|Fall is here and the Myrtle Beach golf industry is booming. Heat and humidity are falling as fast as the summer crowds are leaving. With its average temperatures hovering around seventy five degrees, the Grand Strand area is perfect for a golf vacation.|
Even with rising golf rates and threats of hurricanes, golfers will flood the fairways and fill rooms left behind by families on summer vacation. With this impending rush of golfers to the Myrtle Beach area, you would think all is well in the local golf industry.
The over saturation of golf courses in the Grand Strand is and has been a cause for worry with course owners. Golf courses are not seeing the same high numbers of golfers or profits they have in the past. However, it seems the growing competition amongst Myrtle Beach golf courses is not the main problem behind golf industry woes. It is only a contributing factor.
What is the new competition facing the golf industry in Myrtle Beach?
It is the real estate boom. With sagging sales of tee times, some golf course owners are finding it hard to ignore the real estate developers knocking at their front doors. Developers salivate over many golf course properties but not only because of the Myrtle Beach and nationwide housing boom. They also find the zoning of many courses a perfect fit for development plans.
For example, Belle Terre Golf Course is one of the latest to announce its imminent closure. According to Alan Boldin of the Myrtle Beach Sun News, "The property is zoned RC/HC, which is Highway Commercial and Resort Commercial, which allows resort-related commercial uses, several residential uses including multi-family condos and single-family homes, and low-scale businesses such as offices, restaurants, grocery stores, etc., that might comprise a town center."
Not only does this zoning allow for multiple uses, it also means that a potential real estate developer possibly does not have to apply to the county for zoning changes.
Think this isn't a trend?
At least two layouts at Bay Tree are closing. Raccoon Run just closed its doors along with Ocean Isle Beach Golf Club and Calabash Golf Links. Over all the number of Myrtle Beach golf courses has dropped from 117 public golf courses down to 110. There are rumors that up to a dozen more are considering selling to developers.
It is hard to say when this trend will end. But it seems that the Myrtle Beach golf industry has run into formidable opponent. Golfers shouldn't get too worried. We are sure Myrtle Beach will continue to be the "Golf Mecca" for many years to come.
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