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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Long Bay Club reopens after a renovation project. See what was done to the Jack Nicklaus layout

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The Grand Strand has one of its two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses back.

Long Bay Club reopened to the public on Monday following a nearly three-month renovation project that included the installation of new TifEagle ultradwarf Bermudagrass on its greens.

Nicklaus’ other design, Pawley Plantation Golf & Country Club in Pawleys Island, remains closed while undergoing extensive renovations that are expected to be unveiled with a reopening in early October.

Both courses are owned and operated by Founders Group International, which operates 21 Strand courses.

Long Bay’s greens, which had been Champion ultradwarf Bermuda, were restored to their original specifications, expanding to a combined surface of 110,000 square feet compared to 66,000 when the course closed on May 17.

“We’re so excited about being open and all the work that has gone into it,” Long Bay head pro Brandon Mensinger said. “The superintendent has done a phenomenal job. The greens really are very smooth and are true as can be.”

The grass on the surrounding collars of greens was replaced by Tahoma 419, which FGI says is a hearty Bermuda that can withstand close mowing and is resistant to mutation. FGI is planning similar collar work at a few of its courses.

The expansion of the greens on the 7,025-yard, par-72 that opened in 1988 in Longs should assist with future green conditions with pin positions and foot traffic being moved across greater areas.

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Troy Vincent of Vincent Design, who was a 15-year design associate for the Nicklaus Group and still works with the company, provided input into the project, which he is also doing at Pawleys Plantation.

In addition to the work on greens, an old, unused school building at the back of the driving range was razed; signs at the entrance along S.C. 9 were repainted or replaced; and the interior of the clubhouse’s restaurant was painted along with a pro shop that was rearranged.

Renovations on shelter buildings with water fountains on holes 3 and 13, and the addition of vertical running boards on wooden bridges should be completed within a few weeks.

A bunker renovation project throughout the course is expected to begin next summer and will be executed without closing the course.

The course held a tournament and prime rib dinner for about 100 of its members on Sunday.

Long Bay Club will host four rounds of the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship from Aug. 28-31.

Leopard’s Chase at Ocean Ridge Plantation in Sunset Beach, N.C., is also closed for renovations that include a transition from bentgrass to TifEagle Bermuda on its greens. The course closed on July 5 and Ocean Ridge director of marketing Bill Long said Tuesday he expects it to reopen by early September.

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