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.
I had the opportunity to play my second round at Eagle Nest golf course in Little River, SC yesterday. I played with my son, Dustin and Eagle Nest golf professional, Ethan Leyshon. Dustin and I had played the course earlier in the year and I remember saying, “I can’t believe we have not played here before.” The course is fun and very playable, and can be challenging from the tips…as we learned yesterday. No, I normally do not play any course from the tips. My game does not warrant such an attempt. I merely went along with the group.
The first thing noticeable about Eagle Nest golf course is the unique scenery. The course, having been built prior to some (otherwise) preventive regulatory actions, is woven through the low country terrain among cypress filled Carolina Bays. Rather than trying to educate those unfamiliar with Carolina Bays, we’ve provided a link to Wikipedia HERE. It is doubtful that a course could be built today in such close proximity to these natural phenomena. The course has been accented with the handiwork of Mr. Bill DeWitt, a 30+ year employee of Eagle Nest, and the recent recipient of the 2014 Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Association’s Employee of the Year award. The land contains a greenhouse, plant nursery, two-acre vegetable garden, a multitude of flower and plant beds, numerous grape vines, pear trees, plum trees, fig trees, etc. Mr. DeWitt still works at the property at the age of 83. “It’s a unique property,” course superintendent Mark Duzenski (in a recent Sun News story) said. “It’s not just golf, that’s for sure.”
Eagle Nest Golf Course Conditions
Course conditions at Eagle Nest were outstanding. The greens were rolling very fast and extremely smooth, the bunkers (yes, I found a couple) were well manicured with plenty of sand. They recently overseeded the fairways with rye, and it was already beginning to sprout. The bermuda is still green, but will become dormant over the next few weeks leaving the lush green rye grass for the balance of fall, winter, and early spring seasons.
I want to emphasize in this blog, just how good the greens were. Although we didn’t measure, I would say they would have measured in the 11 1/2 to 12 ‘ range on the stimpmeter. Earlier this year (back in summer) Eagle Nest struggled a bit with their greens, and they’ve recovered beautifully! This is a great place to practice and improve your putting skills. These greens are incredibly smooth with lots of undulation.
Eagle Nest Golf course does not get enough praise. These folks do a heck of a good job providing fun golf at an incredible value. Right now during peak season, the walk-in rate is just over $50. There are always deals available as well, such as their participation in the Platinum Membership Card by East Coast Golf management. I would personally recommend including this course in your next golf vacation. And, if you’re a local and haven’t been to Eagle Nest recently, get there. You’ll be glad you did. To book your rounds at Eagle Nest, you can go directly to their site at http://EagleNestGolf.com, or give us a call here at The Golf Director at 844.GoGolf1 (844.646.6531)
Everyone is searching for the best Myrtle Beach golf package for the fall 2014 and spring 2015 seasons. Standing tall above the rest is the PGA 5 Package by East Coast Golf Management (ECGM). Many are calling this the best 5 round package on the entire east coast! This year’s enhancement to the PGA 5 is the addition of a $150 gift card. The card can be redeemed for food, beverages, merchandise, and additional rounds.
Myrtle Beach Golf Package Courses
The combination of golf courses that participate in the PGA 5 offer golfers choices that fit every budget. The course list includes Azalea Sands, Beachwood, Black Bear, Brick Landing, Burning Ridge, Brunswick Plantation, Cape Fear National, Carolina National, Colonial Charters, Crow Creek, Eagle Nest, Founders Club of Pawleys Island, Heron Point, Indian Wells, Indigo Creek, Lockwood Folly, Pearl East, Pearl West, River Oaks, Rivers Edge, and Sandpiper Bay. There’s a lot of great golf included in this list!
The courses are in pristine shape for the fall season. We’re getting reports from lots ofMyrtle Beach Golf Package players claiming some courses are the best they ever been. The Godfather (George Honeycutt), host of several of our radio and TV shows has a Saturday group that played Rivers Edge this past weekend, and reported the paspalum greens there were spectacular. By the way, Rivers Edge is on the PGA 5 Package. If you’ve never played this course, make plans now to do so. It’s an Arnold Palmer design that is gorgeous and challenging at any level.
The fall and spring are our peak seasons for a Myrtle Beach Golf Package here along the Grand Strand, and this year, it seems tee sheets are filling up earlier than in the past couple of years. During and just after the Great Recession, golf play slumped, and golfers could wait until the last minute and still get decent tee times. The slow times also meant courses were offering cheaper last minute deals, and who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that? This is certainly not the case now. Waiting until the last minute now may cost you more money, as a growing number of the courses are utilizing a yield management process that allows them to adjust round rates according to play by the hour. As the tee sheets fill up, rates will increase, so book early to reserve your rounds!
The PGA 5 Package will be available for the spring season if fall is not in the cards for you. You can bet it will still be up there in the running for the best spring Myrtle Beach golf package. For more information about this and other packages visit The Golf Director package page HERE. To read other articles about the PGA 5 click HERE. If you need help with your next golf vacation give us a call here at The Golf Director at 844.GoGolf1 (844-464-6531), or just click on the help desk at the bottom right of this page….or visit our Myrtle Beach golf packages information page.