Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The Magnificent Seven - this year’s gang of Golfy Boyz hits the links on the southern end of South Carolina’s Golden Strand. From left to right: Marty, Bartimus Magnificus, Job Johnny, Elisson, Lee “Mister Hole-in-One” Bee, Gary, and Rocky Rhodes.
Late Spring brings with it our annual Golfy Boyz Weekend, wherein a squad of eight of my Golf-Buddies and I head off for a four-day weekend to do nothing but play golf and drink ourselves silly. (I exaggerate somewhat with respect to the drinking. We’re already quite silly enough without additional assistance.)
This year our group was somewhat diminished in numbers, Houston Steve having other duties and responsibilities... namely, helping his Loving Helpmeet celebrate her birthday. I cannot argue with his priorities, but it meant that only seven of us made the trek to the South Carolina coast.
In previous years, we had had numerous outings on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama. Plenty of fine courses, most of them within a few hours drive... but last year we decided to check out the options in Myrtle Beach, and we were far from disappointed. It’s a longer trek to get there, sure, but once you’re there, a myriad of courses await, all within a few minutes drive of one another. Owing to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean, temperatures also tend to be a bit more moderate near the Grand Strand.
We stayed (and mostly played) in Pawleys Island, a place notable for both golf and woven rope hammocks (yes, hammocks!) The last time I had trod this particular slice of the South Carolina coastline had been fifty-one years ago, when we stopped over at the Litchfield Inn on our way back home from Miami - my first lengthy Road Trip. Needless to say, both Pawleys Island and I have changed in the intervening half-century.
This year’s course selections were all superb - challenging without being ridiculous, beautifully maintained, and easy on the eye. The course we played Saturday - the Caledonia Golf and Fish Club - was easily the most scenic course I’ve played outside of Arizona: eighteen holes of low-country loveliness with an approach road to rival Magnolia Lane, o’erarched with Spanish moss-draped oaks. I even managed to log one semi-respectable scorecard during the outing.
As is our custom, we mostly dined out in the evenings, with Job Johnny, Bartimus Magnificus and I preparing a home-cooked steak dinner at our condo Friday evening. Inch-thick ribeyes... Campari tomatoes... baked sweet potatoes... a nice red Cabernet... a few drams of Laphroaig... mmmmm, good.
From a golf standpoint, the highlight of the trip had to be our friend Lee Bee’s hole-in-one on Caledonia’s sixth hole, a tee shot that landed on the green and proceeded to roll, taking a gently curving left-to-right path, right into the cup. We celebrated with the obligatory round of drinks in the clubhouse, and since it was World Gin Day, I ordered an extra dry Martini. (Gin and tonic came later, over a leisurely dinner.)
After our return to Atlanta Sunday, Gary and I agreed that this might have been our best golf weekend ever... despite our missing buddy Houston Steve. Absentibus amicis.
More pics below the fold.
Right in the frickin’ cup: At Caledonia, Lee Bee’s sixth hole tee shot lands in the ol’ can. Photographic documentation by Gary F.
The final hole at Caledonia features an approach shot over water to a green guarded by sand bunkers... and a Peanut Gallery of jocose spectators, jeering at the duffers from the clubhouse balcony.
Spanish moss decorates one of the many trees at Caledonia, former site of a rice plantation and now a Hacker’s Graveyard.