HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — This Masters weekend, Arrowhead Country Club near Forestbrook saw a 50% drop in golfers than what they saw in April, but it’s still an increase in how many they’d normally see during November.
There have been 150 to 200 golfers a day on Arrowhead’s courses this Masters weekend, which has given the course an economic boost they otherwise wouldn’t usually have in November.
The Masters Tournament creates excitement that brings people from all over the world to the Grand Strand.
“We would play anywhere around 300 plus golfers in a day,” said Arrowhead Country Club head golf professional Jake Benton.
And it continues to bring folks from around the globe, even in November.
“It was surprising, yesterday. There was quite a few out playing,” said Tom Barber, a Myrtle Beach resident who says he’d even travel if he had to, to play golf along the Grand Strand.
Benton says even though there’s been 50% fewer golfers on their greens than a normal April Masters weekend, it’s an increase for the month.
“People are so excited about The Masters in general. Maybe Sunday afternoons people aren’t playing because they want to watch the end, but Thursday through the weekend, it was very busy,” he told News13.
And for Steve Crouse, who’s traveled to the Grand Strand for nearly three decades to golf with his friends, he says some folks are probably just staying in due to COVID-19.
“We came down yesterday,” said Crouse. “This is the first day we’ve played, and it doesn’t look like it’s overly crowded.”
“It’s a sport that you can socially distance and get outside and enjoy the weather, and I think people have seen that, so in other communities it’s really been great, whereas here, the travel ban kind of affected things,” Benton said.
But, the Masters’ April to November switch and the cancellation of Monday after the Masters hasn’t stopped those like Ramadan Ibric, who flew eight hours just to play Arrowhead’s courses.
“It makes me feel that I’m part of that society, and the sport that pretty much everybody around the world enjoys it and loves it,” Ibric said.
Like many, he says he’ll be back with his clubs again next year.
“You better believe it,” Ibric said with a smile.
Monday after the Masters has been rescheduled for April, and Benton says it’s cancellation this year didn’t have an affect on Arrowhead, but that other courses in North Myrtle Beach may have been economically affected.