The course is installing new Sunday Bermudagrass greens and the putting surfaces are being restored to their original dimensions, which will add 28,000 square feet of additional green space.
“There’s going to be a lot more pin positions,” said Dan Schlegel, owner of Schlegel Golf Design. “A lot of the existing contours that were in the ground that got pushed outside of the green envelope are now going to be back into play. With that expansion, it’ll add a lot more variety on approach shots.”
Myrtle Beach’s summer weather has provided an ideal incubator for the Sunday Bermudagrass, which will provide a truer roll and allow the greens to be mowed at a lower height. While the greens are growing at an accelerated pace, Schlegel’s team is overseeing the overhaul of every bunker on the course.
Over time, the Palmetto Course’s bunkers had expanded and the sand lines were lost to the point where the majority of the sand traps were identical in shape. That will change as every bunker is being redefined, helping create a new look for the course.
“We’re taking some bunkers out, and we’re adding a couple bunkers,” Schlegel said. “Some of the fairway bunkers, we’re going to let them jut into the line of play a little bit more, put them on a little bit more on angle, and change elevations slightly. Going forward, when you’re hitting a shot, you might now see fairway beyond (the sand) and want to take a gamble to carry that bunker.”
For Schlegel, who started his career working under Edmund Alt, the Palmetto Course’s original architect, the project is a labor of love. “I love it,” Schlegel said of being back at Myrtlewood, where he assisted on a mid-1990s renovation project. “Being in Myrtle Beach is awesome.”
The Palmetto Course closed June 24 and is slated to reopen Sunday, Sept. 1.
Myrtlewood Golf Club is a 36-hole facility owned by Founders Group International, the Myrtle Beach area’s largest golf course ownership group. The Palmetto’s sister course, PineHills, underwent a similar project in 2018 that has been met by rave reviews.