Myrtle Beach golf lovers got a renovation update from the The Dunes Club head PGA Professional, Dennis Nicholl on TGD Radio’s Tee It Up Grand Strand this week. Earlier in the summer TGD Radio had Dennis in the studio to outline the planned course renovation, we were privileged to get a mid-summer update.
The Dunes Club has been closed since early June for some serious updates including replacement of the (A1-A4) bent grass greens with a new (Champions) ultra-dwarf Bermuda. In addition to the greens, the Dunes is getting several new tee box additions and renovations as well. Some of the new tee box locations at length and interest to the classic 1949 golf course with careful consideration to preserve its character. Taking advantage of the downtime, the club decided to update the practice facility, increasing the size of the hitting area by approximately 30% and adding a new chipping area.
Even with all the extraordinary (record) rainfall in the area, progress on the renovation is going well. The club personnel have a few extra days built into the schedule for the unexpected , but the scheduled reopen date is September 1st. Club membership will hopefully get an opportunity to play the course before it opens for public play. Other area courses have accommodated Dunes Club members during the closing to offset the any inconvenience they may have experienced.
The first true test of the newly updated facility will come in June 2014 when the (312 player) PGA Professional National Championship (PNC) tournament comes to Myrtle Beach. Early rounds of the PGA PNC will be played at The Grande Dunes and The Dunes Club respectively, with final rounds at The Dunes Club. Several of the changes in the course were designed to create new challenges for the professional level players. It will be interesting to get get the course reviews after this prestigious annual championship event.
You can listen to TGD Radio’s interview with Dennis Nicholl in its entirety HERE. In the interview Dennis outlines the changes to the course in detail along with the reasons behind each change. The club consulted Reese Jones, son of course designer, Robert Trent Jones Sr, for recommendations to update the facility. As stated earlier in this article, careful consideration was taken to preserve the character of this jewel of Myrtle Beach golf which hosted the Senior Tour Championship – now Champions Tour Championship – from 1994-99