Monday, February 7, 2011

Myrtle Beach 20th Anniversary Edition

Wow, so it's been twenty years since the humble beginnings of the Myrtle Beach experience. After seeing the bargain prices for golf weekends in a 1991 copy of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, Vince, Scott K, John and Scott B set out through the snow one cold February morning in a rental van for warmer climes in South Carolina. Condotels Surfside hosted the inaugural event that was punctuated by courses like Deer Track and Island Green, freezing rain, discovering cheap shirts at the old yellow roofed Martins, and playing euchre on a floating cooler lid in a hot tub shared with Pete Rose.

From those humble beginnings rose a great tradition. Today things are far more comfortable and luxurious. Not only do we no longer eat Taco Bell (well, at least not for every meal), but we each have our own bedroom. Back in the day we shared bedrooms and yes, even a bed now and then. Today most everyone even gets their own private bathroom. Gone are the converted motel rooms we'd pack in to like sardines. In their place are palacial 8 bedroom condos with big screens, wrap around verandas and gourmet kitchens. I guess that's what twenty years earns ya. Our 2010 house will be hard to beat, but the Century 21 condo above looks pretty nice.

Travel has changed over the years too. For some driving yielded to flying and gave rise to the Fly Boys. Entertaining quirks about. Who could forget the demise of Southeastern Airlines and the ten hours Vince and John spent in a one way Yugo rental? Or the MYR computer shut down that led to the two hour ride to Charleston with Meat Loaf? Or the incessant buzzing of the strap that held on the Turtle? Or the voice message "Visibility zero, confidence low." Or the Hooters Air year? Scotts renting the car? Priceless.

The 2011 courses include an all-star cast from the best of the last twenty years. Missing are some notable courses that have either closed or fallen into disrepair. Who could forget the early visual impact of Brick Landing and Oyster Bay? And we collectively mourn the passing of greats like Marsh Harbour and Ocean Harbor. In their place are these winners.

Over the years we have tweaked the tournament format for the better and for the worse. "Innovations" come and go and while the Roommates Tournament has disappeared along with sharing bedrooms, we have as strong a tournament schedule as ever for 2011. In addition to $8 for closest to the pin on each par 3, each day will feature a two man best ball event.

Travel day is February 24 and that's coming up fast. For those not in my travel group, see you at the beach!

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