It’s time for the Myrtle Beach Golf Package Report for Spring 2016. Consider this one the preseason report. We’ll add another during and after the season. While golf is still relatively flat across the nation, Myrtle Beach is showing signs of improvement. The past two seasons (Spring and Fall 2016) were fraught with some unusual (for us) weather occurrences. Both of those seasons were wetter than normal, and actually hindered play. Some golfers were certainly discouraged by weather reports to just stay home. Spring 2016 looks really healthy going into the season. We hope mother nature finds it within her to provide a more golfer-friendly environment this year.
The Golf Director
First, we’ll give some insight to our package business here at TGD. We are relatively new in the the package business with about 1 1/2 years under our belts. So, our take may vary slightly to other packagers. Obviously one would expect us to project growth…and we are. So, if golf is flat nationally, are we just stealing market share with our online media and savvy marketing prowess? Well, maybe to some extend we are, but we’re still holding steady on a critical (to us) metric that reports 20 to 25% of all golfers we engage have never been to Myrtle Beach. Good news to other packagers, we’re not complete savages.
TGD Golf Vacations currently has on the books for 2016 more rounds than we booked for all of 2015. That still does not put us in the league of many of our other packaging friends. And, we do consider all (at least most) of the other packagers in town our friends. The trend of packed peaks is holding true for this year. We think we’re already seeing improvement over years past. What that means is that preferred tee times and lodging are getting booked earlier each year. Large groups (8 or more) need to book at least six months in advance to take advantage of the best tee times and lodging. Having said that, we (as reported in the past) will likely never run out of lodging choices during golf season. But there are limits to the lodging that is located on golf courses. Fortunately the golfer seasons shoulder our summer tourist season, so golfers do not have to compete with beach goers for rooms. Saves some money, too, as rates for lodging do go up in the summer as gofer rates tend to go down.
As we’ve reported in the past, online bookings are increasing. We’re seeing more smaller groups resorting to inline booking. We expect this trend to increase rapidly over the next seasons as folks become more comfortable with the process, and as golf websites provide more intuitive tools. You can expect to see some new and innovative tools here at TGD later this year, as we have plans to roll out a new online interface.
Overall we’re very positive about golf in Myrtle Beach. Yep, we’re the new kids and growth has a positive effect on mentality. Some of those who have been around longer and remember golf in its heyday are no where near where they used to be in package rounds. Bottom line….those who adapt to changing technology and the way consumers are engaging will fare the best going forward. We think the package business nationally, and here in MB will change drastically over the next few years….impacted most by online tools and user tendencies related to same.
Follow us on Twitter @TheGolfDirector and like us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/TheGolfDirector. Need help with your golf vacation, you can chat with us online and can even leave a message when we’re offline. Or just give us a call at 844.GoGolf1 (844-464-6531). Read more on this subject on our home page HERE and on ZeusTV.
iTrainer is not really a “gadget” per se. This is a bonafide game improvement system. It is not that often that I get the opportunity to sit in front of the television, but when I do…it’s tuned to The Golf Channel, or any other channel that is broadcasting golf. At least it stays there until the better half arrives to the living room. Hey, If you’re wife watches golf with, good for you. You are blessed! Seeing all the ads for the latest balls, clubs, game improvement gadgets, and training methods, I started thinking about how quickly gadgets can be obsoleted with the rapid pace at which technology is advancing. Having visited the PGA Merchandise show, I got a firsthand look at just how many new products are coming down the line.
Sorting Through the Golf Gadget Noise
My point here is this. There’s a lot of noise out there in the golf gadget world. How does one sort through all the noise to find the products that can really make a difference. I’m writing this to let everyone know that iTrainer Golf is the real deal. We had Darren McEntee in our studios a few weeks back while he was in town. While here, we had Darren demonstrate iTrainer to our broadcast team. The amount of data that this tiny device can generate is phenomenal. It stacks up against the most sophisticated golf simulators costing 10s of thousands of dollars. And, iTrainer was just released to the North American market at $249.oo. Yup, that’s what I wrote…$249.00.
Incredibly Accurate Swing Metrics
In addition to ball flight, ball speed, swing speed, swing plane, and about 20 other metrics, iTrainer has an interactive instruction feature to guide you through correcting any swing issues. Add this to games for younger golfers, and the ability to play virtual rounds, iTrainer will revolutionize the home simulator experience….at a fraction of the cost for other solutions. Itrainer can deliver all it’s data even if you’re hitting whiffle balls. It has been tested alongside all the high dollar competition and is remarkably accurate.
We’ll be providing more iTrainer Golf information later this summer when we get Darren back in the studio with the latest ITrainer updates. We promise to be more prepared next time and to produce a better video product, but here is a link to another article about ITrainer and below is the video from our impromptu session and Darren’s first time on camera. I think he did an awesome job!
East Coast Golf Management( ECGM) is a name that is familiar to those who have frequented our sites (at The Golf Director) and/or live in the Myrtle Beach area. We began writing about their innovative approach to growing the game of golf nearly 3 years ago. Forward thinking, creative marketing, and efficient services are normal comments that follow mention of this fairly new company. The company struggled to emerge in the highly competitive Myrtle Beach golf market in November 2011, and continue to grow despite the many changes affecting our area.
