Just got back from the golf trip of the decade to Myrtle Beach and have trip details and good news to share.

Our group before the June 23rd round on Moorland.

Summary:

We enjoyed 11 fabulous rounds over six days in sunny mid-80 degree weather.  With these temperatures, we played 36 holes every day except for Thursday when our first round was scheduled in the afternoon.  Normally after this trip, my body feels like I’ve been through an NFL game with the rigorous physical demands of playing so much golf, but the conditioning work I’ve been focusing on since January has increased my strength and stamina, and I feel as fresh as I did on Day One.  Let’s play another 11 rounds right now!

The swing speed work and exercises designed to strengthen my back clearly helped my iron game and I was hitting it flush and more consistently with all clubs.  I was particularly pleased with the ability to attack flags inside of 120 yards instead of fighting a push, as I had in years past.

My driving was a mixed bag, as the additional length I was enjoying early in the season was neutralized by a fade that developed early in the trip and was hard to control at times.  A big push reared its ugly head on occasion which is my standard miss with the driver, but rather than fight the push/fade, I just played for it.

My short game was not as sharp as I would have liked, especially with the chips and pitches you need from tight Bermuda lies just off the greens, however my bunker play was solid, and you need to play well from the sand as frequent visits are common on these resort courses.  I never worry too much about putting because of the difference in surfaces from course to course.  I rolled it okay but you can go nuts if you let the changing green speeds affect your approach.  The better iron play made up for my substandard short game and allowed me to score better.

#3 green at Moorland with #6 green in the foreground.

KPIs:

  • Handicap index went DOWN!  Pre-trip was 5.2, post-trip is 4.4 and six of the 11 rounds were handicap rounds.  Very pleased with this.
  • 2012 trip scoring average was 78.81, down from 80.70 in 2011 and 82.50 in 2010.  Again, attributed to better iron play.
  • Set a new personal best of playing 54 straight holes without a swing thought 🙂  Started thinking “target only” after a particularly rough stretch with the driver and this worked great to steady me.

Rounds / Results:

  • June 18, Oyster Bay – 75
  • June 18, Oyster Bay – 78
  • June 19, Grand Dunes Resort – 83
  • June 19, Grand Dunes Resort – 83
  • June 20, Leopards Chase – 76
  • June 20, Tigers Eye – 77
  • June 21, Tidewater – 80
  • June 22, Heathland – 81
  • June 22, Heathland – 72
  • June 23, Moorland – 86
  • June 23, Heathland – 76

Full reviews of Grand Dunes, Leopards Chase, Tigers Eye, and Tidewater are coming.

A couple of quick notes:

  • Playing this many holes, you inevitably hit hot and cold streaks.  One minute you make back-to-back birdies and are on fire, and the next you wonder what you are doing out there and think you need a full swing lesson.  You need to ride out the bad streaks, understand they will happen and not panic.  Fixing your swing on the course is an exercise in futility.  Just ride it out and have fun.
  • If you book rounds at The Legends (Heathland, Moorland, Parkland) it’s best to avoid the weekend.  Our morning round on Saturday at Moorland took 6 hours and we had to quit after 15 to leave time to eat lunch and re-tee for our afternoon round.  We actually finished the last three holes after the afternoon round was complete which was a little odd but allowed us to get the full 36 in.  The double teeing in the morning and our late (9:00 a.m.) tee time was the culprit.  If you need to play the weekend and want a replay, try to get one of the times before 8:00 a.m.  Better yet, play mid-week at this golf factory.  We did speak to the staff about the slow pace of play.  To their credit, they made it right by giving us a free replay for the afternoon.
  • Call each course one week before you travel and inquire about green aeration plans.  I moved us off Heritage and onto Oyster Bay because of aeration at Heritage right before we arrived.

If you have any questions or comments about any of these courses or just want to talk Myrtle Beach golf, send them along, thanks!