Golf Digest's How To Myrtle Beach
Golf Digest , May 2010
How To Myrtle Beach
Photos by James Rexroad
Golf Digest , May 2010
Is there any place more devoted to a golfer's fantasies than Myrtle Beach? In this the May issue, we give you everything you need to plan the greatest, most memorable buddies golf trip ever.
A BUDDIES TRIP HAVEN
On a late-winter day about 15 years ago, my friend Ray, who had been studying the Weather Channel since Christmas, called to invite me on a spur-of-the-moment golf trip to Myrtle Beach. If I had been moping inside my house instead of standing on a ladder, knocking ice off a gutter, I would have told him to forget it, out of fear that my wife would murder me for even asking. But my wife was the one who answered the phone, and--you figure the odds--she said, "Why not?"
We left for the airport at 4 in the morning, and when we got close to Newark, N.J., I sensed that something wasn't right. As they say in the movies, it was quiet--too quiet. Thick fog covered the city, and, suddenly, I understood the problem: No planes were taking off or landing. Ray and I parked in the short-term lot, then took seats at the gate with a hundred or so other restless middle-aged men. The airline postponed our departure time by 30 minutes, then by 30 more, then by 30 more. At 9 or so, a couple of guys decided, what the heck, to have a beer. Many more guys, and many more beers, followed. Morning became afternoon. Tee times came and went. Gradually, the waiting area got very loud; then, less gradually, it got pretty quiet. When our plane finally took off, toward evening, eastern New Jersey was running low on alcohol, and the guy in the seat next to mine was snoring with a slur.
But here's the great thing about Myrtle Beach: It was nighttime when Ray and I and our golf clubs arrived, yet we were still able to play, at the Tupelo Bay Executive Golf Course, where the back nine is illuminated and stays open until 11 p.m. And we played the next day, too, on a regular course, despite an unexpected change in the weather. (A freak morning snow shower turned into heavy rain, then into hypothermia.) That night, after dinner, we went shopping at Martin's Golf & Tennis, a Myrtle Beach institution that's now part of the PGA Tour Superstore chain. We wandered the aisles for more than an hour, testing new putters, wedges and drivers, trying on rainsuits, and stocking up on cheap balls. And the next day we played again, in weather that wasn't quite so miserable. Then we flew home, rested and refreshed.
Most of my golf buddies have Myrtle Beach memories of their own, not all of them fit for publication. When I first joined my club, there was a group of men who went every year. Now most of them are either divorced or dead, and several are no longer members. They did actually play golf on those trips, despite the suspicions of some of their then-wives, but most of the stories I heard were about bars and strip joints. (One of those guys--by way of introducing what he said was a golf-related anecdote--asked me if I knew what a lap dance was.) Another group of (mostly younger) guys still goes almost every year, usually at Super Bowl time. They take a more balanced approach to golf travel: 36 a day, followed by staying up all night. One year, they bought a grocery-store sheet cake, to snack on during the football game, and one of them got so angry at something happening on the field that he threw the cake at the TV. Most of the cake slid to the floor, but quite a bit of the frosting, which was green, stayed stuck to the screen. They watched the rest of the game like that, through gaps in the frosting, without bothering to wipe it off.
Golfers who've never been to Myrtle Beach often think that it's a resort, like Doral. But it's nothing like that; it's more like a way of life, or a parallel universe, and it can seem overwhelming if you don't know your way around. When I first visited, in the early '90s, two things surprised me. The first was that the Grand Strand--as the metropolitan Myrtle Beach region is known--is vastly larger than it looks on the maps on the place mats in the breakfast stops. The entire golf area stretches along 60 or 70 miles of coastline and extends into North Carolina, and you have to be careful, when you plan your itinerary, not to create logistical ordeals for yourself and your rental car. The second surprise was that so many of the golf courses were terrific. The greens in Myrtle Beach can be ragged, especially during frost season, and a disproportionate number of the golfers seem to take a negative view of filling divots, raking bunkers and finishing in less than six hours. But there are lots of very good places to play, and most of them don't cost a fortune, especially now. Even during the boom times, a Myrtle Beach golf trip could be cheaper than staying at home.
