Inaugural Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic Tees off on Grand Strand

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Myrtle Beach’s spring golf season tees off a little bit sooner and is a whole lot sweeter in 2015 with the addition of the inaugural Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic.

The three-day, 54-hole tournament will bring 200 golfers to six of the area's top courses to tee off the upcoming spring golf season with fun and friendly competition.

The Myrtle Beach Preseason Classic will feature three days of golf under different rules formats, meals and parties for all tournament participants, and gifts, contests, drawings and giveaways. Most of all, the tourney will provide lots of good camaraderie among golfers from all over the country who share the common love for the game.

Scheduled for Feb. 1-4, this event includes a welcome party with a gift and complimentary food and drinks while you mix and mingle with fellow competitors on the eve of the tournament. Feb. 2 marks the start of three days solid days of golf, capped by an awards presentation and luncheon on the final day of play with more giveaways.

The amateur tournament takes 100 twosomes to some award-winning courses on the Strand, including Glen Dornoch, Panthers Run, The Tradition Golf Club, The Witch. Tru Blue Plantation, Wild Wing Avocet. Each twosome will play on three of the six courses. The venues give golfers a nice selection and sampling of what the Grand Strand has to offer.

Round 1 features two-man Best Ball at The Tradition Golf Club or True Blue Plantation, depending on the draw. But you can't go wrong by playing either of these two Pawleys Island layouts. Built on former rice and indigo plantations, both feature Lowcountry scenery and well-designed courses that provide perfect places to start the tournament. Players will use 80 percent of their handicaps.

Round 2 takes teams to Glen Dornoch on the North Strand in Little River and The Witch in the Conway community. Glen Dornoch offers a Scottish links-style layout with rolling mounds, while The Witch sits in a wilderness of woodlands and wetlands with more than one mile of bridge work. Both have legendary 19th holes, perfect for recapping your round of Combined Team Net scoring with your playing partner and fellow competitors. Players will use 90 percent of their handicaps.

Round 3 features a Texas Scramble, in which players will use 70 percent of their handicaps to determine the overall title. One Group will play at Wild Wing Avocet at the Myrtle Beach National complex in the Carolina Forest neighborhood of Myrtle Beach, while the other group goes north of the Carolina border to Panthers Run in Sunset Beach, NC. Each course will host a post-round luncheon and awards ceremony.

Handicaps will based on the USGA slope rating of the course played along with the respective daily team format. Participants must submit their USGA Handicap or international equivalent via electronic form beginning on January 15, 2015. Tournament staff will use that factor to flight each team and all handicaps will be based on that information.

Each round begins with a shotgun start at 9 a.m., so participants will have plenty of time after their rounds for seeing the town. Entertainment, dining, shopping and nightlife abound in Myrtle Beach, such as Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach, Market Common, Murrells Inlet Marshwalk and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. There are even some driving ranges, practice greens and par-3s, like Cane Patch and Midway in Myrtle Beach, where you can work on your game between rounds.

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(Posted: 12/22/14)