle Beach, the majority of the 18-hole courses do what is called “double teeing.”  This is the process where the courses set up their tee sheets to allow golfers to tee off the 1st and 10th tees.  Depending on daylight savings time, courses primarily start their tee sheets between 7:00-7:30 a.m. and allow play until 9:00-9:30 a.m. and then resume play again at 12:00-12:30 p.m. until 2:00-2:30 p.m.  This allows the courses to maximize their play in the morning when golfers usually tend to want to play.

If these courses did not do this, then there could be a 2 to 3-hour gap on the back nine with no play.  This helps the course allow for a higher revenue stream as well as allow more open tee times for replays, but at the same time can hurt the golfer.  The golf course is designed to be played from the 1st tee to the 18th tee.  If you would like to play the course the way the architect designed it, make sure you ask what hole you are starting on when you book your tee time.

Many golfers like playing around 10 a.m., but this does not fit into many of the courses tee sheets.  However, most courses that offer 27 holes such as Brunswick Plantation, Wild Wing, Heather Glen, Arrowhead, Thistle, and Waterway Hills  do whats called “triple -teeing” or  “double-single-double-teeing.” This allows the golfers that enjoy sleeping in a bit the later or mid-morning times.

Courses in Myrtle Beach during the Winter season often do not get much play (credit sabine).  Some of these courses, due to lack of daylight hours, will “single tee.”  This allows the maintenance department to get ahead of the players, while at the same time, have workers on the back nine of the course perform daily maintenance to prevent player interruptions.

Golfers, just make sure you speak with your Golf Director and they will be happy to provide you with the closest tee time as possible to what you originally requested.

Dog Days of Summer: Extra Supplies you Need Out There on the Course

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Hot Summer Golf

The summer months here along the Grand Strand are filled with families and vacationers looking to experience all our area has to offer. Myrtle Beach has beautiful beaches,  amazing restaurants, cool shows and attractions, but most of all an abundance of beautiful golf courses.

Yeah, you’ve heard that all before, we know, BUT, did you know golfing in the summer months can be beneficial to players if they can just stand the heat.  Courses know that spring and fall are the peak seasons for golf groups to visit due to usually perfect weather conditions and cheaper accommodations.  But the summer season offers extremely low rates on golf because of  the heat, PLUS it’s usually the time that many of the courses do their maintenance.

If you can schedule your trip around some of these variables you may be able to play some of our best courses such as the Grand Dunes Resort Course, Caledonia, and TPC of Myrtle Beach for a fraction of the cost during peak season (fall and spring).

For more info on the weather and seasons here in MB, check out our “Best Time to Play Golf blog post.”

BUT, you have to be sure you are prepared for the heat and humidity.

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Here are a few things you may want to take with you in your golf bag for the hot conditions …

Extra towel(s) = perspiration can cause loss of grip or eye irritation, especially if you are wearing sunblock.  Make sure you always have a dry towel to keep this from happening

Extra Gloves = sweat can cause gloves to become worn easily, excessive dampness, and even tearing.  Make sure you keep at least 2 gloves and interchange them often to insure a safe grip on your club.

Golf Hat = a golf cap or a full brimmed hat may also keep your head and neck cooler during these hot days.  Also courses sell the neck wraps that are usually cold or damp that help keep your body temperature down.

Sunscreen = many courses do not have much shading (such as Thistle, Legends-Moorland, and Barefoot Dye Club) and sunscreen will become your best friend especially if you golf without a hat or visor.  Your skin will thank you later.

Water =  hydration is the key for making it though your round in the Summer months.   Sluggishness and dehydration towards the end of your round, as well as preventing headaches, can be avoided by making sure you drink plenty of water while making your way around the courses.

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Also, try to get earlybird tee times, late PM tee times, or 48-hour or last minute tee times, to avoid the hottest part of the day.  You many also want to play courses that are closer to the coast such as Tidewater, Pawley’s Plantation, and the Surf Club so beach winds can help keep you cool.  Those are just a few tips that you may want to take into consideration during our summer months when the heat index can reach 115 degrees mixed with 90% or higher humidity.

 

Enjoy your vacation in Myrtle Beach and enjoy your golf!

 

Booking Golf: The TRUTH about Online vs. With A Golf Director

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Booking MB Golf: Online or on the Phone?