The most recent changes that have occurred are the acquisition of 27 golf courses in the area by 4 different Chinese investment groups / families. The largest of the investors is Founders Group International (FGI) who now own 22 courses in the area. Another group owns 3, and two other groups own 1 each. Click HERE for more news about those acquisitions.
The recent acquisition of most of National Golf Management’s (NGM) holdings by FGI has two of the areas top courses, Farmstead Golf Links and Meadowlands Golf Club leaving NGM and joining East Coast Golf Management. In a recent interview with The Sun News, Farmstead Meadowlands General Manager, Jason Monahan said, “We had to be proactive and do some forward thinking to make sure we had some kind alignment with somebody, and East Coast was a no-brainer. What they’ve done with that portfolio since 2011 is great. They’re really strong on the north end. It was an easy decision for us. They’re a perfect fit for us.” (Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/sports/golf/article19418778.html#storylink=cpy)
Prior to aligning with Farmstead /Meadowlands, ECGM announced adding Wachesaw Plantation East and The International Club on the south end of The Grand Strand. ECGM president, Mike Buccerone said, “Adding these courses to our portfolio is exciting. Our golf package providers have welcomed the additions and we look forward to growing together with these new partners.”
ECGM has been touted as “putting the fun back in golf” by some who are following their progress. The Platinum Golf Membership is a big part of their success. This program offers membership to 22 golf courses (as of this writing) with tee time discounts in the range of 50% along with gift cards up to $100 to be used for golf, merchandise, and food and beverages. Card holders are also privy to a “play 4, get the 5th free” feature that further enhances the value of the membership.
We expect ECGM’s presence to continue to grow in and out of the Myrtle Beach area. They already manage Kings Grant Golf Club in Fayetteville, NC and have plans developing in other areas. The Myrtle Beach golf market is changing drastically and appears to have a bright future. The Chineses acquisitions have offered relief to some struggling companies and the marketing and cooperative efforts of ECGM are certainly showing positive results. The company recently reported their courses being up an average 20% in package rounds in a market that is otherwise flat at best. They certainly have momentum in their favor, and with results like that others will take notice. For more information about East Coast Golf Management vist their webiste at http://eastcoastgolfmanagement.com
Book Myrtle Beach Golf Packages Early for the Best Deals
Waiting to the last minute to plan for spring 2015 Myrtle Beach golf packages may mean missing the best tee times. Although the spring 2014 season was slower than desired, it was hampered by some extreme (for us) weather in the form of ice and some really cold rainy days. If the fall 2014 season is any indication of what we will see in spring (barring more bad weather) it is going to be pretty strong. The golf packaging side of our business here at The Golf Director was a new addition just prior to the fall season. We did a small amount of package rounds in fall, but our spring season is already well on its way. If our start-up operation is seeing this kind of activity, the folks who have huge databases of golfers are surely seeing the development of a strong spring season.
Accommodations are not going to be an overall issue no matter how strong the season develops to be. We always have an abundance of lodging during the golf seasons which shoulder the beach’s summer tourist season. But, getting lodging that is convenient to your play plans may well be an issue if you wait to the last minute. We’re seeing golf course villas filling up ahead of everything else due completely to the convenience factor.
Another factor that may affect your planning is something called yield management. We’ve been mentioning this over the past few months in our updates, because we see the potential for issues. Not being an expert on the subject, I won’t attempt to give an in-depth explanation, but will hit the most important issue. Courses who utilize this software can automatically adjust rates based upon demand. More and more courses are moving in this direction. We’ve already seen small changes in package plans affect pricing. When you take into account that we have 15+ rate periods already, then add in adjusted rates for premium tee times, and then add in the possibility that rates can be adjusted as we get closer to playdates, advance planning is a must to lock in rates. That’s the good news, as soon as your golf is booked, the rates are locked.
So, take this as friendly advice, get a jump on your planning for Myrtle Beach golf packages. The earlier you get them booked, the better. The best tee times and lodging have always gone first, now there is a new possibly of pricing increases closer to playdates. If we can help in way with your planning let us know. Contact us HERE to interact with one of our package specialists or give us a call at 844.GoGolf1 (844-464-6531). Click the help desk tab at the bottom or the page or visit our Myrtle Beach golf packages information page.
The 2015 Platinum Golf Membership has been rolled out, and this year it includes a $100 gift card. Over the past couple of years the Platinum program by East Coast Golf Management (ECGM) has become a favorite among locals and visiting golfers to the grand Strand. The very popular Play 4 – Get The 5th For FREE bonus is back, and for 2015 ECGM has added a $100 gift card. The card includes deep discounts at over 20 courses in North and South Carolina
The 2015 Platinum Golf Membership costs $159.95 and includes a $100 gift card that can be redeemed for golf, merchandise, and food & beverage at your favorite participating course. So, the net cost before discounts and FREE rounds is $59.00. The membership includes the very popular Play 4 – Get the 5th FREE bonus from years past and deep discounts at all participating courses. Some quick and easy math will reveal the membership pays for itself almost immediately! Depending upon the rate period, the discounts at participating courses can be as much as 60%. The value is obvious. The selection of courses includes some of the best along the Grand Strand.
The 2015 Platinum Golf Membership Welcomes Canadian Golfers
The 2015 Platinum Golf Membership is available to golfers from all over the United States and Canada. Yes, unlike competing programs that do not allow our Canadian friends to participate, the membership is open to all.