HORRY COUNTRY, S.C. (WMBF) - Summer is coming to an end and that’s a good sign for golfers in Myrtle Beach. With the fall golf season underway and local golf courses escaping significant damage from Hurricane Dorian, they’re looking forward to this upcoming season.
“Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the people of the Bahamas who were forced to endure the storm at its peak,” said Bill Golden, president of Golf Tourism Solutions, the agency responsible for marketing Myrtle Beach as a golf destination. “We were extremely fortunate to have avoided the worst of Hurricane Dorian. Myrtle Beach golf courses were able to escape with no long-term damage, and players can expect to find our courses in typically outstanding condition.”
Fall golf season typically runs from mid-September through mid-November, attracting players from across the nation to Myrtle Beach to take advantage of the 90 courses along the Grand Strand.
Chris Cooper, general manager at Tidewater Golf Club, says early numbers are on track for at least the same as last year. Weather permitting, Tidewater is projecting approximately 3,300 rounds this month and about 4,200 rounds in October. In fact, many golf courses say they’re noticing the off-season pick up every year.
Over the years, a few courses have closed and more developers are proposing to build homes on golf courses to keep up with the growing population on the Grand Strand. But Tony Anderson, a local avid golfer, says he doesn’t think the golf industry will go anywhere anytime soon, adding he just hopes to see more interest among the younger generation.
“We’re losing a lot of courses and thank God we’re not losing a lot of the good, but I think the industry as a whole is staying sort of flat. But the younger generation is not taking it up the way people like my age, and even the next generation behind me have adopted the game. Millennials, they don’t want anything to do with it,” said Anderson.
Tidewater says their noticing the younger generation out on the course more during the off-season. Cooper says Tidewater’s numbers have steadily increased over recent years and says their great deals is what keeps visitors coming back. Despite a few golf courses closing down over the years, he says at Tidewater they’re noticing business gradually increase each year during the off-season.
“So you have watched some close over the years, we’ve watched golf dip during the recession just like all businesses did. Unfortunately, some golf courses did not make it through there, but now business is better. We’ve watched it increase for the last three or four years, we watched our package players come back and it’s been really good for here and for the area," said Cooper.
Cooper says they’re noticing more players are waiting to book their tee times later on in the season. With a strong spring season in the books, they’re projecting another healthy fall season ahead.