With the world dependent upon online technology and the need for quick and easy computer transactions, it’s easy to get caught up in the fluff surrounding online booking, ESPECIALLY booking golf packages online. But did you know that booking golf is a pretty intense process?  The rate structures, the a.m. and p.m. price differences, the maintenance schedules, course conditions, and much more are all things that need to be addressed by the guy or gal actually BOOKING your golf package.  And rest assured, you can’t PROGRAM that stuff into a computer.

All in all, you really should TALK with somebody on the phone before booking any package. You could miss out on some nice price savings or even worse, you could have a pretty horrible golf trip that COULD have been avoided.

 

 

The DIFFERENCES, Plain & Simple

Online sites may not be the way you would like to go.  Here are a few things you may want to look at before booking.

1.  What are the course conditions like?

Golf courses throughout the year go through changes.  These changes can be due to many variables, such as weather, excessive play, and unforeseen circumstances such as irrigation issues.  When booking tee times online without speaking to a golf director, make sure to call the courses, if a number is available, and hope the course gives you an honest response to your questions. We golf directors get the inside scoop from our golfers. They may not report their bad condition experience directly to the course, but will be HONEST with their golf director.

2.  What maintenance is scheduled before, during, or after my selected dates?

When booking online, most systems will not tell you if courses will be under maintenance or just coming off of maintenance.  Good greens are important to golfers and no golfer wants to play on a course that has just aerified their greens or just put brand new greens in.  Greens, tees, and fairways need time to heal after re-sodding and aerification processes.  Usually 2 to 3 weeks is ample healing time for these processes. (Check out our course maintenance schedule for the MB courses.)

3.  Do I get a discount if I book more than one round with certain particular courses?

After going online and trying to create my own package on…um… other undisclosed websites, I was amazed at the price I was given for certain courses.  I am not going to say what courses I wanted to play, but I chose a 5-round package and selected my courses.   The online site was $97 higher per golfer than if booked through me!  As stated before, all those weird stipulations have to be programmed in and sometimes it’s just not accurate.  If you think about it, we have over 90 courses in the area, all with different rates.  That’s a lot of programming! So the human element disconnect here is VERY important.

4.  Does it matter what time of day I play, and will this affect my pricing?

Time of day most certainly does matter.  If you play certain courses before 8:15 or 8:30, depending on the course, you can get a reduced rate.  If you play courses on a Monday through Wednesday, you can get a reduced rate.  PM rates (rates after 12 noon) are usually cheaper.  Also 48-hour rates (also known as last minute rates) can also save you a ton of money.  The only drawback to the 48-hour rate is that the tee time has to be booked within 48 hours, so on busy courses or in the busy season you may not get the desired tee time you would like.

5.  If I book an accommodations with my golf package do I get a discount?

Here at www.northmyrtlebeachgolf.com, we offer each guest staying with us a discount on their unit if they book their golf with us.  The discount can be a little as 13% off of the base rate or as much as 25% off of the base rate.  It all depends on the unit and the time of year each group is wanting to book.

6.  Do I get a discount if I bring a certain amount of golfers?

Golf courses would like to reward the leaders of groups who bring larger size groups to their courses.  Some courses give free golf if you bring 16 or more golfers, some offer it to the 20th golfer.  Some courses offer free green fees only.  Every little bit helps when you are bringing in large groups.

 

These are just a few things you as a golfer or group leader need to look at when booking your next golf package – whether it’s here in Myrtle Beach or any other golf destination.  If you have any other questions or would like additional  information on the above topics, feel free to call me at 1.800.366.2073  x3052 or email me at golf@condolux.net.

 

Golf Balls & Water Hazards: Time to DIVE! (Interesting Facts)

Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Lost $'s and Lost Shots

You’d be surprised how many balls are at the bottom of a difficult water hazard.


Have you ever wondered what happens to all of the golf balls that you hit into the water hazards on golf courses?  They aren’t left there!  If you buy refurbished balls, you might be buying the ones you sunk into that par 5 a few months ago!

 

How Many Golf Balls We Talkin’ Here?

To start this process, let’s break down how many golf balls could possibly be out there.

Here in the Myrtle Beach area, in 2012, courses along the Grand Strand totaled over 1.7 million paid rounds of golf.

