The Demise of Myrtle Beach Golf

With the current state of the economy, it’s not surprising that there’s has been a significant down turn in the financial well being of many golf courses across the country and the golf industry in general.  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has long been a top golf U.S. golf destination.  The Grand Strand has boasted more golf courses per square mile than anywhere else in the country and is the home to premier courses designed by Greg Norman, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye.   However the economy is turning this once booming golf resort town into a ghost town of fairway, greens and empty clubhouses. The following is an excerpt from an article by the Myrtle Beach Golf Association.

Prior to the economic crash, the Myrtle Beach golf industry had been in a steady decline since 1998, culminating in the loss of over one million paid rounds of golf annually; the closing of 23 golf courses and the loss of over 2,000 golf industry jobs. Well 2008 was the worst year yet, and 2009 is expected to be far worse! Since 1998, the incompetence of the area’s self-proclaimed marketing gurus, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, and their stumblebum ad agency, along with sleazy hoteliers, many of whom you can find listed in the Myrtle Beach Golf Association’s Lodging Basement, have virtually decimated the once flourishing Myrtle Beach golf industry. While the litany of these bunglers and fly-by-nights’ decade of incompetence, moronic screw-ups, mountains of non-stop financial extravagance and rampant  waste, along with their 1950’s era marketing, could easily fill another separate website, the most recent and most costly squandering of the area’s precious marketing dollars  – since Golf Holiday’s estimated $10 million dollar debacle that was the PGA Tour – Energizer Senior Tour Championship, and their subsequent fiasco of building what became an even bigger money-pit, the TPC of Myrtle Beach, which they blew an estimated $20 million dollars on – was a multi-episode joke that they produced in conjunction with Golf Channel, where it was also aired. This comedy was a hammy travelogue of dopey and embarrassing episodes called “The Myrtle Beach Road Show,” which almost overnight was dubbed “The Myrtle Beach Road Kill” by golfers and golf industry movers and shakers alike. Did we mention that this disaster cost the Myrtle Beach golf industry an estimated $1.3 million dollars. We had hoped that things would turn around for the remaining Myrtle Beach golf courses, and for a while it appeared that they were, but despite the tripling of the Myrtle Beach golf advertising and marketing expenditures the Myrtle Beach golf industry continues to flounder, when, in fact, they should be doing much better. Add to all that, no Tiger, nobody watching golf on TV and the economy in a mess, and getting worse by the minute, and the outlook for Myrtle Beach golf is, at best, “shaky".

If you’ve been to Myrtle in the past year, I’d be curious to get your take on the situation down there.

17 Responses to “The Demise of Myrtle Beach Golf”

  1. Christian says:

    Good morning to you too.

  2. Jeff Gehm says:

    I just got back from Myrtle and couldn’t find a tee time… in the dead heat of summer!

    Perhaps the golf courses just told me that because they weren’t in the mood for my bad joke telling. But I digress! The industry is having a nice summer while the rates are down!!

    • Christian says:

      Glad to hear that MB is doing ok Jeff. I can’t wait to get back down there in February and help contribute a few of my hard earned dollars to some of the fine courses.

  3. John Barry says:

    Our trip down there, with 52 people in June, was great. The beach seemed very busy, courses were busy, and so were the Gentle Men’s Clubs!

  4. Dan says:

    Christian,

    Sorry to say but you are quoting some “crazy old coot” who has a very slanted view of the Myrtle Beach golf industry. As the rates have decreased business has steadily picked up. Business may not be as good as in 2005, but how many industries have grown since the economic downturn?

    • Christian says:

      Thanks Dan. It’s sometimes difficult to judge how informed or knowledgeable people are on any given subject. Guess we just have to wade through the BS and get to the bottom of things ourselves.

  5. barry jones says:

    Jeff Ghem from above comments is lying. He is a plant by some website who thinks they know all. All that site does is give wrong advice and spin to those who visit,heck you may even get VD from Jeff as he likes to hot tub with multiple men and burries his ham sammich in the wrong place.

  6. dickie bigwood says:

    There is a discussion on Myrtle Beach Goof talk about this subject and those doorknobs all act like they are so in the know and actually live here in MB or are industry insiders. Some of them are but the main two putz loving bone buddies are actually from Fairyland and Pizzburg PA so do not pay attention to a word those two bonesmugglers say.

  7. John Barry says:

    The Myrtle Beach Golf talk forums are run by Brian Noblin, a resident, and golf provider down there with Myrtle Beach Golf desk. The forums is frequented by many locals, trip leaders, and golf pros from area courses. It is the most accurate, and unbiased view of Myrtle Beach there is. I tend to believe and trust their judgement way more than anyone else on the web. Also, 3 cheers for Barbie Chestnut at Beach Vacations, another person’s opinions and judgements on golf which is beyond reproach.

    John Barry

  8. barry jones says:

    Yes an insider hence will sell you anything to make more money for himself. Do not belive this smoke they blow, the industry down there is in dire strasights look at all the course closings previous to the economy folding. The place way overmarketed itself and has shotty at best iffy type weather year round. Look at all the national data and I do not see MB in any top category at all for economy/tourism,in fact it ranks near the bottom. Not to say Arizona or Vegas is doing better ,they are not but heck weather wise and quality of courses per price are far superior. True Blue ect those type courses are at best average in other markets yet charge a 155 dollar surcharge. The area used to be cheap golf ect,it overpriced itself and hopefully out of business. Those two clowns at MBGT are morons,
    Yankmeister he calls himself is a jagoff and RavenVBoy is a jock sniffin beady eyed self centered weenie.

  9. John Barry says:

    You have no grasp of reality, economics, or Myrtle Beach in general. I have ran a trip down there for 10 years straight, and on the east coast, I have never been able to come close to the value, courses, quality and night life all rolled into one trip.

    As a side note, I have never ever used them as a packager, I have always used barbie at Beach Vacations, so there is no bias to sell for them or anything. I think you are way off base.

  10. dickie bigwood says:

    Nightlife/Myrtle Beach????HA yeah a bunch of old stinky for the first time away from the wife(who emasculateds him Yank) we all act goofy and think we have a shot with the once girl driving a cart or at some seedy strip club. MB nightlife comapred to Florida? lol

  11. […] The Demise of Myrtle Beach Golf […]

  12. John Barry says:

    Myrtle beach is still alive. Booking our annual trip this week, playing 4 rounds at the Big Cats Courses! can’t wait.

  13. Tom says:

    Having lived in Murrells Inlet in the late 80’sI must say the area has come a long way…Unfortunately, the ‘good ol boy/redneck mentality of sweet talkin you in their best southern drawl to your face then flippin you off when you turn your back will never die in MB. Someone once told me that “the war ain’t over down here” and I believe it!
    All that being said the course quality and everything else that goes into a successful golf trip is definitely available in abundance in MB We’re heading down next week for our 3rd annual trip and do not expect to be disappointed…we haven’t been yet.

  14. John Barry says:

    Looks like all the numbers of rounds in Myrtle is up, so, this report, even though is a year old, still holds no value. Myrtle Beach is humming along!