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'Big Break' shines a light on popular Dye Club at Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Ian GuerinBy Ian Guerin,
Barefoot Resort - Dye Club golf course
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The South Carolina Golf Course Owner's Association named Barefoot Dye its course of the year in 2013. (Courtesy of Barefoot Resort)

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Year by year, the Dye Club at Barefoot Resort seems to grow its lore just a tad more.

The golf course has hosted a Canadian Tour event, PGA of America championships, Hootie & the Blowfish's nationally recognized Monday After the Masters celebrity pro-am and enough international corporate trips to already stake its claim as one of the most acclaimed courses on South Carolina's Grand Strand.

And now, with it serving as one of the four host courses for Golf Channel's "Big Break Myrtle Beach" reality show, the Dye Club is expanding its notoriety again.

Basically, it's everything the course wasn't when it opened in 2000 and golfers were being shuttled across the Intracoastal Waterway on pontoon boats.

"There is an awareness," said Jeff Diehl, Dye's head golf professional. "I don't think we'll see the impact (in rounds) until the spring. People get into November and December and start booking their next package."

He went on to explain himself further, essentially saying that the club's existing popularity had the tee sheets already jammed. That's because, as he puts it, the Dye Club goes "far past 'Big Break.'"

The Dye Club at Barefoot Resort: The course

The par-72, 7,343-yard Dye Course design utilizes five kinds of turf -- GN-1 Bermuda hybrid in the fairways, Tifdwarf Bermuda on the approaches, Champion Ultradwarf on the greens and centipede and zoysia roughs. The specialization there makes pictures pop.

What it also does is allow for some of the most consistent conditions of any Myrtle Beach-area golf course. Of course, those conditions are sky high. That's a definite plus, because while the Dye Club certainly isn't the hardest course known to man, it presents some tricky situations based around slight bends, heavy mounding and the use of some natural grasses to force several blind shots.

Patience here helps, too, considering Dye's bunker-heavy looks on many holes. That goes for those playing the back tees (set at the aforementioned distance), the 6,634-yard championship tees, the 6,005-yard members or the forwards, set at 5,021 yards.

A lengthy waste bunker on the left and more traditional sand traps on the right of the fairway create a chute effect toward the hole. No. 2 teases you to go after a green protected by a dogleg right around a heavy tree line.

Each of the par 3s have a distinct feel, and no. 9 and no. 18 include some extremely picturesque layouts around larger bodies of water. Mixed between are even more, some reliant on extensive added designs.

"I feel like the club has been around forever. There's a deep sense of tradition of it all," Diehl said. "The ambiance -- the woods ... it has an old-time feel, maybe more than the resort courses.

"Here is the wow factor of the Dye Club. They come off that 18th hole and say, 'What a facility.'"

The Dye Club at Barefoot Resort: Facilities and instruction

While Diehl handles some individual instruction for some of Dye's members, the majority of it is handled as the two primary teaching entities associated with Barefoot Resort.

The Dyer Golf Academy and Greg Norman's Champions Golf Academy co-exist on a 30-acre range and teaching facility.

Back at Dye, a small pro shop re-initiates the one-on-one feel the course otherwise employs. Players are greeted there by a single staff member sitting behind a desk.

The Dye Club at Barefoot Resort: The verdict

There's a reason the South Carolina Golf Course Owner's Association and the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owner's Association each named this semi-private track as its golf course of the year in 2013.

In fact, they simply joined a long list of rating panels that have adorned Dye Club with top honors in recent years.

Barefoot's crown jewel is a premier course, one that would be worthy as the centerpiece to any golf trip.

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Ian Guerin is a freelance writer and DJ living in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He's decent with the driver and putter; it's everything else in the bag that gives him trouble. Follow Ian on Twitter at @iguerin.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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