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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Golf notes: The market has new ambassadors, and the amateur PGA Tour champion won here first

Grand Strand golf has new representatives, seven Myrtle Beach area courses are ranked by Golfweek, and a discount card is released

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Renowned golf trick shot artists George and Wesley Bryan, known as The Bryan Bros, have added to their long history with the Myrtle Beach golf industry by becoming Official Ambassadors of the Myrtle Beach golf community for 2024.

They have gained the designation by entering an agreement with the Golf Tourism Solutions marketing, technology and events agency that promotes the Myrtle Beach golf market.

While George and Wesley play professionally – Wesley won the PGA Tour’s 2017 RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island – the Columbia area natives and University of South Carolina graduates are perhaps equally known for their trick shot prowess and will promote Myrtle Beach.

They will film an episodic series in Myrtle Beach this year that will highlight the area’s offerings on and off the course.

In addition to the series, they will create content for PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com and GTS’ various media channels, and appear on podcasts and TV shows.

The Bryan brothers regularly played golf in Myrtle Beach growing up, including in junior tournaments such as the George Holliday Memorial Junior on Thanksgiving weekend.

They are among golf’s most popular social media influencers with more than 300,000 YouTube subscribers, 250,000 Instagram followers, and 60,000 TikTok followers.

“The Bryan Bros brand is among the emerging creator brands in the golf space and we look forward to a partnership which will continue to position The Golf Capital of the World as America’s favorite buddies trip destination for years to come,” said GTS director of marketing Kyle Oland in a press release.

George and Wesley Bryan are representing the Myrtle Beach golf market as ambassadors. (GTS photo)

DJ World Junior champ wins on PGA Tour

The Dustin Johnson World Junior Championship was created by Johnson and its other organizers to annually bring the top juniors to the Grand Strand.

The resumes being built by the past winners of the event held at TPC Myrtle Beach each winter prove that ambition is being realized.

Nick Dunlap, the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson in 1991, is the second former DJ World Junior champ to win on the PGA Tour in the past six months, and third to win at the highest levels of the sport over that time.

On Sunday, Dunlap, the 2021 winner at TPC Myrtle Beach, won the $8.4 million American Express at PGA West in La Quinta, California. He won by a shot with a 29-under par total that included a 60 on Saturday.

2019 boys’ champion Akshay Bhatia won the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship this past July, and 2018-2019 girls champion Alexa Pano won the LPGA Tour’s ISPS HANDA World Invitational Presented in Northern Ireland on her 19th birthday in August.

Dunlap, an Alabama native and sophomore at the University of Alabama who recently turned 20, is building quite a resume.

Since his DJ World Junior win, he won the 2021 U.S. Junior and 2023 U.S. Amateur as one of several significant amateur titles, shot a 60 to tie a college golf 18-hole record, and shot a 62 to Monday qualify for a Korn Ferry Tour event.

Many of the top juniors in the world will be at the 2024 DJ World Junior from March 1-3 at the TPC.

Nick Dunlap won the DJ World Junior title in 2021. (Golf Tourism Solutions photo)

Ranking Myrtle Beach’s courses

Golfweek Magazine has named seven Myrtle Beach courses among its “Top 200 Resort Courses in the U.S.” for 2024.

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and The Dunes Club lead the way at Nos. 46 and 48, respectively.

They are followed by True Blue Golf Club (No. 86), Legends Resort’s Moorland Course (177), the King’s North Course at Myrtle Beach National (181), Grande Dunes Resort Course (191) and Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club (195).

At the top of the list are Pebble Beach Golf Links in California at No. 1, Pacific Dunes in Oregon at No. 2, and Pinehurst Resort’s No. 2 Course in North Carolina at No. 3.

The rankings are based on scores given by Golfweek’s course rating panel, whose hundreds of members evaluate courses on 10 criteria and give an overall rating. 

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is ranked among the top 50 resort courses in the U.S. by Golfweek. (Golf Tourism Solutions photo)

High school event gains sponsor

The Keiser University College of Golf has become the title sponsor of the renamed Keiser University College of Golf Palmetto Championship. It will be played March 28-30 at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, True Blue Golf Club and Tradition Club.

A 54-hole, college-style tournament, the event features 48 high school teams from numerous states and Canada. Current PGA Tour players Rickie Fowler, the 2006 champion, and Harris English are among the Palmetto’s notable alums.

It is operated by the GTS. Other GTS events include the Brittain Resorts Classic, Dustin Johnson World Junior Championship, TRUE World Am Q School, GolfBuddy Veterans Classic, National Retired Military Golf Classic, Family Golf Week, Short Par 4 Girls Palmetto and Short Par 4 Fall Classic.

First Tee releases Players Card

A fundraiser for The First Tee of the Coastal Carolinas can benefit area golfers as well, particularly those who play on the north end of the Grand Strand.

The youth development and golf organization is selling its 2024 Players Card that offers discounted rounds at dozens of courses.

Numerous courses on the north end of the Myrtle Beach golf market can be played for between $30 and $54.

It has partnered with The First Tee of Greater Wilmington to provide more options, so The First Tee Coastal Carolinas Player Card will now be a combined card with the First Tee Greater Wilmington Card for a second year in a row.

The area chapter will receive the Players Card Fee of $100.

Purchase of a Players Card helps The First Tee deliver programs to over 34,500 youth ages 7-17 in Georgetown and Horry counties in S.C., as well as Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Onslow and Pamlico counties in N.C. The programs include In-School PE, School Day and After School/Saturday classes with the help of more than 150 volunteer coaches.

Cards can be purchased online at the First Tee of the Coastal Carolinas website.

Leopard’s Chase Golf Links is among the courses on The First Tee of Coastal Carolinas Players Card. (Photo by Alan Blondin)

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