Yet the main appeal of Myrtle Beach is not that it's a bargain but that it's so unashamedly devoted to the heartbreakingly pedestrian fantasies of the average American golfer. Tee times and bar stools are inexhaustible, good used golf balls are easier to find than fresh vegetables, and everything is divisible by four. My first night in Myrtle Beach, my brother and I unlocked the door of our motel suite and, almost immediately, heard a golf ball roll across the floor of the living room above ours. It's like something from a "Star Trek" episode: a planet where every life form is loud, overweight and telling a joke about Tiger Woods. You don't have to remove your hat when you go indoors, and if you feel like drying your golf shoes by turning them upside down on the shade of one of the lamps in your motel room (or on the dashboard of your rental car) no one will think much worse of you. And, best of all, for a golf-starved Northeasterner at certain times of the year, Myrtle Beach is a reminder that summer will be back in almost no time at all.
The Inside Story
Nobody knows Myrtle better than the groups that return every year. Golf Digest's Peter Finch and Matt Ginella recently joined up with five of these annual outings. Meet the groups, and see what you can learn from them, on the following pages.
Suffolk County (N.Y.) Police Department Tournament
By Peter Finch
Photo by James Rexroad
Organizer Dodd Amrhein, a retired Long Island policeman, used to bring his buddies to Myrtle in late October and early November. The off-season economics were great, but there were downsides: Temperatures dipped into the mid-30s, and the end of daylight saving time meant they had to get off the course by about 5 p.m. They shifted the event to mid-October a few years ago, and that made all the difference.
Amrhein and friends are a well-traveled bunch. He has led them on trips to Arizona, Palm Springs, Florida, Alabama and Ocean City, Md. Why keep coming back to Myrtle Beach every year?
"Tradition," he explains.
As well as these guys know their way around Myrtle by now -- Amrhein can't remember the last time he consulted a map of the area -- they're happy to let the golf packager at their resort book all their tee times. "Even after all these years, we don't know all the prices and all the deals," Amrhein says. The key thing is, he wants a mix of high-end and more modest courses. This helps keep the true golf nuts happy while controlling the costs.
Five of the seven courses on his most recent trip are among our 60 favorite Myrtle Beach courses. Importantly, none was more than 20 minutes from their resort. "Traffic has definitely increased over the years," Amrhein says. "It can be an hour and half from one course to another if you don't plan it right."
Thoroughbreds and Greg Norman's Australian Grille are two of the guys' favorite after-golf spots, though both tend to be pricey. On their most recent trip, they spent a lot of quality time at Bimini's Oyster Bar & Seafood Cafe . The big draw is a 99-cent "oyster shooter" made of a raw oyster, jalapeno pepper and beer. Says Amrhein: "They slam it on the bar, and you chug."
By Matt Ginella
Photos by James Rexroad
Russell Barringer, 75, lives in Durham, N.C., but his second home is in Myrtle Beach, right on the water. This is where he displays a long and narrow silver plate bearing the inscription: In appreciation for over 40 years of dedication to the Cruds and the game of golf. Barringer earned this slender slab of gratitude three years ago, after serving as "wagon master" of 80 buddies trips. He has since coordinated five more. "If you can find a trip that goes back as far as us, I want to know about it," he says.
Twice a year -- once in April and once in October -- Barringer herds the Cruds from various points of North Carolina down to the Grand Strand. Why the name Cruds? Their detailed history book, full of stats, photos and even poems about the trip, has the explanation: As they were planning their second event, back in 1967, George Toms asked Whit Cobb if he'd like to go on a golf getaway with a group of guys. "Who's going?" Whit's wife asked. George answered with various names and nicknames, and she replied, "My husband is not going off with that bunch of cruds!" From that day forward, they were known as the Cruds.
And poor Whit Cobb -- has he missed out.
Barringer's advice for a rookie trip planner: You've got to take charge. "I'm the benevolent dictator," he says. "They tease me unmercifully. I hear concerns and suggestions, but I make the decisions."
Of the 250 rounds the Cruds have played over the years, 187 were at the semi-private Dunes Golf & Beach Club , No. 2 on our list of 60 favorite courses. Only six rounds in 43 years have been labeled a rainout (one other round was canceled because of wind). They've deviated from Myrtle Beach once, when they went to Scotland in 1974. They used to play gin and poker and go to nightclubs after golf. "Now, after dinner," Barringer says, "we go to bed."
The guys put in $25 per man and use Stableford scoring to determine the winners, but it's clear the tradition of being together is most important. Barringer says their goal is to get to 100 trips. They've discussed bringing in some new blood -- their youngest son is 42 -- but he says the kids are spread out all over the country. "We're losing people to age and death," Barringer says. "Hopefully someone takes it over, and it means just as much to them as it does to me."