**This figure does not include free rounds,  replay rounds, or tournament rounds**  So it is safe to say that close to 2.5 million rounds were played along the Grand Strand in 2012.  Out of all of those rounds, on average, each golfer tends to lose 6 golf balls per round.  And out of those 6 balls 75% percent end up in water hazards.

This gives us a possibility of 10 million golf balls lost to water hazards per year here in Myrtle Beach.

The first thing that pops into my mind is the number of penalty strokes.  No wonder the average golf score is a 100.  I also wonder how many balls are sunk around The Gambler hole at Kings North.

But the question still remains, where do all the balls go?  Here are a few possibilities…

 

Alright, So What DOES Happen to Them? GatorFood?

Collecting Myrtle's Beaches lost Golf Treasures

If you play late in the afternoon, you can find the occasional homeowner that lives on the golf course “ball hawking” the  pond’s edges to find hidden treasures.

Depending on where the course is located, the muddy marsh areas can swallow golf balls as fast as well.

But the majority of the golf balls get rescued by divers.  Alan Simpson has one of the largest companies here in Myrtle
Beach for this purpose.  He has divers that go out everyday on our wonderful Myrtle Beach courses to scour the ponds.  Once collected, he groups the balls by many different criteria such as brand and condition sumo suit buy.  He then cleans and washes them and either gives some of  them back to the golf course as payment for letting him treasure hunt their ponds, or he resales them to local business that then turn around and re-sell them to the golfer as refurbished balls.

 

A New Found Respect for Divers, then!

But lets get back to the divers for a minute.  These guys to me are kamikazes!  They go into these murky ponds searching for golf balls at the same time swimming with snapping turtles, poisonous snakes, and large alligators. (Yes, they all chill out in the Myrtle Beach area.)   I am not sure if these guys get paid well, but I sure hope they get health insurance.  After speaking with a few of the divers, they tell me that the alligators usually leave them alone or just come up and nudge them while they are swimming.  This is one job I will never have to put on my resume.  I will leave this one for the professionals.

 

Important Tip: Club Up when playing golf in Myrtle Beach

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Playing the Weather on Golf Courses in Myrtle Beach

Many golfers that travel to Myrtle Beach and the Southeast always seem to think that their game transitions to which ever course and environment they are used to playing. That is not always the case when playing golf here at the “Golf Capital of the World”.

There are several elements that golfers must consider when teeing up at one of the 90+ courses: weather, including humidity and wind; green elevation and course terrain.  I try to touch on a few to help you beat your playing partners on your next Myrtle Beach golf trip.

Going the Distance – Wind, Sea Level & Humidity

Most area golf courses are affected by the wind coming off the Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway. Depend on the day, the wind can make each hole seem like you are hitting each shot into the wind. The conditions vary day by day so make sure you take wind into account.  For example: let’s say you normally hit a 7-iron 150 yards. Well, if you are playing into the wind coming at your face at 20 mph, you are only going to be getting 130 yards out of your shot.  What this means is you need to “Club Up”, by using a 5-iron instead.  This will get you that distance you need to make it to that 150 mark.  With the wind in your face, it pushes the ball higher into the air, causing it to not travel as far.

Another note to consider, the Myrtle Beach area golf courses are at sea level.  I don’t want to break out the whole scientific barometric pressure card here, BUT, as a general rule, your ball does not travel as far as when you are at sea level as opposed to the mountains or even inland. To make it worse, humidity also comes into play. General science note here, humid air is thicker so your ball doesn’t go as far.

Raised Greens & Natural Fairways

Keeping that in mind, the majority of green complexes are above the fairways, meaning you are hitting shots up hill onto the greens. Yet another reason to “Club Up”. You will need to actually cover a bit more distance than normally. The greens are raised mainly for two reason: a) Challenge – adds a bit more sport to the game. b) Drainage  (because we are at sea level) – Logically speaking, who wants a soggy green? The water will run off to the side.

Now that you have to worry about the wind, and up hill shots into greens, I want to mention one more swing thought before you hit the shot. Since, most golf course architects design their courses using as much of the natural terrain as possible. With that being said, very rarely are you going to have a flat lie — just something else to keep in mind during your play.

