Free golf a holiday Grand Strand tradition

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many businesses are closed Christmas day, but one Grand Strand business keeps its gates open and gives customers free range. Dedicated golfers call it a Christmas tradition fit for the Grand Strand, and many gathered at The Myrtlewood Golf Club for the gift of free golf.

"We've done it in all types of weather," said Dale Miller, who participates every year. "And this is really nice."

This Christmas morning, the Myrtlewood Golf Club opened its gates to a line of waiting cars. But Wednesday's round is a little different. The golf carts are locked up, and the clubhouse isn't even open, except for a little note announcing that golfers can play free.

For Dale Miller and his son, it's an eight year Christmas morning tradition.

"It's less people," explained Miller. "The big difference is I'm carrying my clubs."

A tradition the family doesn't mind.

"There's time for family. My wife now is at home. She's happy because she doesn't have to make breakfast," said Miller.

Others show up and swing for other reasons.

"Just get together," said Joe Swiatek. "So we have something to do and we're not sitting at home feeling bad for ourselves because we're missing our families."

Each has their own way to show off the holiday cheer on the green.

"I wear my 'Ho Ho Ho' hat every Christmas, you know," Miller laughs.

Swiatek pulled out specially decorated red and green Christmas golf balls. "This year I got bored and painted them up."

For the true golfers, it's a Grand Strand way to spend the holiday.

"I love golfing," Said Swiatek. "And it's free today. You can't beat free, you can't beat the beautiful weather we've got."

"I'm not sure our Lord and Savior would appreciate us being out here on the day he was born," Said Miller. "But times change, and we're out here and we really enjoy it and it's a great day."

The Myrtlewood Golf Club usually gets a large Christmas crowd every year. This is considered a way to give back to those who love the game.