Pinnacle Benefits Group
By Peter Finch
Photo by James Rexroad
As president of an insurance company, Raymond Richard doesn't care for surprises -- which is why he has brought his golf group to the same resort 14 out of 15 years. "We tried another place once because the greens at Legends had gotten bad," Richard recalls. "But the condos were not as nice at the other place. They had these little beds."
To Richard's mind,
has another advantage over some competing resorts: It's six miles north of Myrtle's main drag and all the, um, diversions down there. "We'll have a blackjack table going tonight. We want to keep 'em here and not on the road," he says. "We don't need any arrests.
The guys cook all their own dinners in the four condos they rent, and when things get really tight, Legends even lets them use the kitchen at the nearby Ailsa Pub. The food is over-the-top good. This year's menus included crawfish-stuffed chicken breast, shrimp manicotti with homemade marinara, and filet oscar, which is a grilled beef tenderloin with king-crab meat and béarnaise sauce. The wine is also plentiful and first-rate. "There would probably be a revolt if I didn't bring the Silver Oak," says Richard, who, like most of the group, lives in North Carolina.
On the first day of golf, everyone plays his own ball on the Moorland course . The next day, at Parkland , is a scramble. Otherwise that course, with a Slope Rating of 133 even from the white tees, "is too much for the high-handicap players," Richard says. Everyone puts $125 into the pot, and there is a frenetic bidding/heckling session as the two-man teams are selected.
"The first reason we're here is the fellowship," Richard says. "Then food and beverage. Then golf is kinda third. But I do think Parkland is one of the better courses in Myrtle Beach." Just then there's a rap on the condo door. From outside there's a boastful holler: "Raymond, you're not gonna believe this corn-and-crab bisque!"
The Sea Cup Invitational
By Matt Ginella
Photo by James Rexroad
Myrtle beach has changed a lot, says Ann Martin, reflecting on her eight years as a member of this trip. Though "ladies groups weren't exactly welcome" in the early days, they now find golf-course staffers treat them well and the courses feature a good variety of forward tees. Even the shopping at the area's giant discount golf stores has improved. "They have a lot more women's stuff," says Linda Fox. "It never used to be that way."
The Sea Cup members, most of whom are from Virginia, might not play as much golf in Myrtle as their typical male counterparts -- they're not even playing every day -- but when they do play, they don't mess around. Martin carries a towel that reads, Are we playing men's rules today, or do we have to putt everything out?
Anita Rosenberg of Golf Packages of the Carolinas ( www.seasidegolf.com ) is the group's golf concierge. Not only is she accommodating -- "During a rain delay she switched around tee times for us," Martin says -- the women credit her with picking courses that fit their style. Rosenberg figures out the group's average handicap and plans accordingly. "I try to get courses that are challenging enough for the low-handicappers but fair enough for the high-handicappers."
The consensus favorite on this year's trip was International World Tour , which features replicas of 27 famous golf holes from around the globe. Oyster Bay was deemed easiest for the higher-handicappers.
Instead of taking rooms in a hotel or resort, Sea Cuppers prefer to rent an entire house. The house gives them more time together as a group and more freedom for activities that they say they'll take to their graves. The house has eight bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a hot tub, a pool, a pool table and maid service at the end of their week. They pay $180 per person. "It's like they pay us to come here," says Brenda Mueller. Adds Jodi Will: "We want to buy the house, and as we get older, we'll call it the b-rest home."
When they're not playing golf or shopping, they like to hit the
casino boat at Little River
, join in the karaoke at
Ocean Drive Café
or ride the mechanical bull at
. This, as they learned on their most recent trip, can be hazardous. Sea Cupper Cheryl Clark got tossed to the mat, hard. Tears coming down her cheeks and an ice pack on her knee, she declared, "I keep acting like I'm 20, but I'm not."
The Bernard Porter Open
By Matt Ginella
Photo by James Rexroad
Bob Toro is willing to share his story about two decades of coordinating a buddies trip to Myrtle Beach, on one condition: "Please protect the innocent," he says. "More important, protect the guilty."
Fair enough. Toro, who's from the Bronx, says it all started in 1991, when he got a card in the mail from Myrtle Beach. The offer was for four nights and four rounds of golf for less than $200 a person. "So eight of us jumped into cars, and we came down," says Toro. "There was no notion we'd come back [the next year], but we thought the prices were so low, we should be arrested."
Which, for the record, has never happened. When they got home, they mentioned the trip to some friends. The next year they brought 18 guys -- and an annual buddies trip was born.
