RGV Tour Blog

It is swampy in South Carolina!

It's got a ton of charm, it's filled with alligators, and it's got a lot of golf to play.  It's South Carolina!  The Tour started off at Jack Nicklaus' May River.  It's one of his finest designs and I had the pleasure of employing one of the course's finest caddies.  He was so good that after the round he invited the tour to come crash on his front lawn on the banks of the May River.  This Southern Hospitality is no joke!

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Next up was a visit to Coore and Crenshaw's Chechessee Creek Club.  Very little earth was moved on this piece of property and it was. a pleasure to see what Coore and Crenshaw can do with just about any piece of land that they are given.  The greens at Chechessee Creek offer the course's biggest challenge.  Find yourself in the wrong spot and it's wildly difficult to save par.  I saved a couple, but found plenty of bogie fates.

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As a youngster, I grew up playing a 9 hole course called Arlington Park.  The course has zero bunkers and offers up 5 par 3's and 4 par 4's, the longest being just 300 yards.  I was completely content and fell in love with the little neighborhood golf course.  Eventually, I would come to realize that there are other golf courses in this world and the first course to really open my eyes was Kiawah Island's Ocean Course.

When I was 13, my Dad took me out to play the Ocean Course and I remember him paying $140 for the greens free.  For one round of golf it was 150% more than my annual membership to Arlington Park.  Holy crap!

I would rise to the moment and turn in the best golfing round of my life at that time and shoot an impressive 75.  For years, I would remember in vivid detail the long curving birdie putt that I made on #10.  Needless to say, I was excited to return.

Over the years, the course has been softened in some areas for resort play and the current conditions are less wild and much more manicured.  The Ocean Course still remains one of the most beautiful places to golf in the world.  I would play well again but only manage a 77 on Pete Dye's marvelous creation.

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After I cleaned the sand out of my shoes, I headed on down to play Kiawah's Osprey Point.  With 4 high quality public courses at Kiawah Island, it is a serious golfing destination.  You have great options with Cougar Point and Turtle Point.  There are also several private courses on the island that I have yet to play.

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 The sun sets over Osprey Point and another day on The RGV Tour ends.

The sun sets over Osprey Point and another day on The RGV Tour ends.

After Kiawah had soothed my golfing soul, it was time to head out to Myrtle Beach.  My first stop was not at a golf course but at a golf school.  I had the chance to meet up with the students and staff at the Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach.  It is always great to meet up with people that have a similar zest for the game of golf and these folks are some of the most passionate that I have encountered. If you are interested in learning more, send me a message.

After touring the facilities, we headed out to play some golf at nearby Wachesaw Plantation Club with Brandon Canesi.  Brandon is not your ordinary golfer, he has a disability that would stop most of us from ever picking up a golf club.  Brandon was born with a condition called limb reduction and he has no hands.  However, that hasn't stopped this young buck from tearing up the course.  You can check out Brandon in the video below and head over to the RGV Tour podcast to hear my conversation with him.

After a full day in class, it was time to pick it up a notch with a full day of 36 at Glen Dornach and The Dunes Golf & Beach Club.  I met up with an enthusiastic RGV Tour player named John McCabe that made the day a lot of fun.  The tour extends a big thanks to John for setting things up and his generous donation to The First Tee.

 The double green of holes 18 and 9 at Glen Dornach lies right on the Intercoastal Waterway

The double green of holes 18 and 9 at Glen Dornach lies right on the Intercoastal Waterway

 One of my favorite approach shots in South Carolina is the 16th at Glen Dornach

One of my favorite approach shots in South Carolina is the 16th at Glen Dornach

 One of my favorite tee markers, that's a gator with a golf ball in his mouth.

One of my favorite tee markers, that's a gator with a golf ball in his mouth.

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Before heading out of Myrtle Beach, I decided to pay a visit to Caledonia.  Designed by Mike Strantz, it's easy to see why his courses are a favorite with many golfers.  Mike's designs are bold and most importantly a lot of fun to play.  In a country where a lot of the golf courses can blend together, Mike does a great job of making his tracks stand out.

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With one final round to play in South Carolina, the tour headed east to find a pair of rowdy RGV Tour players in Greenville SC.  The Tour met up with Jimmy Ferguson and Richard Cox at Greenville CC.  These guys score exceptionally high in the golf IQ category and scored pretty well on the actual golf course as well.

The tour can be a grind and it certainly wears on you over time.  However, it's the spirit of the people that want to get involved that keep me going.  It amazes me how many times I have shown up to a golf course with a mundane attitude and immediately snapped out of it when I meet an excited new RGV Tour golfer.  To all of you RGV Tour players... Thank you so much for keeping it fresh, fun, and inspirational.

 The approach to the 9th hole at Greenville CC's Chanticleer Course

The approach to the 9th hole at Greenville CC's Chanticleer Course

 The 18th at Greenville CC would be the final hole golfed in South Carolina.

The 18th at Greenville CC would be the final hole golfed in South Carolina.