Clubs along the region’s Grand Strand should be nearly at full strength with approximately 90 courses, including 80 that are open to the public, reopening by September 22nd. But rising rivers still threatened some in the area. In Florence, S.C., The Country Club of South Carolina experienced flooding worse than Hurricane Matthew in 2016, after the release of water from dams into a nearby creek.
The Myrtle Beach golf industry has proved to be resilient in the wake of weather occurrences that have forced courses to temporarily close, and it is again bouncing back quickly from Hurricane Florence, reported The Sun News of Myrtle Beach.
As Florence approached, C&RB reported that it could set back recovery efforts from a winterkill outbreak that plagued the region’s courses this spring and summer, but the Grand Strand was spared from a more direct and devastating hit after the storm made landfall north of Myrtle Beach in the Wilmington, N.C., area.
Several Myrtle Beach-area courses reopened on September 17thas Florence was just exiting the area as a tropical depression, and most will be reopening in the coming days, The Sun News reported.
The Grand Strand should be nearly at full strength with approximately 90 courses, including 80 that are open to the public, reopening by September 22ndand will be nearly unblemished by the onset of the fall golf season, The Sun News reported.
Most courses avoided serious damage from the storm and required only the cleanup of tree limbs and debris, and in some cases the recession of water.
“The positive thing is there is not a lot of significant damage out there,” said Steve Mays, President of Founders Group International, which owns and operates 22 Grand Strand courses. “It’s just waiting on water and cleanup. From that perspective, we dodged a bullet.”
The forecast for a full week beginning September 19thof daily highs in the 80s with sunshine will provide ideal golf weather to help courses that aren’t impacted by river flooding dry out, reported The Sun News.
Two area courses that may have prolonged waits for a full reopening, The Sun News reported, are The Witch in Conway, S.C. and Aberdeen Country Club in Longs, S.C. Both were expected to be impacted by the rise of the Waccamaw River, which is expected to set a new record for its water level and flooding.
Graham Williams, The Witch’s head golf pro, told The Sun News that he hopes to have the course’s back nine opened later this week, but the front nine is susceptible to Waccamaw flooding.
“We’ve been through it three or four times now, we’ve gotten accustomed to it now,” Williams said. “When it rains like this we know the river is coming up. It never affects the front nine as far as the grass, you just can’t get around with a cart.”
In anticipation of heavy flooding at Aberdeen CC, golf carts, maintenance equipment and other belongings have been removed from the golf course, reported The Sun News. Flooding during historic rainfall in 2015 did not reach the clubhouse, but flooding after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 did.
“We’ll hope for the best there and hope it stays out of the clubhouse, but we’re prepared as much as you can be for rising water,” said Mays, whose company owns and operates Aberdeen.
In Florence, S.C., the Lake Robinson and Sonoco dams released water into Black Creek which resulted in flooding at the Country Club of South Carolina, reported The Morning News of Florence.
Steve Prueter, the club’s Director of Golf, said flooding from Black Creek was worse than it was when Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016.
“I don’t think we are to the end,” Prueter told The Morning News.
As of September 18th, the water had not gotten inside homes on the property, said George Haliscak, who lives just at the edge of the flooding, The Morning News reported. At some homes at the lowest parts of the road, the flooding had gotten close.
“Right now, everybody seems to be OK,” Haliscak said. “There are a few people who haven’t gotten out, but everyone seems to be OK.”
Courses in the Myrtle Beach area that reopened September 17th include Whispering Pines Golf Club, River Oaks Golf Club, Man O’War, The Wizard and the Grande Dunes Resort Course.
A plethora of courses reopened September 18th, including True Blue, Myrtlewood Golf Club’s PineHills and Palmetto courses, Pawleys Plantation, Tradition Club, Willbrook Plantation, World Tour Golf Links, Pine Lakes Country Club, River Hills Golf & Country Club, Indigo Creek, Wachesaw East, Beachwood Golf Club, Prestwick Country Club and Arrowhead Country Club, The Sun News reported.
On September 19th, reopenings included Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Glen Dornoch, Possum Trot, The Pearl East and West courses, Crow Creek, Thistle Golf Club, International Club of Myrtle Beach, Arcadian Shores Golf Club, Colonial Charters, Diamondback Golf Club, Litchfield Country Club, Long Bay Club and River Club.
Courses that opened on September 20thincluded Tidewater Plantation and Golf, Rivers Edge Golf Club and Farmstead Golf Links, reported The Sun News.
At the four-course Barefoot Resort, the Dye and Love courses reopened September 18th, the Fazio Course on September 19th, and the Norman Course later in the week.
At the four-course Ocean Ridge Plantation in Sunset Beach, N.C., Tiger’s Eye and Leopard’s Chase reopened September 19th, and Lion’s Paw and Panther’s Run were scheduled to reopen September 20th.
The three-course Sea Trail Plantation in Sunset Beach reopened its Jones Course on September 19thand the Byrd and Maples courses later in the week, The Sun News reported.
Arnold Palmer Golf Management has five courses in the area, including three at Legends Resort. The Heathland Course reopened September 19th, Moorland on September 20thand Parkland on September 21st. Heritage Club and Oyster Bay Golf Links could reopen later in the week.
At the three-course Myrtle Beach National Golf Club, the Southcreek Course reopened September 19th, while the West and King’s North courses will likely need a few more days for water to recede, reported The Sun News. Other FGI courses Indian Wells, Wild Wing Plantation, TPC Myrtle Beach and Founders Club at Pawleys Island are also waiting to dry out.
“Altogether we fared pretty well, and before the rains Sunday and Sunday night we’d probably have a bunch more golf courses open tomorrow,” Mays said.
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