Their handicaps range from 4 to off the charts, and as a group, they agree that Caledonia is their favorite course. Part of the appeal is its porch overlooking the 18th green. The group gathers there, and "we'll bet a dollar on whether an approach shot will hit the green," says Mel Velez. "We stay there and bet on people we don't even know." They also like Long Bay, Tidewater , all three courses at the Legends complex and the Heritage Club , where a group picture costs $25.
Other lessons they've learned: "We're never going to stay out until 6 a.m. ever again," says Rich Witherspoon. "We'll never come back again during Bike Week," says Velez. There's a high risk of rain in September, so now they come the week before Columbus Day. Velez says they've also discovered condos cost the same as hotels but are much more conducive to the social needs of their crew. "A hotel won't happen again," says Velez.
The group uses historical scores to generate handicaps. Players draw for scramble teams, and $500 goes to the winners. The worst scores earn tennis rackets. On Saturday night, they have an awards dinner, which includes a three-hour open bar. The rookies on the trip have to perform a skit. "And it'd better be funny," says Toro.
Listening to many playful exchanges between Mets and Yankees fans, Witherspoon was quick to point out that the Mets fans have no problem making a buddies trip in October: "They have nothing else to do this time of year."
Fare & balanced
Seven things I learned riding along with Myrtle Beach cab driver Bill Welch of Tropical Taxi:
By Peter Finch
Illustration by Mark Matcho
1. For better service, get to know a driver. Take his or her card when you get out. These "personal calls" will generally get you a faster pickup than if you dial the taxi dispatcher.
2. Cabbies get $3 to $6 per-person "bounties" from some gentlemen's clubs for bringing passengers there.
3. The most common phrase uttered by passengers picked up at gentlemen's clubs: "My buddies left me!"
4. Tourists from Ireland are the most fun, though they are not known for their tipping.
5. Just because a man is in his 70s or 80s doesn't mean he can't stay out very, very late. Sometimes, in fact, these guys are the last to arrive back at their hotels.
6. The taxi business has been extremely slow for the past two years, just like tourism. "There isn't a driver out here who isn't looking for another job," says Bill. 7. If you throw up in the cab, there will be a cleaning fee of $100
The Swing Doctor
Lessons from inside the Myrtle Beach Emergency Room
By Peter Finch
Illustration by Mark Matcho
A few years ago, a guy came into the emergency room at Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand Regional Medical Center with the outline of a 4-iron imprinted in his back. There'd been a brawl on a golf course, says Dr. John Molnar, head of the ER, and this was the blow that ended it. "He was lucky it was in the fleshy part of his back and not his head," Molnar recalls.
Most of the golfers who come through Grand Strand Regional's doors have more mundane injuries than that. "Golfers in general are a relatively civil crowd," Molnar explains. "What they think is crazy, by ER standards, isn't that crazy."
Still, treating emergencies is a big business in Myrtle Beach. Roughly 67,000 patients came through the ER at Grand Strand Regional and its smaller South Strand Ambulatory Care Center in 2009. This year, Grand Strand Regional is beginning a $54 million expansion that will add, among other improvements, 12 ER beds to bring its total to 40. Here are Dr. Molnar's six tips for spending as little time in his emergency room as possible.
1. "Don't ignore symptoms. Several years back, a guy who'd always wanted to play Pine Lakes started feeling chest pains on the second hole. He was determined to finish at least nine, so he came in at the turn. We have a saying: 'Time is heart muscle.' There is a fair amount that can be done to help when you start feeling those pains. Don't put this stuff off. It's not uncommon for us to have to call someone and say a family member died on a golf trip. That's hard."
2. "If you decide to play with an injury, make sure you've had appropriate medical clearance. I once played with a stress fracture in my hand. I asked a hand doctor, and he said, 'No, it won't make it worse to keep playing ... but it will delay the recovery.' You have to make a decision. It's one thing to delay the recovery, but it's another to make the injury worse."
3. "Keep your hands and legs in the cart. Also, always let the passenger know when you're getting ready to stop and start. That's a fairly common thing: The passenger isn't quite in, and the guy just takes off. Another thing is, guys will get on hills and mounds and on too steep an angle, and they fall out or roll the cart."
4. "Stay hydrated. This is more of a problem for the elderly. Say you've got a guy with an enlarged prostate. Guys don't want to stop every hole, so they don't drink any liquids. And remember, alcohol won't hydrate you. It has the opposite effect."
5. "Careful of overdoing it. A guy sits at a desk 40 hours a week, then plays 36 holes a day. We see back injuries from this, pulled ligaments, disk herniations. People should stretch, and they should get a little more exercise before they take the trip."
