Myrtle Beach’s busy October golf season is in full flight, accentuated by a European flavour on this week’s debut of Golf Channel’s “Big Break Myrtle Beach” reality show and the re-opening of Tidewater Golf Club, one of the gems on the Grand Strand.
Myrtle Beach’s busiest golf season is in the spring, but autumn offers cooler post-summer weather with golf courses in their ultimate condition.
“Big Break Myrtle Beach” debuts today, Oct. 7, on Golf Channel and runs for 11 episodes until mid-December. The popular reality series has been a stepping stone to professional golf for a number of players. This year’s 12-player field includes two European players, Austria’s Carolin Pineggar and Latvia’s Krista Puisite, both with promising resumes. Previous “Big Break” shows have been filmed in Europe at Carnoustie and St. Andrews, Scotland, and the K Club in Ireland. International viewers can watch the show at www.golfchannel.com/tv/big-break-myrtle-beach on a weekly basis each Wednesday, the day after it airs in the United States.
“Big Break Myrtle Beach” was filmed this summer on the Fazio, Dye and Love courses at Barefoot Landing and Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club in Myrtle Beach. The show has various golf challenges for the participants and also displays how they interact with each other in front of numerous cameras during the competition as well as off the course.
Pineggar took up skiing at age 2 like most Austrians, but was drawn to golf by her parents’ interest. She came to the United States at age 16 to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and played collegiate golf at the University of Central Florida. She has just completed her rookie season on the Symetra Tour and will be on the LPGA’s developmental tour again in 2015.
“I didn’t realise how much of a golf mecca Myrtle Beach was until I got there,” said Pineggar, 23, a Schladming, Austria native. “There were so many people playing golf there and there was a lot of variety to the golf courses. There was really a lot of other stuff to do while we were there too.”
Puisite comes from an even more humble golf origin. Latvia has only one 18-hole course and a few hundred golfers. But her father introduced her to golf, which led Krista and sister Mara to the Latvian Junior National Team and to college golf at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Krista will compete in the final stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament in early December after playing on the 2014 Symetra Tour.
“We spent a lot of time in Myrtle Beach driving from course to course during the filming of the show and there were golf courses everywhere,” said Puisite, 23, a native of Riga, Latvia. “We got to play some really nice courses and the water and beach being so close was also awesome. It would be a great place for a vacation and high-level professional tournaments.”
Tidewater, located on the northern end of the Grand Strand in North Myrtle Beach, reopened last week, Oct. 1, after a four-month renovation project that included transitioning its greens to MiniVerde bermudagrass and improvements in drainage, fairway widening and other alterations.
Tidewater, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, has been ranked among the top 100 public courses in the country by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine and was the first course named “Best New Public Course” in the same year by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine when it opened in 1990. The course features a number of holes on a bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and Cherry Grove Inlet with views of the nearby Atlantic Ocean.
To learn more about Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, go to www.myrtlebeachgolfholiday.com.
To learn more about “Big Break Myrtle Beach,” go to http://www.golfchannel.com/tv/big-break-myrtle-beach.