Thursday, March 15, 2018

Golf Courses Around Myrtle Beach Great for Beginners and High Handicappers

Pine Lakes Golf Course aerial
Are you a golf beginner looking to take a trip to the Myrtle Beach area and want to play a few rounds?

The Grand Strand has over eighty golf courses; some are definitely NOT for newbies while others are perfect for an amateur just starting to "feel his or her oats".

For many years I have championed for Myrtle Beach and it's golf courses; aside from the great value, the atmosphere is one of fun, the golf courses are exceptional and South Carolina, in general, is a warm, sunny and welcoming place for a visit.

I have played many breathtaking Myrtle Beach golf courses and would like to share my favorites for beginners with you so, when you decide to take a Myrtle Beach vacation, you will have an idea of the lay of the land. Feel free to ask in the comments section of this golf blog about restaurants and things to do in Myrtle Beach.

Let's start with the "beach" in Myrtle Beach - there are sixty miles of soft sand along the Grand Strand and there are north, middle and southern locations to stay and play which are filled with atmosphere. Below are the main areas and a couple of golf courses I have chosen based on amenities, ease of play and just plain beauty of their surroundings.

South Strand and Pawleys Island: There are so many golf courses in the south end of Myrtle Beach, I was hard-pressed to select just a few!

Caledonia Golf and Fish Club: If you want a real taste of the south, visit Caledonia in Pawleys Island; this golf club is a Lowcountry staple, complete with towering oaks, an antebellum-style clubhouse and nature preserve teeming with wildlife. The course is difficult yet fair and, as review upon review has stated, "One of the best I have played." From the forward tees, beginners' yardage is under 5,000 - even if you don't play well on this course, you will certainly admire the scenery.

Tupelo Bay Golf Course: An executive golf course and par-3 course located just south of Myrtle Beach in Garden City, Tupelo Bay executive has the look and feel of a full-size course, and it is a great test for beginners as well as those golfers who want to ease into their stay and play vacation.

Central Myrtle Beach:

Pine Lakes Country Club: The "Granddaddy" of Myrtle Beach golf and host of many "firsts" along the Grand Strand. Between the beautiful Clubhouse (a wedding and event favorite) and the simple, aesthetic golf course design, this Pine Lakes is a "must-see" and a "must-play" along the Grand Strand.

Myrtle Beach National West CourseMyrtle Beach National - West Course: Arnold Palmer stands guard at the entrance to Myrtle Beach National Golf Club, a three-course enclosed compound along the 501 corridor; King's North and Southcreek round out the triad of courses and all have different personalities.

The West Course, in particular, has been chosen for beginners and high handicappers; from the forward tees the course is about 5,200 yards, has open fairways, a traditional layout and is pretty straightforward. There is also a feeling of seclusion and natural forestry surrounding the fairways and the course is well maintained.

North Myrtle Beach:

Grande Dunes Resort Course:

Grande Dunes Resort Course

I didn't place Grande Dunes Resort Course on this list because it was easy - I placed it here because of that "vacation feel" it exudes right from the entrance where you cross over the bridge through the eighteen holes. Grande Dunes plays a little over 5,300 yards from the forward tees which offers a test but also offers inspiring views to relax the mind and spirit of any level of golfer.

Hole 7, a par 5 is a tester but beginners have a better chance at moving forward using their irons so, if played smartly, the course will be fun and memorable. You can also visit Dale Ketola, Director of Instruction at the Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center, before, during or after your round...just make sure to call for an appointment!

Meadowlands Golf Club: I played Meadowlands when I was a beginner and, after reading an article by Ian Guerin recently, thought back and added this course. Just over the South Carolina border, in Calabash, Guerin states that Meadowlands, "gives players the opportunity to go after more greens with less risk. Combined with a wide-open design, and there is plenty of room for error on nearly all of the par 4s and 5s here."

Have a golf course you would like to add to this list? Place it in our golf blog comments section below and tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

photos: Founders Group

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Golf Advice You Should NEVER Follow #golf

You're standing behind the golf ball visualizing your next shot. Standing nearby, waiting to take his shot, your playing partner innocently (?) says, "wow, is that your 6-iron? You're never going to make it over the water with that club!"

What happens next...?

Your ball takes a splash and you grumble something under your breath.

Unsolicited advice can get inside your head, making it nearly impossible to concentrate on your own golf game. You only hear the "never" in the above sentence, much like when a playing partner says, "watch out for that bunker"...your eyes and your attention look towards the bunker and, ultimately, your ball finds its way into the sand.

golf advice you should never follow

What other unsolicited advice should you steer clear of during a round of golf? Golf for Beginners has put together a few tidbits - feel free to add to our list in the comments section of this golf blog!