6. "Beware of snakes. The three main varieties here are copperheads, rattlers and water moccasins. All of them like water hazards and the grass around them. If you're looking for a ball, exercise extreme caution--especially in the spring and fall. Dr. Jarratt Lark, our snakebite specialist, figures 30 percent of the bites we treat are on golfers. They're painful, but they won't kill you if you get to the ER right away."
What's Up With 'Bike Week'?
By Peter Finch
Illustration by Mark Matcho
Anyone who has ever visited Myrtle Beach during "Bike Week" will not soon forget it. At their peak in the mid-2000s, Harley Davidson-themed motorcycle rallies in the spring and fall would draw a combined 750,000 bikers.
These gatherings still existthough in much smaller and quieter form. This is mainly because Myrtle Beach has taken a hard line on them. New ordinances have made it illegal to, among other things, ride in Myrtle Beach without an approved muffler or a helmet or to put more than two motorcycles in a single parking spot (effectively ending biker parties in parking lots).
Outraged bikers have taken their business elsewhere, including a rally in Murrells Inlet, south of Myrtle Beach. But it's nothing like the old days. "Pathetically bad," says Sonny Copeland, a North Carolina biker and owner of the website MyrtleBeachBikeWeek.com. "These are just the remnants of what used to be a great event."
That's one man's point of view, anyway. Says John Rhodes, mayor of Myrtle Beach: "We just said, 'Enough is enough.' It was overwhelming."
The true story of Sports Illustrated's Myrtle Beach connection
By Peter Finch
Myrtle Beach boosters occasionally describe their town as the "birthplace" of Sports Illustrated. Although that's a bit of a stretch, Myrtle's Pine Lakes Country Club was the site of the magazine's first sales conference, a rah-rah event for the people who would peddle advertising in its pages, a few weeks before the premier issue came out in 1954.
John Marin, now 82, remembers it well. He was the young Time Inc. executive in charge of organizing that 60-person conference, a three-day affair that included speeches, abundant drinking, and rounds of golf at Pine Lakes and the Dunes Golf & Beach Club . "You want the right kind of launching pad for whatever you do, and Myrtle Beach was that for Sports Illustrated," recalls Marin, who's pretty sure he is the only surviving attendee. "People were so hospitable and supportive of all these nuts from New York."
Like many of his colleagues, Marin wasn't much of a golfer in those days. "Golf was something our daddies did," he says. But he credits the Myrtle trip with sparking his interest in the game. Among his career golf highlights: rounds with Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford and Clinton. Now retired after a many years in publishing, most of them at Time Inc., Marin is a member at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, where his regular group is called the "320s" (you have to be at least 80 to join the foursome).
Visitors to the newly renovated clubhouse at Pine Lakes can tour a small room devoted to news clippings and other mementos of the Sports Illustrated sales meeting. Marin hasn't been back to see the display for himself -- though he has heard all about it. Not long after it appeared, a friend called in a state of some disbelief. "John," he asked, "why the $%$# is there a plaque with your name on it in Myrtle Beach?"
By Pete Finch
Illustrations by Mark Matcho
The Best Steaks
For All Budgets
According to Becky Billingsley, editor of the Myrtle Beach Restaurant News blog www.myrtlebeachrestaurantnews.com
New York Prime (Myrtle Beach): "This is the place for blow-it-out, no-expense-spared pampering. [The eight-ounce barrel-cut petite flet is $33, a la carte.] There is no dress code, though people generally dress well here."
Angelo's Steak & Pasta (Myrtle Beach): "Angelo's celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. It's a crowd-pleasing kind of restaurant, starting with those sizzling steaks served on cast-iron platters." A 10- ounce rib-eye goes for $21.
Big Daddy's Roadhouse Grill (Myrtle Beach): "From the outside, this looks like a chain, but it's owned and operated by a local family that puts a premium on friendliness." Here you can get a 10-ounce sirloin for $13.
Top-Five Myrtle Hotels For Golfers
According to customer ratings on tripadvisor.com
1. DUNES VILLAGE RESORT (Myrtle Beach): "The rooms are spacious and clean... The most comfortable hotel bed I have ever had."
2. MARINA INN AT GRANDE DUNES (Myrtle Beach) "Far exceeded our expectations, from beautiful grounds and friendly service to plush accommodations and an amazing view."
3. MARRIOTT'S OCEANWATCH VILLAS AT GRANDE DUNES (Myrtle Beach): "You can't find a better location." Surrounded by top courses, it also includes a beach club.
