Myrtle Beach 2016 – Sometimes Less Is More

Our golf travel group visited The Grand Strand for a long anticipated week of overindulgence from May 29 to June 5th and I finally learned the lesson that sometimes less is more.  It has its practical applications in life and sometimes needs to be learned and re-learned on the golf course.

Our trip was a wild ride from the start as we traveled to South Carolina during the height of Tropical Storm Bonnie.  The slow moving system lingered in the area until Wednesday and while no day was a total washout, we got wet during a couple of rounds.

Thunderhead building over The Norman course at Barefoot Resort

Thunderhead building over the Norman course at Barefoot Resort

Despite the rain, I still played 10 times over six days and loved every minute of it even though I ran myself ragged by the end.  For the week, I played:

Monday: Parkland a.m., Parkland p.m.

Tuesday: Oyster Bay a.m.

Wednesday:  Barefoot Norman a.m., Parkland p.m.

Thursday:  Heathland a.m., Mooreland p.m.

Friday: Thistle Club a.m., Thistle Club p.m.

Saturday: True Blue a.m.

Preparation:  I had been working on my short game in an effort to get rid of a 5-year case of the chip yips and boy did the work pay off.  My technique and mental game changes left me in a confident state and in complete control around the greens (post coming shortly on what has been working).  I was able to save countless strokes in a week where I hit a lot of loose shots with my irons.  Oddly enough, I drove it solid and straight but made some bad swings from a lot of ‘A’ positions.  On these difficult venues you are going to make bogeys, but in years past poor ball striking and poor short game would have resulted in several rounds ruined early with the dreaded “other” rearing its ugly head, but I knew early I was in business after making only one double bogey in my first 54 holes.  For the trip I had only three “others” in 180 holes played which thrilled me to no end.

I never went really low (76 at Parkland was my best round), but until the last day, played extremely steady and kept it in the high 70s and low 80s.  Unfortunately, the lesson of less is more had to be learned at True Blue (one of my top 5 favorite courses in the area).  I was starting to feel fatigued the previous day at Thistle (review coming) and by Saturday morning, was very sore and tired.  We warmed up at True Blue and I struggled to make any type of athletic move, even with a short iron.  I hit about 30 balls in an effort to get loose and never made solid contact.  Sensing it would be a rough day, I went through the motions, enjoyed the company of my playing partners, and bunted it around for an 89.

Smiling at True Blue before my final round 89.

Still smiling at True Blue before my final round 89.

It had been a long week of playing a lot of golf in the sun, heat, and rain, and everyone was pretty whipped after our round at True Blue.  We had the common sense to forgo one final replay and headed off to the Dead Dog Saloon at the MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet for some refreshment.

At the world famous Suck Bang Blow biker bar in Murrells Inlet, SC.

Stopped by the world famous Suck Bang Blow biker bar in Murrells Inlet, SC.

Every year, we make the 7.5 hour drive to Myrtle Beach from Maryland but this year we decided to fly.  What a great decision.  The one hour hop from Baltimore on Spirit Airlines was effortless and left us in a refreshed state of mind and body.  The drive down is not bad but returning in all that traffic after a fatiguing week of golf is tough and I think we’ve probably made our last drive down.  In coming years, I’ll need to think about conserving my energy for the end of the trip.  Yes, 10-12 rounds of golf over six days may be too much and was a painful lesson.  😦

So that’s it for Myrtle Beach 2016.  Stay tuned for course reviews from Thistle Golf Club and Barefoot – Norman.  Play well!

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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16 Responses to Myrtle Beach 2016 – Sometimes Less Is More

  1. Brian

    It sounds like an awesome trip. Great to hear that your short game yips are a thing of the past. I look forward to your course reviews and more stories of your trip.

    Cheers
    Jim

    • Brian Penn says:

      Jim thanks. I didn’t yip one chip shot but I think once you’ve had them you’re always in a state of recovery and cannot pronounce yourself cured.

      Probably the best thing that could have happened was that I shot my best round first. Nothing like getting off to a confidence building start.

      Regards,

      Brian

      • Brian

        We discussed before about positive thoughts and the word can’t before. I would suggest you are cured and your chipping, like everyone else will ebb and flow. Regardless, only you can say for sure. Golf, what a journey!

        Cheers
        Jim

  2. Glad you enjoyed your time in my home state. Ice up!!

  3. linleygolf says:

    Brian
    I love golf trips. Haven’t been in the last couple of years but used to do them regularly to California – avoiding cold weather in Canada. As you noted it can be very tiring by the end. 10 rounds is a lot in a short time. Sounds like you played well and scored well. Nice!!!

  4. nice ! Sounds like a fabulous time. Still better playing in the rain than not playing. 10 rounds in 6 days, wow , get some rest !

    I am heading down in less than 3 weeks. Playing Pine Lakes, World Tour, Long Bay and Tradition Club. I have never been there and I am stoked. Thanks for sharing.

    -Brian

  5. Brian,

    Sounds like an awesome trip, and glad to hear all the work on the chipping paid off! Hope you have plenty of ice packs at home after this one – lol

    Cheers
    Josh

    • Brian Penn says:

      Josh, I had the Advil drip going down there and it’s been three days since I’ve played; I think I’m recovered. Where’s my sticks?!?!

      Thanks,

      Brian

  6. Hey Brian. The only reason I’m posting this question here is because it has to do with Myrtle Beach. I’ve been astounded at the number of golf courses which have closed down here in the past few years….only to have housing developments go up in their place.
    Do you have any thoughts on why this might be? Is it indicative of other locations which are home to so many golf courses? Thanks. I’ll take your answer off the air.

    Tracy

  7. Brian Penn says:

    Hi Tracy,
    The closing of golf courses is not unique to Myrtle Beach but is exacerbated there because there were so many high visibility-good quality golf courses. The reasons are two-fold. First is the bursting of the Tiger Woods golf bubble. At his height, Tiger brought many new enthusiastic players into the game and the industry responded by building a glut of courses to meet the demand. Tiger has exited from the national stage and with him went a good chunk of greens fee paying participants. Second, it’s still relatively cheap to borrow money to buy new homes, as interest rates remain low. The housing industry bought the golf course land on the cheap, and was able to construct enough units that people would snap them up. In short, it was a supply and demand issue.

    I appreciate the great question and thanks for stopping by!

    Regards,

    Brian

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