1. "You Should Look At That Putt From A Different Angle":
     My husband is always telling me to walk around every putt in order to see how the green breaks...which is good advice, however, according to, it might not be the best advice for some golfers.
"If you're a shaky putter, bringing in another view of the line won't be constructive. If anything, it will confuse you, or cause you to see something that isn't there. Plus, this isn't the Ryder Cup."
2. Taking Tips from Pros on the Driving Range:
    According to "The Women's Guide to Golf: A Handbook for Beginners", range pros who walk up and down the line looking for potential students may be giving you tips which may not work for your swing or game. This is called, according to the book, "trade dynamiting the tees" and a pro may throw you a "barrage of advice" which will probably confuse you more than help your game....then they get to fix the problem! Politely say "no thanks" for the time you are at the range and schedule an appointment with a golf teaching pro who has your best intentions.

3. ANY advice to help you DURING your round:
     Did you any USGA tournament, the Rules of Golf state that giving advice to another golfer (even with a motion) is not permitted - it's a two-stroke penalty during the round and a disqualification after the scorecard is signed.

If a pro golfer receives unsolicited advice, however, and did not initiate the conversation, no penalty is given unless advice is offered twice. "The player should take action to stop this irregular procedure." He would incur a two-stroke penalty in stroke play if he allowed such advice to be given again.

Tip: During a friendly round, skip the swing advice completely,; it won't help your game to hear that the way you are cocking your wrists is wrong or your ball is too far forward in your will just further mess with your head. Instead, here are a few golf tips to help when things just aren't going your way on the golf course!

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Photo by Fancycrave from Pexels

Friday, March 02, 2018

What to do When Things Aren't Going Your Way #golf

Whether your golf ball consistently finds the water or you are playing military golf (left, right, left, right), there are some days that you wished you never played the sport. When things aren't going your way on the golf course and you can't get into the zone, don't chuck your clubs in the pond! Here is what you need to do.


Even the tour pros have bad days and suffer from nerves or tension... which leads to a tight grip, pulled or pushed swing, the yips, and/or condescending mental attitude. One bad swing can lead to two and a round can blow up for the best of players.

Trying to hit "perfect shots" and negative self-talk can wreak havoc on your round!

Chez Reavie, a PGA Tour pro, won a tournament in his rookie season and began pushing for results instead of hitting shots one at a time. When his game began to collapse, he analyzed his thoughts - he may have been judging himself too harshly - and backed off a bit.
"I needed to realize that just because I hit this shot poorly or that it didn't go perfect, it has zero bearing on the next shot that I hit," Reavie said.
 "The next shot that I hit could be the best shot that I ever hit…It didn't matter. I started thinking about that and was like, 'Wow. I've never really looked at it that way.' I was always like, 'Oh, s---, I pulled my last 7-iron so let's try and hold this one off a bit. Well, then I'd probably hit the next one to the right. I was just chasing my tail, whereas this way, every shot was a fresh start."
If you are not playing in a tournament, this is a great time to change your mindset during the round work on your game. Turn a bad round into an opportunity to work out the kinks in your game. If you are playing in an event, take a tip from Reavie and start playing the game one shot at a time.

For the beginner, average (or better than average golfer), Golf for Beginners offers up these bullet points to remember when you see your game starting to collapse.

1. Remember that golf is a mental game - you may not be physically swinging the golf club well today but the way you talk to yourself is important - use your mind to turn your game around. Think about the good shots and keep your chin up. (Re-read Chez Reavie's quote above...every shot is a fresh start).

2. Whether or not you are in a tournament, if things aren't going your way, stop looking at your score and put the scorecard in your pocket. Instead, play each shot one at a time, stay in the present moment and don't worry about the final outcome.

3. DON'T QUIT or think of quitting - it is easy to just stop playing golf. and sulk. Always finish your round. Stop being a perfectionist and understand that golf is a game of working past bad shots.

As I read in Psychology Today, author and coach Fred Shoemaker stated, "ultimately golf is just a motion of the body, a club, a ball, an intention, and a target." Keep your highs and lows in check and you will improve your score and mental attitude during any round.

What do you do when things aren't going your way on the golf course? Share in the comments section of this golf blog and tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Finest Nine-Hole #Golf Course in the U.S.A.?

AndNine-hole golf courses are regaining popularity - here's why you should consider playing nine.

A lack of time is usually the main reason why many golfers play nine holes instead of the regulation eighteen but there is so much more to gain from a nine-hole course.

The Finest Nines, a book written about the best nine-hole golf courses in North America, states its case for the value of a short course.

A "complete" round of golf today is eighteen holes, which is based on The Old Course in St. Andrews; originally this course had twenty-two holes but, if you look back even earlier into Scottish history (as far back as 1562), golfers played twenty-five holes!

In his book, writer Anthony Pioppi states that a nine-hole round of golf is perfectly legitimate and that golfers should embrace nine holes and give the courses in this book validation as a true test of a golfers' skills.

Did you know, according to the USGA, "the First U.S. Open in 1895 was played on a nine-hole course"?

