Myrtle Beach, SC – Myrtle Beach Golf is many things to many people. Its sheer volume—more than 80 courses affectionately called The Grand Strand with 60 miles of mostly coastal plains and wetlands—has attracted Canadian and Northeast golfers since the late 1950s.
And now packaging heaven has added another notch to its proverbial golf belt — a rebirth of sorts after a decade of contraction and consternation where the brand was headed.
With a younger demographic engaging in golf, Myrtle Beach has stepped up its digital and social media campaign during the COVID-19 years and now into 2022, opening a new PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com digital studio this spring, a state-of-the-art multimedia Is. The facility located within the Barefoot Resort golf footprint helps spread the word.
Among many items, the studio is used to produce the Charlie Rymer Golf Show, which airs on ESPN 2, along with interviews with influential figures within the golf course community, including marketing executives on social media and beyond. You can use.
Rymer moved to Myrtle Beach from Orlando and the Golf Channel three years ago.
“The thing that I really like about Myrtle Beach Golf is that when you start looking at the equation of quality that you get and then the economic side that we look at, I toe that toe in the world. I’ll take that with anything,” said Rymer, who grew up in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and played college golf at Georgia Tech before embarking on the PGA Tour. “I tell people that there are some places that are really great to go to, and I would pick Pebble Beach for a little bit. If you go to Pebble Beach for a week to play golf you better Let’s hope it’s going to a corporate credit card. If you’re going somewhere to play golf for a week and it’s going to your credit card, Myrtle Beach is very attractive. You can’t beat it.”
The Golf Capital of the World – as marketing people like to call the area – once produced a roster of more than 110 golf courses. That impressive number began to decline rapidly in 1999 as developers began plowing course-after-course under real estate dollars.
“From a development standpoint, our ground here collided, bumped, bumped,” says Tracy Conner, president of the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association.
The first development cutting was for Gator Hole in North Myrtle Beach, and now that number is more than three dozen, according to Connor. In fact, one course – Belle Terre – opened and closed within a span of only six years, which was bounded by the new Highway 31.
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“Gator Hole had an incredible driving range and did an incredible business on Kings Highway, but that golf course was sold for retail and some residential,” he says. “What the developers were after. For them the golf course was a piece of undeveloped property. They saw that golf course differently than a retail establishment. If there was a Kmart there for 30 years and someone would come and plow it something And no one would care if it was built, no one even thought about it, but there were ties to those golf courses.
“The 38 courses developed since (1999) have little to do with their bottom line or their P and L, it had everything to do with their location and their zoning. This is why golf courses were developed or not, not whether they made money or lost money. ,
At the same time, Myrtle Beach vacationers were aging, which suddenly created a new golfing demographic that grew substantially – the local sport.
“We were building golf courses in the 1980s and ’90s and we filled them every year—the amount of golfers was insane,” Conner says. “And then in the late 1990s Tiger came in to give us another little shot in the arm and then it really started to back up a little bit in the early 2000s. It was a result of our best customers that year- came down year after year, who attained retirement age in the Northeast, and guess they moved to Myrtle Beach, and that began our transformation. They would land here and join a club or group of clubs, So now they are locals instead of paying the tourist rate and they are paying much less than in previous years. It was not minor; it was a huge influx that happened when there was a housing boom by 2008.”
An average of 44 people now visit the meat of the Grand Strand—Hori County, South Carolina—every day, says Conner, and she believes the golf course contraction has stopped. And in a weird way, golf in the area has been good for business.
“Development is moving more inland and the golf business has become very strong, so if you have a golf course in a great location and it is properly zoned, now is not the time to sell,” says Conner. . “Say your 150-acre golf course was worth $10 million at the time, maybe $12 million today, but if you can wait 10 more years it’ll be worth $25 million.”
“During the golf boom people were building golf courses left and right here, and it was a lot more,” says Kyle Oland, director of digital marketing at Golf Tourism Solutions. Marketing arm for Myrtle Beach Golf. “The courses that needed to be closed have closed, which isn’t necessarily the worst thing, maybe a lower level course that wasn’t played as closed and now you’re taking those rounds and moving them to another We’re seeing more people wanting to play, more people wanting to go to Myrtle Beach, and more people coming from different regions that we’ve never seen before, like the Midwest and the West. Southwest Airlines came to our airport within the past year, which is a big deal for us. More reach is creating more opportunities.”
Another event is happening this summer with Myrtle Beach Golf.
“The great thing about Myrtle Beach is that we’ve got about a day drive from 60 percent of the population in the United States,” Conner said. “When gas prices go up, historically tourism to Myrtle Beach goes up and that doesn’t make sense, but what happens is our friends in the Northeast and Canada who go to Florida can cut the price in half and just go to Myrtle Beach.” Might stop in the middle. We don’t want to jump on your skis, but we’re very hopeful and see all signs of what’s going to be a very good golf season in 2022.”