Myrtle Beach is preparing for inclement weather as Hurricane Matthew moves north toward the East Coast.
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley issued an evacuation order of Zone A in Horry County starting at noon Thursday. A “Zone A” evacuation would affect all homes and businesses, including hotels, east of U.S. 17 Business.
Hurricane Matthew is forecast to affect Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand area Friday through early Sunday as it passes off the coast and then turns east back out to sea. The Grand Strand is expected to get 12 inches or more of rain along with tropical storm-force winds.
Grand Strand golf courses are bracing for Hurricane Matthew, but in many cases they are also remaining open as long as possible Friday to accommodate booked golf package rounds and hope to reopen as early as Sunday afternoon.
Visiting golfers have no time for a hurricane.
Many of the Strand’s nearly 90 public courses in Georgetown, Horry and Brunswick counties are planning to remain open until mid-afternoon Friday to give those with morning tee times a chance to complete their rounds.
“We’re going to allow people to attempt to go out in the morning,” said Dave Genevro, general manager of the four-course Barefoot Resort. “So other than some rain, the wind is supposed to be pretty calm until late in the day. We’ll close after they get off the course.”
Course operators have an urgency to reopen as soon as possible considering they are in the midst of an important fall golf season that lasts approximately seven weeks through the third week of November.
The approaching storm and the ordered evacuation along coastal areas of the Strand have lessened the demand for rounds in the immediate aftermath of Matthew’s wrath. But courses will still have some existing tee times Sunday and players anxious to get back on the links.
“It may be just getting one course ready to open [Sunday],” Genevro said. “With the amount of business we have if we can get one or two courses cleaned up we can handle play through Monday and Tuesday before things get ramped up again on Wednesday.”
This weekend’s scenario is all too familiar for course operators. About this time last year, they were enduring record rainfall totals over a weekend that caused widespread flooding and forced courses to close for at least two days. A few courses were closed for several more days or weeks.
“It’s kind of eerie because this is what happened last year, the same time,” said Andrew Galbraith, head pro at the three-course Sea Trail Resort in Sunset Beach, N.C. “We were down for a couple days. It was a tough one, and a year later here we are.”
Unlike last year, many Strand courses are fairly dry as they await the storm and may be in better condition to handle a lot of rain in a short amount of time.
“We’ve had a dry week, but the water tables aren’t as low as I wish they would be,” Genevro said. “Ponds are down a little bit. If we get 6 to 8 inches I think we’ll be okay. The fairways and greens will be fine, it will just be a lot of bunker work for us. It’s not just the bunker slopes, these storms sometimes wash sand out of the bunkers themselves.”
“If we can open Sunday afternoon we’re going to open,” Legends head pro Matt Biddington said. “Because we have guests here on site who are ready to play, we’re going to do everything in our power to open at least 18 of our 54 holes at Legends on Sunday.”
Golf Course Matthew Storm Update
|Aberdeen Country Club||Yes through Thursday 10/6||Friday 10/7, Saturday 10/8 and Sunday 10/9||Monday 10/10 TBD||866.531.6611|
|Arcadian Shores||Closed||10/5 (PM) – Sunday, 10/9||Monday 10/10||866.531.6611|
|Arrowhead Country Club||Yes through 10/7 10:15 am tee times||Closed Saturday 10/8||Sunday 10/9 Weather permitting||866.531.6611|
|Azalea Sands||Closed||Friday 10/7, Saturday 10/8||Sunday 10/9 will evaluate||866.531.6611|
|Bald Head Island||Yes||866.531.6611|
|Barefoot Dye||Open until mid afternoon Fri 10/7||Saturday 10/8||10:00 am Sunday 10/9||866-638-4818|
|Barefoot Fazio||Open until mid afternoon Fri 10/7||Saturday 10/8||10:00 am Sunday 10/9||866.531.6611|
|Barefoot Love||Open until mid afternoon Fri 10/7||Saturday 10/8||10:00 am Sunday 10/9||866.531.6611|
|Barefoot Norman||Open until mid afternoon Fri 10/7||Saturday 10/8||10:00 am Sunday 10/9||866.531.6611|
|Beachwood Golf Club||Yes||866.531.6611|
|Brick Landing Plantation||Yes||866.531.6611|
|Brunswick Plantation & Golf Resort||Yes thru Friday 10/7||Closed Saturday 10/8||Sunday 10/9 TBD||866.531.6611|
|Burning Ridge||Yes thru Friday 10/7||Closed Saturday 10/8||Sunday 10/9 TBD||866.531.6611|
|Caledonia||Yes thru Friday 10/7||Closed Saturday 10/8||Sunday 10/9 TBD||866.531.6611|
|Cape Fear||Yes thru Friday 10/7||Closed Saturday 10/8||Sunday 10/9 TBD||866.531.6611|
|Carolina National||Yes thru Friday 10/7||Closed Saturday 10/8||Sunday 10/9 TBD||866.531.6611|
|Carolina Shores||Yes thru Friday 10/7||Closed Saturday 10/8||Sunday 10/9 TBD||866.531.6611|
|Colonial Charter||Yes thru Friday 10/7||Closed Saturday 10/8||Sunday 10/9 TBD||866.531.6611|