In this age of social distancing, few leisure activities are naturally set up to keep people six feet away from one another, and it has many around the world going a little stir crazy.
Golf, however, has been promoting wide-open outdoor spaces and small, scattered group play since the 15th century—which is perhaps why it’s seeing such a burst in popularity in the summer of COVID-19.
With a few extra safety tweaks like closed clubhouse spaces, eliminating ball washers and touchless ball retrieval from holes with foam rings, golf is rapidly becoming a favorite pastime for those eager to get out of the house in 2020.
Thanks to golf already standing as a staple teambuilding activity at meetings in pandemic-free years, this timeless game may be a welcome first step for group bonding at small, socially distant meetings.
Few locations can offer so many golf outing options as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a mecca for golf enthusiasts and home to 90 golf courses.
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Picturesque scenery of the Lowcountry terrain, the Atlantic Ocean and natural wildlife give golf courses here a special allure, and they cater to a range of skill levels, from novices to seasoned experts.
From North Myrtle Beach to Pawleys Island, schedule a tee time for small groups this year along the Grand Strand (or keep in mind for larger post-COVID meetings) at any of these courses that are popular with meetings groups.
Legends Golf Resort
Thanks to its convenient location near Myrtle Beach International Airport, Scottish-inspired Legends Golf Resort is an ideal escape for golf groups arriving from outside the state, home to the Heathland, Moorland and Parkland courses.
Photo: The Mooreland Course Credit: Legends Golf Resort
Heathland harkens to golf’s early days across the pond, described as “molded in the image of the British Isles links courses, with holes reminiscent of familiar links like St. Andrews, and lesser known gems like Lahinch and Cruden Bay.” P.B. Dye-designed Mooreland and new course Parkland both offer challenging terrain for experienced golfers.
The all-inclusive golf packages make Legends a popular option for small and large corporate groups. Those staying and playing at The Legends Resort receive unlimited use of the 30-acre practice facility, driving range, breakfast and lunch and limited drinks.
Two other courses within the Legends Golf Resort family include Oyster Bay Golf Links, on the northern end of Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, and The Heritage Club, on the southern end in Pawleys Island.
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
The Dunes Golf and Beach Club was established six decades ago, in the 1940s, when a group of Myrtle Beach businessmen and women began preparations to plan, design and build a private golf club on more than 200 acres of land overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo: The Dunes Golf & Beach Club; Credit: The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
Robert Trent Jones designed the layout, and since its construction, golfers from around the world come to tee off on its greens that continue to stand the test of time, including participants in PGA tours, which the course has hosted among many others over the years. Accolades continue for this storied course; Golfweek Magazine named The Dunes Golf Club in the “Top 100 Best Courses You Can Play in the U.S.” list (No. 50).
[Related: 7 Top Golf Courses for Group Tournaments in South Carolina]
To give your attendees a chance to play on this historic course, The Dunes Club is accustomed to hosting corporate golf outings and is also available for hosted tournaments. Indoor banquet space is available, which includes three ballrooms. These rooms are flexible, too, and can be configured to accommodate smaller meetings.
Barefoot Resort & Golf
Barefoot Resort & Golf is in the heart of Lowcountry in North Myrtle Beach and offers four courses, which are designed by some of golf’s most famous architects: Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. The resort has accommodations for golf outings of all sizes, including corporate functions, tournaments and charity events. Both the Resort Clubhouse and Dye Clubhouse can be used for group banquets, small meetings or events.
The resort and golf club also offer a variety of play packages that corporate groups can take advantage of, in addition to onsite lodging at the golf villas and yacht villas. Discounts for large corporate groups are available.
The variety of play at the resort is a highlight for golfers. The Fazio Course, for example, is modeled after European courses with live oaks, pines, sand and more, while the Dye Course borders the Carolina Bays and is extremely challenging.
Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club
A round at the links of Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club is a scenic one. This Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course was designed with nature in mind and pays homage to the area’s natural Lowcountry terrain, with the fairways and greens lined with 200-year-old moss-draped oak trees, which can also be viewed from the onsite resort villa windows.
Photo: Pawley’s Plantation Golf & Country Club; Credit: Pawley’s Plantation Golf & Country Club
Renowned rounds of play paired with nearby accommodation make Pawleys a favorite for executive and business retreats.
Indoor and outdoor sites overlooking the 18th green of the Pawleys Plantation golf course, saltwater marsh and Pawleys Island are available for corporate events, fundraisers and more, including the charming clubhouse.
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