 

In the video below, Hugh Royer III Director of Instruction at the SC Golf Center, explains how to hit an uphill, into the wind shot off a side hill lie, a very common shot for golf in Myrtle Beach:

 

First-Hand look at the Barefoot Norman course from the MBGolfPro

Monday, December 19th, 2011
Barefoot Norman Golf Course Hole 7

Greg Norman likes his waste bunkers! Watch out for this one on hole 7.

The Barefoot Norman Course in North Myrtle Beach underwent a nice renovation this past summer. The greens were switched from Bent grass greens to Champions Ultra Dwarf Bermuda.  With the weather in the high 60`s a week before Christmas (yes, I’m rubbing that in), I had to get out and play to see the work that was done and give it an ole’ MBGolfPro (that’s me) golf course review.

I took the student with me and gave him a rematch in our “Teacher vs Student” golf match. (See the results below.) The Par 72 Norman Course has 5-sets of tees and will challenge any player of any level.  The course measures at just under 5,000 yards from the forward tees and just over 7,000 from the championship tees.

Barefoot Norman – The Front 9

Keeping his own playing philosophy in his design (Greg Norman of course, World Golf Hall of Famer), the “Bump and Run”, he gives  you a chance to make the up and down, on nearly ever hole, even with a green miss. Barefoot Norman course features huge green complexes. The average green size is 6,300 square feet and includes only 60 acres of mow-able grass! Waste bunkers and native grasses line nearly every hole.

Let me explain the “Bump and Run” real quick.  Norman’s  philosophy is to get the ball rolling on the ground without getting it airborne when you are close to the green.  The higher you chip, the likely it is you will lose control or stray “off course,” no pun intended. This of course, is only applicable if you don’t have anything between you and the green.

Barefoot Norman Hole 9

Hole #9

Finishing out the front is the tough par-5, the 9th hole that can make or break your front nine score.  The 9th hole is lined with bunkers down the left side. To make matters a bit more difficult, wetlands extend the entire length of the hole on the right side of the fairway and cross about 50 yards in front of the green.  If you can avoid the bunkers or wetlands, it gives you a perfect opportunity to lay up around the 100 yard marker. This leaves your third shot into a green that slopes severely right to left.  Making par on the 9th-hole will win you the front nine 60% of the time.

Barefoot Norman – The Back 9

As you approach the 10th tee, you get your first glimpse of the IntraCoastal Waterway. The Barefoot Norman course is the only one of the four courses at Barefoot Resort & Golf that has Waterway views. Not only does this hole have Waterway views, but six of the eight holes after it as well. The par 3, 10th hole is guarded with the waste bunkers and the waterway on the right side. There is a bailout to the left of the green (not visable from the tee, this is where the GPS on the carts comes in) that goes back into the Greg Norman “Bump and Run” philosophy if the green is missed.

Hole 10 at Barefoot Norman Golf Course

Hole #10

Overall the course is one of the more underrated courses on the strand. With the new greens, Barefoot Norman will climb up every ranking category and should be on everyone`s playlist.

Oh, and back to the Teacher vs Student….

The teacher closed out the Student 5 and 3 with a two putt birdie on the Par 5, 15th hole.

 

 

FUN FACT:  Greg Norman not only designed this COURSE, but he designed the GRASS for the tees and fairways as well, a hybrid called GN-1, made by Norman’s own turf company.

FUN FACT #2: Not only is this course unique because it’s the only course in Myrtle Beach with the architect’s own grass, but Norman ALSO has his own restaurant here, just across the Waterway from Barefoot Resort. (And hey, we’ve got coupons!)

 

As always, “Fairways and Greens” –@MBGOLFPRO

Top Myrtle Beach Golf Course Rankings – September 2011

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

 

Its that time once again for our Monthly Top Myrtle Beach Golf Course Rankings for the month of September 2011. As in previous months, our top rankings blog has been our highest trafficked web page on our site.  Again, I will say that these rankings for the courses are very close to my own personal rankings. So lets unveil which courses are in the Top 10.

For the second consecutive month, we have a NEW #1. We also have a new comer to the rankings, with one of my personal favorites dropping out of the Top 10 after being voted to the Top 10 for a month.

