The Ryder Cup Ends With Victory For Team USA As 2008 Golf Season Winds Down

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Six Years Of European Dominance Ends At Kentucky's Valhalla Golf Club, Inspiring Recreational Golfers To Head To Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

September 23, 2008, Myrtle Beach, S.C. -- Team Europe and Team USA teed it up in the last big golf event of the 2008 season at the 37th Ryder Cup Matches at Louisville, Kentucky's Valhalla Golf Club. The USA emerged victorious and now commentators around the world are analyzing how Paul Azinger led his team to victory.

The Ryder Cup has inspired recreational golfers to round out their own seasons with one last trip to America's golf capital, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Whether you have a swing that packs subtle power like Anthony Kim or is oddly effective like Jim Furyk, you'll want to check out Myrtle Beach.

Most golfers coming from the Northeast and Midwest can reach Myrtle Beach by car within a day. Or catch a morning plane and they can check in, get settled and be on the links by afternoon.

Perhaps the best news about Myrtle Beach is its affordability. In these times of high gas prices and rising costs for all of life's necessities, it's nice to know that there is one sun-drenched location that delivers affordable world-class golf courses and accommodations. In fact, no other spot on the East Coast offers so much for so little.

Here's a look at some of the best golf and accommodations deals along Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand.

Just a few miles from the center of Myrtle Beach, The Village at the Glens sits overlooking the spectacular, award-winning Heather Glen Golf Links. Run by the prestigious Glens Golf Group, it's a place where guests can focus completely on golf while immersed in the Old World charm of a Scottish-themed landscape. It also happens to be 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. Right across the street from Heather Glen is Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links -- often referred to as "Myrtle Beach's Most Talked About Course" in part because of its extraordinary views of the Intracoastal Waterway, and also because it's on Golf Digest's list of the Top 25 Courses in South Carolina, as well as Golf Magazine's Top 20 courses in South Carolina.

Nearby, Possum Trot is known as the "Friendliest Course On The Beach" and its Old English design features spacious fairways, challenging par 5's, and flawlessly manicured greens. Inspired by world-famous courses like Winged Foot and Augusta National, Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club is located on the banks of South Carolina's beautiful Waccamaw River.

If a group of 16 to 20 golf buddies is looking for a unique and memorable golf getaway, they can check out The Glens Golf Group's exquisitely appointed "Shaftesbury Suites." Located on the second floor of the Shaftesbury Glen Manor House at the Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club, the five two-bedroom, two-bath suites offer old-world charm and views of the Waccamaw River. Guests at the suites receive 4-star service and enjoy exclusive after-hours access to the Shaftesbury clubhouse for private parties. More information on Shaftesbury Suites is available by calling 1-877-587-6374 or going online to http://www.shaftesburysuites.com.

The Glens Group makes it easy to book a golf vacation online with just a few clicks of the mouse. Just go to http://www.glensgolfvacations.com or http://www.glensgolfgroup.com.

Vacationers who like to listen to the roar of the ocean and see the bright lights of Myrtle Beach nightlife will want to consider staying oceanfront at Sands Resorts. This collection of six fun-filled oceanfront locations offers an incredible number of on-site activities and now Sands Resorts has teamed up with The Glens Group to create a special golf package for beach lovers.

Stay in a suite or villa on the beach and watch the sunrise over the Atlantic before breakfast and a day on the links. It's just a short drive to Glen Dornoch, Shaftesbury Glen and Heather Glen. The Sands Resorts package starts under $400 for 3 nights/3 rounds and 3 breakfasts. Check it all out at http://www.golfthebeach.com or call 877-726-3762.

Folks who stay at Sands Resorts have access to a variety of on-site restaurants, a health club, indoor and outdoor pools, an on-site waterpark, and even a concierge service. And if you just can't bear to leave home without your dog, Sands even offers a special dog-friendly package for just $50.00 per dog per stay (http://www.sandsfido.com) or call (800) 386-1872).

Those looking for a laid-back setting surrounded by all things golf, can check out one of the Grand Strand's best "stay and play" experiences just over the border in Sunset Beach, N.C. Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center is a spectacular 2000-acre resort that offers a variety of packages built around its three championship courses.

Ranked among the "Top 50 Courses In Myrtle Beach" by Golf Digest and "North Carolina's Top 20 Courses" by Golf Magazine, Sea Trail's courses are known for their smooth bent grass greens and abundant water features. The (Dan) Maples Course features massive waste bunkers and five holes that travel along the scenic Calabash Creek. The (Rees) Jones Course has generous fairways, dramatic mounds and water on eleven holes. And the (Willard) Byrd Course curls around several man-made lakes that come into play on 13 holes.

Golf amenities at this fine resort include practice greens, a lighted driving range, a Custom Clubs Store and a PGA-sanctioned Golf Learning Center. Guests have access to a Village Activity Center with indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, and a licensed massage therapist. Spacious accommodations are in beautiful, Carolina-style villas that feature panoramic views of the golf courses and lakes.

Sea Trail's heart is great golf, but it's also the perfect setting for meetings and social events. With the largest Convention Center on the North Carolina coast, Sea Trail offers more than 60,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. The resort can handle everything from corporate retreats to trade shows and, while its professional staff specializes in corporate events, they are also skilled at staging unforgettable weddings.

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

Visitors who enjoy a little Charleston-style elegance with their golf but prefer to skip the high prices should head for the Carolina Lowcountry's best bargain, Pawleys Plantation. Located on the southern tip of the Grand Strand, this is a place that drips with the Southern charm of Kiawah and the casual elegance of Hilton Head. But you'll be pleasantly surprised by its affordability.

At Pawleys Plantation, fairways are lined with massive 200-year-old moss-draped live oaks. There are egret and heron rookeries and greens backed by glorious multi-colored salt marshes. The resort's Jack Nicklaus signature golf course is ranked among the top 20 courses in the state by Golf Magazine.

If your game needs a little tune-up, check out the "Best Ever Golf School Package" at Pawleys Plantation which runs through February, 2009. The package combines three nights of accommodations, two rounds of golf, daily breakfast, and three days of golf school at the on-site Ritson-Sole Golf School, which is currently ranked one of the top five golf schools in America. Starting at $799 per person, this unique opportunity enables golfer to experience top quality instruction at an affordable price.

Accommodations at Pawleys Plantation are in Lowcountry style villas that line the Nicklaus course. And don't miss the opportunity to enjoy five-star gourmet dining at a three-star price with dishes prepared by the resort's head chef who was recently named "Grand Champion" at an American Culinary Federation competition.

Pawleys Plantation is also a perfect spot 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.

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Jamie Wilburn

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