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|Barefoot Resort has nearly everything Myrtle Beach golfers are looking for. (Courtesy photo)|
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Barefoot Resort set out to provide a different type of experience for golfers.
It's not hard to say the over-sized venue on the north end of South Carolina's Grand Strand accomplished it.
Mixing one part great golf, one part proximity to some of the area's top attractions and one part fantastic on-site services, Barefoot has nearly everything visitors are looking for. Golfers who make their way here can park the car, put the keys in the suitcase and enjoy one of Myrtle Beach's most popular spots for golf and entertainment.
Here are 10 reasons Barefoot Resort is worth considering as you plan your next Myrtle Beach golf vacation.
All by its lonesome, the Dye Course at Barefoot Resort is an experience that will provide more than its share of memories.
The Dye is home to the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters tournament, an annual event that attracts some of the biggest names in golf and entertainment each April. The resort's only semi-private course is nestled within a gated community and was named the 2013 "Course of the Year" by the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association.
The three "other" courses at Barefoot still have golfers looking for the pristine round foaming at the mouth. The Norman Course features seven holes lining the Intracoastal Waterway.
Barefoot's Love Course is patterned after the South Carolina Lowcountry, complete with old-style plantation homes and wide landing areas. The Fazio Course counters with trees, water and waste bunkers that provide a challenge and opportunities for great photos simultaneously.
All four of the Barefoot golf courses opened in 2000, and each one has every bit the look of newer and well financed course.
No one goes on vacation trying to learn. But as many Myrtle Beach-area visitors have discovered, a couple hours with Alasdair Dyer or his staff have done wonders for beginners and pros alike. Dyer, a PGA Professional for more than two decades, uses Barefoot as his home office.
Private golf lessons are much more affordable than you'd think, and package rates exist for larger groups and those staying at the resort. Meanwhile, when the Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy opened in 2012, it was believed to be the second-largest academy in the United States.
Measuring in at 10,000 square feet, the facility houses a gym, two classrooms, a meeting room, split locker rooms, three covered hitting bays, six offices and a club repair shop.
Comparable in size to its neighbor to the south, Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing's shopping options are plentiful.
Using primarily Mom and Pop-style buildings, an afternoon walking around the facility's 50-plus shops is a welcome occurrence for those not wanting to stray too far from the resort. Attractions there also include Alabama Theatre, often voted the area's top show, and the Barefoot Princess, the Intracoastal Waterway's only riverboat and dinner tour.
Not so coincidentally, Barefoot Resort and Golf is short trip from the Grand Strand's Restaurant Row. The stretch of drive includes virtually every genre of eatery, from gourmet Italian to theme-based joints to the seafood buffets complete with over-sized shellfish adorning the parking lot.
In the adjoining Barefoot Landing shopping center, there are also 15 restaurants, including Bully's Pub and Grill, Smokin' Hot Grill & BBQ, Greg Norman's Australian Grille and Dick's Last Resort, among others.
Excusing that huge pond just east, the Intracoastal Waterway has its own allure. Stretching up and down the coast, the Intracoastal is essentially a wet playground for kids and adults.
Barefoot Resort Watersports takes advantage. With jet ski, pontoon and yacht rentals available, interested parties can get either the thrill ride or the relaxing water trek they're looking for.
A full-day excursion on a pontoon makes heading up into North Carolina or south to Murrells Inlet's marsh walk a possibility without putting a touch of rubber to the road.
Most of the packaged golf deals around Myrtle Beach involve hotel rooms. Those aren't bad options.
But for the groups of four or more, condos that in some cases sleep more than 10 people can be more economical. Factor in meal prep and other entertainment, and Barefoot Resort's multiple condo choices may be a better choice.
Just up the entrance road from Barefoot's rental condos sits the area's preeminent music venue.
House of Blues attracts some of the biggest up-and-coming names in rock, country and pop, not to mention regular appearances from nationally known acts. And if you're trip includes a weekend stay, take advantage of House of Blues' weekly Sunday Gospel Brunch, which provides equal parts flavor for the ears and taste buds.
At Barefoot Landing, two distinct animal groups have put together some of the more intense attractions in all of South Carolina. Alligator Adventure features live shows and handling of alligators, snakes and other reptiles.
The T.I.G.E.R.S. (short for The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) Preservation Station gets visitors up close and personal with the world's rarest tiger breeds, apes and chimpanzees. For the more daring, tickets are also available for T.I.G.E.R.S. outdoor preserve, located 17 miles south of Barefoot.
That is the home to Hercules, a 900-pound Liger (lion-tiger hybrid) recognized in the 2014 Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest cat.
There are those who believe the Grand Strand's attractions, eateries and golf all pale in comparison to the natural one. They may not be wrong.
Barefoot visitors can get to the Atlantic Ocean in less than four minutes, with a straight shot across U.S. 17 taking you directly to North Myrtle Beach's South Ocean Boulevard. Historic Cherry Grove Beach is just up the road, and North Carolina's Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach are accessible in approximately 25-35 minutes.
April 16, 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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