4. ISLAND VISTA (Myrtle Beach): "The service is excellent, the staff is friendly, and the fine-dining restaurant is wonderful."
5. GRAND ATLANTIC OCEAN RESORT (Myrtle Beach): "What really sets this resort apart is the friendly and helpful staff."
The Five Best Budget-Friendly, Non-Touristy Restaurants
According to Becky Billingsley of myrtlebeachrestaurantnews.com
1. FAT JACK'S WINGS & THINGS (Surfside Beach): "A locals' hangout since the early 1970s, Fat Jack's has delectable, crispy wings in more than 15 favors."
INDO THAI SUSHI HIBACHI
(Myrtle Beach): "A beautiful, comfortable restaurant with a vast menu that includes two pages of sushi and many Thai specialties."
3. LONGBEARD'S BAR & GRILL (Myrtle Beach): "A warm, welcoming place that might remind you of a hunting lodge (many stuffed animals line its walls)."
4. THE ORIGINAL MR. FISH (Myrtle Beach): "Owned and operated by a seafood broker, it lives up to its name. This is the place for fresh fish."
5. JIMMYZ ORIGINAL HIBACHI HOUSE (Myrtle Beach): "Quality food at a great price from owner/chef Jimmy Miller, a fixture on the local restaurant scene."
Myrtle's Top-Five Live-Music Spots
According to Kent Kimes, editor of The Weekly Surge
1. HOUSE OF BLUES (North Myrtle Beach): "This is a 2,000-person 'club venue' built to look like it's in New Orleans. Weezer and Willie Nelson were here," Kimes says. "You get your stalwart classic-rock acts plus a surprising number of bands in their prime: the Killers, White Stripes ..."
2. THE BASEMENT (Downtown Myrtle Beach): "Put away your golf visor and change out of your khakis when going here, which literally is in a basement under Crazy J's Bar . This gritty club is the place for touring regional and national punk-rock acts, plus some local originals."
3. HOT FISH CLUB (Murrells Inlet): "This is a really good outside venue even if the weather isn't perfect. It's under giant live-oak trees, overlooking the inlet. It's mainly local and regional acts: soul, R&B, dance
4. SXSE MUSIC FEAST (Myrtle Beach Train Depot): "This is a monthly event. It's a 'feast' because it's a potluck supper, and you get unlimited locally brewed beer. The music is mainly Americana."
5. THE BEACH WAGON (Myrtle Beach): "This place is a true honky-tonk. There's a house band that plays rock and pop along with weekly headliners: people like Shooter Jennings, the Bellamy Brothers, some up-and-coming country artists like James Otto and Emerson Drive."
Radio Free Myrtle Beach
Classic rock is the soundtrack to most buddies trips. Here's where to find it on your FM dial
103.1: " Sunny WSYN ." Leans a bit toward oldies at times, but it still rocks. You're pretty much guaranteed to hear "Born to Be Wild" and "The Boys are Back in Town" at least once a night.
103.7: " The Bone ." Hits from the '60, '70s and '80s, plus a regular dose of Zeppelin with "Led for the Head" at 11 nightly. This signal comes from North Carolina, so it gets weaker as you move south.
104.1: " Wave FM ." Bills itself as "The Classic Rock Station." Allman Brothers, The Police, Van Halen, Boston, ZZ Top ... you'll know them all.
Note: Need to hear the latest scores? ESPN Radio is at 93.9 FM.
Best Movies for Myrtle Trips
According to Derek Bracey, reviewer for the Weekly Surge (weeklysurge.com)
TOP 5 COMEDIES
1. Blues Brothers
2. The Big Lebowski
3. Old School
4. Wedding Crashers
5. Oceans 11, 12 or 13
TOP 5 DRAMAS
1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. Fight Club
TOP 5 ACTION MOVIES
3. The Bourne series
4. The Die Hard series
5. Pirates of the Caribbean series
TOP 5 MOVIES YOUR BUDDIES MIGHT NOT HAVE SEEN
1. The Prestige. "A great sleight-of-hand film involving three magicians."
2. Southern Comfort. "Guy-bonding on a weekend National Guard trip to Louisiana."
3. 300. "Epic battle of Thermopylaens vs. Persians, circa 480 b.c."
