Myrtle Beach Golf Package Report – Spring 2016

Myrtle Beach Golf Package Report – Spring 2016

Myrtle Beach Golf Package Report - Rivers Edge

Postcard possibilities – Rivers Edge

Myrtle Beach Golf Package Report for Spring 2016

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.

Online Booking

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

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.

 

 

 

East Coast Golf Management Marketing Cooperative Growing

East Coast Golf Management Marketing Cooperative Growing

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 

Myrtle Beach Golf Packages

Myrtle Beach Golf Packages

myrtle beach golf packagesBook 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.

2015 Platinum Golf Membership

2015 Platinum Golf Membership

2015 Platinum Golf MembershipThe 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

2015 Platinum Golf Membership

Azalea Sands Golf Club 2100 Highway 17 North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582 843-272-6191 $ 40.00
Beachwood Golf Club 1520 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582 843-272-6168
800-526-4889
$ 40.00
Black Bear Golf Club Hwy, 9 – North Myrtle Beach, SC 843-756-0550 $ 40.00
Brick Landing Plantation 1882 Goose Creek Rd SW Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469 910-754-2745 $ 40.00
Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort 380 Brunswick Drive NW Calabash, NC 28467 800-835-4533 $ 40.00
Burning Ridge Golf Club Hwy, 501 West – Myrtle Beach, SC 843-347-0538 $ 40.00
Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest 1281 Cape Fear National Drive, Leland, NC 28451 910-383-3283 $ 50.00
Carolina National 1643 Goley Hewett Road SE Bolivia, NC 28422 910-755-5200 $ 40.00
Colonial Charters Golf Club 301 Charter Dr. Longs, SC 29568 843-399-4653 $ 40.00
Crow Creek 240 Hickman Rd NW, Calabash, NC 28467 910-287-3081 $ 50.00
Eagle Nest Golf Club 3820 Fairway Drive, Little River, SC 29566 843-249-1449 $ 40.00
Founders Club at Pawleys Island 7829 Ocean Hwy – Pawleys Island, SC 843-237-2299 $ 50.00
Indigo Creek Golf Club 9480 Indigo Club Drive Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 843-650-1809
800-718-180
$ 40.00
Indian Wells Golf Club Hwy, 17 – Garden City, SC 843-652-5555 $ 40.00
King’s Grant Golf and Country Club 347 Shawcroft Road, Fayetteville, NC 28311 910-630-1111 $ 40.00
The Pearl (East/West) 1300 Pearl Blvd. Calabash, NC 28467 910-579-8132
888-947-3275
$ 40.00
River Edge Golf Club 2000 Arnold Palmer Drive Shallotte, NC 910-755-3434
877-River18
$ 50.00
River Oaks Golf Plantation 831 River Oaks Drive Myrtle Beach SC. 29579 843-236-2222
800-762-8813
$ 40.00
Rose Hill Golf Club 4 Clubhouse Drive, Bluffton, SC 29910 843-757-9030 $ 40.00
Sandpiper Bay Golf and Country Club 800 N. Sandpiper Club Dr, Sunset Beach, NC 28468 910-579-9120
800-356-5827
$ 40.00

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.

To order your Platinum golf Membership online go to http://platinumcardsite.com.

Best Myrtle Beach Golf Package – PGA 5

Best Myrtle Beach Golf Package – PGA 5

Rivers Edge Golf Club is part of the PGA 5 Myrtle Beach Golf Package

Rivers Edge is part of the PGA 5

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.

Chinese Investors Purchasing a Number of Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

Chinese Investors Purchasing a Number of Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

Over the past several months Chinese investors have been buying Myrtle Beach golf courses, and there are rumors that more will follow. Thus far,the three courses at Sea Trail Resort in Sunset Beach, NC,  Black Bear Golf Club in Longs, SC, , Crown Park Golf Club in Longs, Burning Ridge in Conway, Indian Wells in Garden City, and The Founders Club in Pawleys Island, SC have reportedly sold, or are in the process of being sold. In each case, it is initially apparent the new owners intend to keep the courses open.

Many courses in the area have struggled over the past few years due to a (nationally) weak golf economy and the most recent blow delivered by the recession. As everyone associated with the game focuses to create new and renew old interest, areas like Myrtle Beach that may have overbuilt during the good times face competitive pressures that have lowered revenues and in some cases increased costs. Those circumstances have some owners looking for any sort of higher and better use for the property. The area’s John Daly Signature course, Wicked Stick has been reportedly listed for sale, and has a potential buyer (reported by the Sun News) who would use the property for residential and/or commercial development.

The Myrtle Beach golf industry has seen better times , but has potential to rebound as the nation’s overall economy improves and consumer confidence helps spur discretionary spending. The area stacks up well against other golf destinations with an abundance of golf course variety, virtually limitless accommodations, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, and…the beach, of course. The golf industry in general has bigger issues. Time has become one of golf’s toughest challenges, and has forward-thinking course owners creating shorter round offerings such as three, six, nine, and twelve hole programs. Some say the expense to “gear up” and play the game is also one of its biggest challenges. Others add the game’s difficulty as a hurdle. The good news…all this has the attention of the entire golf industry.

One of the most positive moves in recent history was the addition of the Drive, Chip, and Putt youth event at this year’s Masters. The interest from young golfers and their parents skyrocketed after this event. Getting more youth involved in the game is a huge benefit, but retention is still the biggest challenge. Finding solutions for retaining golfers during their family and career building years will require a significant creative effort.

Myrtle Beach, and its solid tourism industry, should prove to benefit area courses most as international interest in American golf rises. The obvious solution for Myrtle Beach is to grow its market share while the overall golf industry sorts through all the challenges it faces in the coming years. Collectively, the courses in Myrtle Beach along with all the associated businesses and marketing organizations, have a global marketing advantage if the right synergy can be accomplished. The recent golf course purchases by Chinese investors is proof the international interest is there. More international play should follow.

 

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