Nine holes are also great for a quick test of skills, an afternoon walk, and that it is totally "legit" and counts towards your handicap!

According to a press release issued by the USGA and the R&A, in 2020, a universal golf handicap system will take effect. "A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap; a recommendation that the number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap be 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds."

The courses in The Finest Nines were selected for their architecture; strategy and shotmaking, how a golfer makes his way from tee to green and the diversity of the par-3's, 4's and 5's were the determining factors considered.

So, which course did the author hail as the "finest nine-hole course in the country?"

Pick up a copy of the book and find out! Okay, okay, spoiler alert - it's Whitinsville Golf Club in Whitinsville, Massachusetts!

Add a comment to this Golf for Beginners golf blog below and text us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Why All Golfers Need to Attend Demo Days

Spring is almost upon us which means (for the most part) golfers will be dusting off their clubs and taking to the driving range.

After reconnecting with your driver and irons, you may think that you need new clubs but, before spending an arm and a leg on new golf equipment, consider attending demo days sponsored by manufacturers or your local will learn much about your swing, the newest technology and you may ultimately walk away with the correct clubs for your swing.

Going to a demo day at a golf course or equipment resaler is like entering a candy store - there are so many different clubs to view and all of the reps are standing nearby, tempting you to try before you buy. Demo Day is a cornucopia of golf bags filled with all the irons and drivers you want to test.

Why test new clubs when you believe your clubs will be perfectly fine for another season?

Your clubs could be costing you shots; just because something is familiar to you or you are comfortable with it, doesn't mean it is still good for your game!

Golf swings change, and so does equipment. What might have suited you up until this point may need some tweaking; your driver, for example, which could be ten years old, may no longer offer you proper distance - time for a new Twist Face or Rogue? Also, pay attention to the weight and flex of the shaft another important update due to changes in the speed of your swing.
“Even with all the latest developments and technology in golf, most golfers aren’t using clubs that fit them,” said Dale Ketola, director of instruction and fitting at Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center. “Even if you’ve been fitted before, mechanics can change.  You should be checked every so often to make sure your clubs complement your game.”
...from press release on 

And if you are still playing with those beginner golf clubs and have taken your game to the next level, a professional should review your clubs to see if they need to be updated.

Read: How to Tell If You Need New Irons

With reps and pros on hand to answer your questions, Demo Day is a perfect time to reassess what is in your golf bag!

Golf for Beginners has compiled a short list of what you should consider when heading out to Demo Day.

1. Determine what you want to accomplish during the event and how much money you want to spend - it is easy to get lost among the shiny, gleaming, new clubs.

2. Talk to a pro about your game (what is good/bad about it and show him/her your current set of clubs.

3. Test the golf clubs - you may be surprised that hybrids feel more comfortable than long irons or senior-shaft clubs feel better to you than a women's set of golf clubs. Grips and shafts are also important. You may like a bigger grip or a lighter shaft - make sure you have the pro or rep help you through the decision-making process.

Also, don't just buy clubs - use this as a learning experience and make sure you get properly fitted for the clubs before taking anything home.

READ: Should You Replace your Long Irons with Hybrids?

What do you learn most about your swing and clubs when you attend a Demo Day? Let us know in the comments section of this golf blog and follow/tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Friday, February 09, 2018

How Flubs from PGA Tour Golfers Teach the Rest of Us

Although professional golfers are the best in the world to watch for quality shot-making, they are still human and hit their fair share of flubs, wayward drives, and shanks. How can we use their errors and recoveries to improve our golf game?

From Rickie Fowler blowing a one-shot lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to Ian Poulter's shank into the stands, pro golfers' blown opportunities remind you that they're human. Watch how a pro golfer maintains his/her composure under pressure and shakes off blunders to better your round.

Take, for instance, Rickie Fowler's current state of affairs - he is now establishing notoriety as a golfer who "can't always get it done on Sundays." Does he agonize over each shot? When interviewed after his fourth messy round, Fowler looked at the positives of his game.  I "was in a decent position with a few to play and just had a couple — really didn't make bad swings."

Of course, Rickie also mentioned his putting woes using one of the "best clubs in his bag" but that is par for the course ..."I know I'm a good putter, I putted well all week," confirmed Fowler.

Learn from these three famous Ben Hogan quotes; you can then understand the mind of a professional golfer and be a better player in the long run:

"This is a game of misses. The guy who misses the best is going to win."
"A good round of golf is if you can hit about three shots that turn out exactly as you planned them."
"The most important shot in golf is the next one."

Golf is not an easy sport - a positive attitude combined with determination, solid planning and practice will help you to not only improve but to elevate your game.

READ: 3 Steps to Achieving Your Golf Resolutions

Do you watch the pros and what do you learn from them? Leave your comments on our golf blog and be sure to follow us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners for more golf tips!