1. Bald Head Island – The renovations last year at Bald Head Island have paid off. The Re-design was done by Tim Cate.

2. Caledonia – After being #1 for a month, the Mike Stranz design is still a golfers favorite.

3. Dunes Club – Craig`s personal favorite.

4. Barefoot – Dye Club – Arguably the hardest course on the Grand Strand, but golfers still love the challenge.

5. Pawley`s Plantation – Ranked in the top 5 for the second consecutive month.

6. TPC-Myrtle Beach – This is the only course in Myrtle Beach to ever get 5-stars from Golf Digest.

7. Thistle – The Thistle has jumped into the top after not being at all in August. Some of the best greens on the Strand.

8. Tidewater – With some of the best marsh views on the Strand, also know as the “Pebble Beach of the East Coast”.

9. Willbrook – Craig`s South end favorite, also known as a “Locals Favorite” for its beauty and playability.

10. Pearl – East – Reopened with NEW Mini Verde Greens and amazing views of the Calabash River.

There you have it folks the Top Myrtle Beach Golf Course Rankings for September 2011. Please feel free to leave comments on your favorite courses page and vote for your favorite Myrtle Beach golf courses. You can also follow me on twitter @mbgolfpro and leave comments on our Facebook page.

Until next time … Keep it in the short grass. -MBGolfPro

Barefoot Resort and Golf Looking Prime for Fall Golf 2011

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Barefoot Dye Clubhouse

The 2,300 acre Barefoot Resort and Golf is looking in Prime Conditions for Myrtle Beach Fall Golf 2011. Barefoot Resort and Golf consist of four of Myrtle Beach`s best golf courses, a 30-acre practice facility, marina, Docksiders Bar & Grill and is all accessible by a historic swing bridge that was built in the 1930`s.

  After closing and reopening on July 13th, 2011. The Barefoot Fazio course made the conversion from Bent Grass Greens to Champion Ultra Dwarf which is becoming a popular putting surface along the Grand Strand.  Not only did the Fazio course but also the Barefoot Norman course received new Champion Ultra Dwarf greens.

Champion Ultra Dwarf allows faster putting surfaces than normal Bermuda grass greens. Champion is excellent warm weather grass and can be found at over 400 golf clubs in the south east. Ultradwarfs have become more popular than Tifdwarf because they produce moreshoots per unit area than Tifdwarf and thus provide a smoother and quicker putting surface.

With the Barefoot Dye Club ranked #1 in our Top 10 Golf Courses in Myrtle Beach for two consecutive months, the Barefoot Love, and upgraded Barefoot Fazio and Norman courses will be a great option for Fall Myrtle Beach Golf. The 3+1 Barefoot package allows you to play one of the four course for Free in the afternoon

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Best way to hit the ball solid: Just forget about it!

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Hitting the ball solid is a fundamental problem that many of us deal with in the game of golf. I believe the 1990’s group En Vogue said it best with, “free your mind and the rest will follow.” Sounds simple enough right? That’s because at times it really can be just that simple. The quickest and easiest way to take strokes off of your golf game is to free your mind of thinking about striking the ball. When you’re able to approach the ball with a clear state of mind as you do when practicing, chances are you’ll
be pleasantly surprised how well you’ll make contact with the ball

. Wherever you may find yourself playing: Vegas, Scotland, a local golf course or in Myrtle Beach, your mindset needs to remain the same.

How often do you find yourself making a picture-perfect swing during practice, complete with a tiny divot pointing directly at the whole? I bet you even talk to yourself immediately afterwards saying, “Why in the world can’t I do this during a regular round?”. You can! A common mistake made by an overwhelming majority of recreational golfers, is that they put a huge emphasis on the point of contact. Don’t do it! The science of a golf swing shows that actually hitting through the ball produces the most distance and accuracy (credit sabine), while hitting to the ball, or over-emphasizing the point of contact, often leads to large divots and heavy slices.

Clear your mind prior to making your golf swing

The most successful and consistent golf swing is a smooth and level one that sweeps through the location of the ball without doing anything special at the point of contact. How can you do this? By simply forgetting about it! Don’t hover over the ball like it’s a land mine waiting to golf off. Approach the situation just as you do during practice; with a clear mind. It sometimes helps me to close my eyes and slowly count to three prior to making my swing. My breathing is controlled, my muscles are relaxed, and I’ve put myself in the best situation to make an excellent golf swing.

Please feel free to leave comments below on techniques you use to make great contact with the ball.

For more information on our Myrtle Beach Golf Department, check out our hubpages profile.


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