May Marks The Start Of Golf Season For Winter-Weary Golfers

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Myrtle Beach, S.C. Courses Offer Great Deals For Golfers Looking To Launch Their Seasons With A "Golf Getaway"

With The 2008 Masters fading into memory, golfers in the winter-weary East and Midwest are now looking for ways to get their own golf seasons launched. Many are setting their sites on America's golf Mecca, Myrtle Beach, S.C. where temperatures are already in the mid-70s, golf courses are in top shape, and "stay and play" packages are incredibly affordable.

Myrtle Beach is an easy-to-reach destination, well within a day's drive of most East Coast and Midwest populations centers. And, with air service increasingly available, more and more golfers are opting to hop a flight, enabling them to play golf on the same day they arrive.

While Myrtle Beach golf is world-class, fun and easy to get to, it's also very affordable. That's one of the reasons the place is so popular. No other spot on the East Coast offers so many high quality golf courses and accommodations for such reasonable prices.

Here's a look at three of the top choices:

For atmosphere and challenge, the Village at the Glens can't be beat. Run by the prestigious Glens Golf Group, the Scottish-themed Village is the perfect home base for a four-day tour of all the Glens courses -- Heather Glen, Glen Dornoch, Possum Trot and Shaftesbury Glen.

Voted the "Best New Course" in America when it opened two decades ago, the flagship of The Glens Golf Group golf courses, Heather Glen, sits on a magnificent, 400-acre historic site in Little River, S.C. Just across the street from Heather Glen is Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links which features extraordinary views of the Intracoastal Waterway and three of the most challenging and scenic finishing holes on the Grand Strand. Nearby Possum Trot -- the "Friendliest Course On The Beach"-- is known for its Old English design, spacious fairways, challenging par 5's, and flawlessly manicured greens. Over on the banks of South Carolina's beautiful Waccamaw River, there's Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club with a design inspired by world-famous courses like Winged Foot and Augusta National.

Shaftesbury has begun offering an experience unlike any other in Myrtle Beach with the debut of its "Shaftesbury Suites." Designed for discriminating groups of 16 to 20 looking for a unique golf getaway, the suites are exquisitely appointed in an old-world style. Guests will receive 4-star service and enjoy exclusive after-hours access to the Shaftesbury clubhouse for private parties.

More information about Glens packages is at http://www.glensgolfvacations.com or http://www.glensgolfgroup.com. Golf vacations can be booked online with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Golfers in search of Charleston-style elegance without the high price tag are choosing Pawleys Plantation, a Grand Strand destination that delivers the Southern charm of Kiawah and the casual elegance of Hilton Head. This is the place to enjoy five-star gourmet dining at a three-star price, with dishes prepared by a head chef who was recently named "Grand Champion" at an American Culinary Federation competition.

At Pawleys Plantation, the fairways are lined with massive 200-year-old moss-draped live oaks and greens are set against multi-colored salt marshes. The resort's Jack Nicklaus signature golf course is ranked among the top 50 in the state by the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel, a group of 125 golfers who play and rate the 380 courses in the state.

Golfers looking to tune up their games often head for the on-site Phil Ritson-Mel Sole Golf School (one of the Top 25 in the U.S.), which is headquartered at Pawleys Plantation. This top-ranked school is surprisingly affordable -- its management sets tuition rates significantly lower than other top schools so that the school is accessible to even the budget-minded.

Accommodations at Pawleys Plantation are in Lowcountry style villas that line the Nicklaus course. Perfect for small meetings and executive retreats, the resort also offers one of the nicest small conference centers on the East Coast.

Learn more at http://www.pawleysplantation.com or call 800-367-9959.

One of the Grand Strand's best Southern-style "stay and play" experiences is at Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center, a 2000-acre resort with three championship course, practice greens, a lighted driving range, a Custom Clubs Store and a PGA-sanctioned Golf Learning Center. Guests stay in beautiful, casual-style villas that deliver panoramic views of the golf courses and lakes. There's a Village Activity Center with indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, and even a licensed massage therapist on staff.

Golf at Sea Trail is played over rolling terrain and through forested areas of pine, dogwood and live oak. The course architects are some of the best-known names in golf -- Dan Maples, Rees Jones and Willard Byrd -- and each architect brought a unique design philosophy to his Sea Trail course, resulting in three distinctly different challenges.

Sea Trail is also a perfect spot for an executive retreat or conference with over 60,000 square feet of meeting and function space. Convention South magazine recently recognized Sea Trail's commitment to excellence with the coveted "Readers Choice Award" for exceeding "the high demands of meetings in both physical attributes and throughout their hospitality and customized service."

To learn more about Sea Trail, go online to http://www.seatrail.com or call 888-675-9237.

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Jamie Wilburn

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