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|Indigo Creek has moved up another link in the Myrtle Beach area's golf food chain. (Ian Guerin/TravelGolf)|
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. -- The staff at Indigo Creek Golf Club wasn't exactly beaming about the golf course.
The club had recently done some routine work on its Tifdwarf greens to combat insect-based destruction around the fringes. Head Professional A.J. Sawyer was slightly apprehensive about the impression it would make.
"I always get nervous," Sawyer said. "You have to do it, and every golfer should understand. But they don't. That's probably why I go overboard explaining it."
Oh, how things have changed.
In less than two years, Indigo Creek has gone from a golf course making major overhauls to one now able to nit-pick. Aspects such as punching and over-seeding greens have become the focus, as opposed to begging players to come back to the Willard Byrd design some believed would be a condo complex.
A year after Sawyer said the club was "trying to survive," it's safe to say that Indigo Creek has moved up another link in the Myrtle Beach area's golf food chain.
The aforementioned small adjustments to the course have paid off for players.
"The consensus of our members and us, I'd say it's a 180," Sawyer said. "It had gone downhill. (Now) the fairways are clean, and there aren't any weeds in the rough. It's a work in progress. But it's always a work in progress, unless you're Augusta National."
The upgraded surface -- that also includes 419 Bermuda for the tee boxes, fairways and roughs -- gives golfers more time to scheme out the course's intricacies. Indigo Creek is a balanced mix of traps, doglegs and water that were designed around the existing indigo plantation that used to call this track home.
For most, the 6,167 yards at Indigo Creek Golf Club won't be considered taxing. The hazards are clearly marked, and the tree lines aren't overly concerning. Often, relatively wide landing zones accompany most tee boxes, regardless of what club is being used.
And while there is some undulation throughout the course, it's not enough to warrant panic.
Top players will be shooting from beyond 6,700 yards, with the ladies tees dropping down to less than 5,000.
Indigo is home to plenty of interesting holes. No. 11, no. 12 and no. 14 -- a par 3, 4 and 5, respectively -- draw plenty of attention. However, no. 4 and no. 8 add plenty to the front nine.
The 485-yard, tree-lined, par-4 no. 4 is cut in two toward the back half by a stream that forces most to lay up on the second shot. The short, par-4 no. 8 is exactly the opposite. The pond down the left side of the initial half of the hole is forgettable, as many players will attempt to cut a tree line and go for the green on the dogleg right, especially during times of the year when the tree line thins due to weather.
Indigo Creek is home to the Glen Davis Golf School. The former top-100 nationally ranked instructor is routinely honored locally for his work with players of all ages.
Packages range from single-hour to multi-day and recurring lessons, and several programs allow for free instruction for kids.
The clubhouse at Indigo Creek is still showing moderate signs of an on-going redesign and construction that started in 2012. The bar and grill area now includes plush seating and televisions that attract many of the course's large group events that occur weekly.
There's no telling what Indigo Creek's next big leap will be.
Sawyer said some beautification plans will happen sometime in the future, as will resurfacing the parking lot. New carts and mowers are also on the way. But it's clear that this course has made the appropriate strides.
No longer is the staff worried about keeping the lights on. They've adjusted with their audience, and they're liking what they hear.
July 17, 2014
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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