4. Memento. "A twisty murder mystery that unfolds in reverse chronological order."
5. Finding Forrester. "Sean Connery plays a shut-in mentor to an aspiring writer."
Myrtle's Super 60
Golf Digest May 2010
Which of the Grand Strand's courses should be on your buddies-trip itinerary? We polled the Golf Digest Course Ranking Panel of more than 900 raters, and here are the top picks, ranked from 1 to 60. (Green fees are from peak season and include a cart.)
Caledonia G. & Fish Club
Pawleys Island, S.C., Mike Strantz, $99-$159, 843-237-3675, www.fishclub.com
2 The Dunes G. & Beach Club
Myrtle Beach, Robert Trent Jones, $200, 843-449-5236, www.dunesclub.net
3 True Blue Plantation
Pawleys Island, S.C., Mike Strantz, $159, 843-235-0900,
4 Tidewater G.C. & Plantation
North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Ken Tomlinson, $199, 843-913-2424, www.tidewatergolf.com
5 Wachesaw Plantation Club
(private), Murrells Inlet, S.C., Tom Fazio, $80, 843-357-1263, www.wachesaw.com
6 Rivers Edge G.C.
Shallotte, N.C., Arnold Palmer, $89-$109, 910-755-3434, www.river18.com
7 Heritage Club
Pawleys Island, S.C., Dan Maples, $135, 843-237-3424, www.legendsgolf.com
8 Grande Dunes
(Members Club, private) Myrtle Beach, Nick Price/Craig Schreiner, $70, 843-315-0333, www.grandedunes.com
9 TPC Myrtle Beach
Murrells Inlet, S.C., Tom Fazio/Lanny Wadkins, $180, 843-357-3399, www.tpcmyrtlebeach.com
10 The Reserve G.C.
(private), Pawleys Island, S.C., Greg Norman, $125, 843-235-0755, www.thereservegolfclub.net
11 Debordieu Club
(private), Georgetown, S.C., Pete Dye/P.B. Dye, $125, 843-527-6000, www.debordieuclub.com
12 Barefoot Resort & Golf
(Fazio), North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Tom Fazio, $185, 843-390-3200, www.barefootgolf.com
13 Pawleys Plantation
Pawleys Island, S.C., Jack Nicklaus, $120-$140, 843-237-6200, www.pawleysplantation.com
14 Barefoot Resort & Golf
(Dye), North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Pete Dye, $185, 843-390-3200, www.barefootgolf.com
15 Ocean Ridge Plantation
(Leopard's Chase), Sunset Beach, N.C., Tim Cate, $165, 800-556-6570, www.oceanridge.com
16 Barefoot Resort & Golf
(Love), North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Davis Love III, $185, 843-390-3200, www.barefootgolf.com
17 Surf G. & Beach Club
(private), North Myrtle Beach, S.C., George Cobb, $125, 843-249-1021, www.surfgolf.com
18 Grande Dunes
(Resort Club), Myrtle Beach, Roger Rulewich, $176-$186, 843-315-0333, www.grandedunes.com
19 Ocean Ridge
Plantation (Tiger's Eye), Sunset Beach, N.C., Tim Cate, $135, 800-556-6570, www.oceanridge.com
20 St. James Plantation
(The Reserve Club, private), Southport, N.C., Nicklaus Design, $100, 910-253-5100, www.stjamesplantation.com
21 Pine Lakes C.C.
Myrtle Beach, Robert White, $150, 843-315-7700, www.pinelakes.com
22 Founders Club at Pawleys Island
Pawleys Island, S.C., Gene Hamm/Thomas Walker, $120, 843-237-2299, classicgolfgroup.com
23 Prestwick C.C.
Myrtle Beach, Pete Dye/P.B. Dye, $117-$125, 843-293-4100, www.prestwickcountryclub.com
24 Myrtle Beach National
(Kings North), Myrtle Beach, Arnold Palmer/Francis Duane, $109-$120, 843-448-2308, www.mbn.com
25 St. James Plantation
(The Players Club, private), Southport, N.C., Tim Cate, $65 910-253-5100, www.stjamesplantation.com
