An Insiders Guide to Organizing Your Myrtle Beach Golf Trip
By: Jason Himmelsbach (Golf Director Glens Golf Vacations & Myrtle Beach Golf Packagers)
After a long week of work or chasing the kids around the house, you find yourself settling in behind your computer, or browsing the net on your new smart phone. The golden terms “Myrtle Beach Golf Trip” seemingly type themselves into your search engine. You are instantaneously flooded with a seemingly endless array of page after page of options and information. Whether you are a first time trip planner, or a veteran of countless Myrtle Beach golf campaigns, organizing a trip to the Golf Capital of the World, can be a time-consuming and challenging task. It should instead be a fun prelude to a trip full of memories and great stories. Using my years of experience of setting up Myrtle Beach golf packages for a living, I am going to share with you my 3 best tips to making your next golf trip to the Grand Strand your best one yet.
Tip #1: Choose Your Travel Dates
Myrtle Beach features four distinct seasons, each with its own pluses and minuses. Here is my breakdown of each season, along with a tip for each one:
Winter-The winter season runs from Thanksgiving until the first week of March. The good news during this timeframe is that both the golf and lodging prices are at the lowest mark of the calendar year. The bad news is that that the weather is very unpredictable, and it gets dark prior to 5:00 PM, so two rounds in a day is seemingly tough to bag. My advice-The end of February is a great time for a golf trip, if you don’t mind playing with a little fire. The prices are fantastic, and your odds of decent weather are on the plus side of the 50/50 line.
Spring-The spring season is busiest part of the Myrtle Beach golf year, and is the highest demand. This frame runs from the second week of March until the end of May. The good news is that the weather is usually perfect (especially for folks who still have snow on their front lawns), and course conditions are beginning to thrive. The town itself is not inundated with visitors yet, restaurants are eager for business, and lodging rates are still very reasonable. The bad news is that because of the high demand for tee times, the golf rates are at the highest points for the year. My advice-Work in conjunction with a packager to find a “family” of courses. When you book multiple rounds within the same course ownership or management group- you are going to get the best prices as well as the most incentive values (such as free lunches, replays, gift cards).
Summer-Myrtle Beach was founded as a summertime destination, but the beach tended to overshadow the golf courses. That has changed in the last several years, as more and more golfers are now taking advantage of the great summer deals. The good news is that the golf deals are fantastic, even if you only have time for one round. The weather is picture-perfect, though midday can get on the hot side (especially in July and August). The bad news is that because of the high demand, room rates are at their highest marks of the year. Traffic is also at a peak, but with new roads and routes around town, this is no longer a major issue in town. My advice-Early morning tee times are the best in the summer, as they not only “beat the heat,” but also get you back in time to rejoin the family on the beach by lunchtime. Late afternoon is also a great time to play in the summer, because darkness does not fall until around 9:00 PM, and many courses offer Twilight rates, often less than $25. For the lodging, great deals can be found with non-oceanfront lodging, such as condos located on many of the Strand’s courses.
Fall-We finally arrive at the author’s favorite season. Despite the fear factor the Weather Channel desperately tries to instill in everyone regarding the hurricane season, fall is the best balance of all the previously mentioned seasons. The good news is that during these months you would experience the nicest and most consistent weather, the best combination of pricing on both rooms and golf, and getting around town is a breeze, and everything is still open. The bad news is that it begins to get darker and colder towards the middle of October, and there is that chance of tropical storms and “canes” making landfall. My advice-September, September, September. This is the best time all year to make your golf pilgrimage to Myrtle Mecca. The weather is a pleasant mix of summer/spring, you have the maximum number of hours of daylight per day, golf prices are still low (especially during the first two weeks of the month), and room rates have begun to creep down from their summer highs. The best time to make the trip is the first week of September, for two main reasons. The first is that the World Amateur Golf Championship is held during the last week of August, which the majority of courses in town host. All of the maintenance staffs work very hard to have the courses in pristine playing condition, so your trip would come on the heels of the best conditions many courses offer all year. The second benefit of a trip during this date range is having the Labor Day holiday built in, which allows for an extra possible day for the trip.
Tip #2: North vs. South vs. Middle
Myrtle Beach is a collection of small towns that range down the Atlantic Ocean coastline. If you drove the entire length of the greater area of Myrtle, you would be in your car for well over an hour. To save yourself from wasting time driving to courses, and to maximize your time on the links, it is best to pick a locale. Whether it be in the North Myrtle Beach/Brunswick county area to the north, the heart of town in central Myrtle Beach, or in the Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet section towards the South-there are enough courses in each to build several diverse golf package options.
The North end of town and south end of town are both very similar. They do not feature the high-rise oceanfront hotels and resorts, but instead offer onsite golf course condos and townhomes. These areas are perfect for groups who are looking less at the after golf entertainment options, and more for a golf and then relax theme. There are numerous dining options on both ends, specifically the Murrells Inlet waterfront to the south, and the Calabash (NC) area to the north.
The middle of town is geared more towards the guests looking to stay on the ocean, and who are looking to take advantage of the local attractions and nightlife. One advantage of staying in central Myrtle Beach, is that you would have the option not only to play the central courses, you would also be able to travel north or south to play those tracks as well.
Tip #3: How much do I want to spend?
While this seems like an obvious question, anyone in a sales background will tell you not to show your hand until you are called upon, this is the most important information you can share. With the number of course in Myrtle Beach, multiplied by the number of possible golf lineups—-yes, some boundary needs to be set. If you can inform your golf packager what the maximum budget per person is at the beginning of your quotation process, this will speed everything up for you, and enable your package representative to put together the best options that will fall into your price range.
I hope these tips help you in your Myrtle Beach golf planning experience. If you have any questions, contact the source, I will be glad to help out, 888-999-9520.
Posted on September 15, 2014