26 Thistle G.C. (27 holes)
Sunset Beach, N.C., Tim Cate, $110-$125, 800-571-6710, www.thistlegolf.com
27 Legends Golf & Resort
(Heathland), Myrtle Beach, Tom Doak, $135, 800-299-6187, www.legendsgolf.com
28 Crow Creek G.C.
Calabash, N.C., Rick Robbins, $99, 910-287-3081, www.crowcreek.com
29 Oyster Bay G. Links
Sunset Beach, N.C., Dan Maples, $135, 800-697-8372, www.legendsgolf.com
30 Heather Glen G. Links
(27 holes), Little River, S.C., Willard Byrd/Clyde Johnston, $121, 800-868-4536, www.glensgolfgroup.com
31 Legends Golf & Resort
(Moorland), Myrtle Beach, P.B. Dye, $135, 800-299-6187, www.legendsgolf.com
32 Glen Dornoch
Little River, S.C., Clyde Johnston, $133-$155, 800-717-8784, www.glensgolfgroup.com
33 Bald Head Island Club
(private), Bald Head Island, N.C., George Cobb, package pricing, 910-457-7310, www.bhiclub.net
34 Wachesaw Plntn. E.
Murrells Inlet, S.C., Clyde Johnston, $164, 800-344-5590, www.Wachesaweast.biz
35 Sea Trail
(Rees Jones), Sunset Beach, N.C., Rees Jones, $85-$110, 910-287-1156, www.seatrail.com
36 The Witch
East Conway, S.C., Dan Maples, $95-$110, 843-448-1300, www.witchgolf.com
37 Sea Trail
(Willard Byrd), Sunset Beach, N.C., Willard Byrd, $55-$73, 910-287-1156, www.seatrail.com
38 Wild Wing
(27 holes), Conway, S.C., Larry Nelson/Jeff Brauer/Willard Byrd, $104-$122, 843-347-9464, www.wildwing.com
39 Willbrook Plantation
Pawleys Island, S.C., Dan Maples, $95, 843-237-3411, www.litchfieldbeach.com
40 Legends Golf & Resort
(Parkland), Myrtle Beach, Larry Young, $135, 800-299-6187, www.legendsgolf.com
41 International World Tour
(27 holes), Myrtle Beach, Mel Graham, $150-$190, 843-236-2000, www.theworldtourgolf.com
42 Long Bay C.
Longs S.C., Jack Nicklaus, $106-$128, 800-344-5590, www.mbn.com
43 Barefoot Resort & Golf
(Norman), North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Greg Norman, $185, 843-390-3200, www.barefootgolf.com
44 Shaftesbury Glen G. & Fish C.
Conway, S.C., Clyde Johnston, $150, 866-587-1457, www.glensgolfgroup.com
45 Carolina National G.C.
(27 holes), Bolivia, N.C., Fred Couples/Gene Bates, $95, 910-755-5200, www.carolinanationalgolf.com
46 St. James Plantation
(The Founders C.), Southport, N.C., P.B. Dye, $135, 910-253-3014, www.stjamesplantation.com
47 The Pearl G. Links
(West), Calabash, N.C., Dan Maples, $68-$92, 910-579-8132, www.thepearlgolf.com
48 Arcadian Shores
Myrtle Beach, Rees Jones, $79-$89, 800-846-5552, www.kingstonplantation.com
49 The Pearl G. Links
(East), Calabash, N.C., Dan Maples, $68-$92, 910-579-8132, www.thepearlgolf.com
50 Ocean Ridge Plantation
(Panther's Run), Sunset Beach, N.C., Tim Cate, $87-$93, 800-556-6570, www.oceanridge.com
51 Sea Trail
(Dan Maples), Sunset Beach, N.C., Dan Maples, $98, 910-287-1156, www.seatrail.com
52 Litchfield C.C.
Pawleys Island, S.C., Willard Byrd, $99, 843-237-3000, www.litchfieldbeach.com
53 River Club
Pawleys Island, S.C., Tom Jackson, $162, 843-237-3000, www.litchfieldbeach.com
54 Ocean Ridge Plantation
(Lion's Paw), Sunset Beach, N.C., Willard Byrd/Tim Cate, $83, 800-556-6570, www.oceanridge.com
55 Indian Wells G.C.
Garden City, S.C., Gene Hamm, $80-$90, 843-652-5555, www.classicgolfgroup.com
56 Wicked Stick G. Links
Myrtle Beach, John Daly/Clyde Johnston, $94, 800-797-8425, www.wickedstick.com
57 Arrowhead C.C .
(27 holes), Myrtle Beach, Raymond Floyd/Tom Jackson, $122, 800-236-3243, www.arrowheadcc.com
58 Blackmoor G.C.
Murrells Inlet, S.C., Gary Player, $87-$93, 866-952-5555, www.blackmoor.com
59 Waterway Hills
Myrtle Beach, Robert Trent Jones, $94, 843-449-6489, www.mbn.com
60 Myrtlewood G.C.
(Palmetto), Myrtle Beach, Ed Ault, $84, 800-283-3633, www.myrtlewoodgolf.com