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Jeffrey WhiteThis Week at Oct. 30, 2007

Buddy golf trips in Myrtle Beach: For one fleeting moment, the Strand was all ours

When the sun breaks over Prestwick Country Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., pale light creeps up the ninth and 18th fairways, mirror images of each other, and catches in the large pond between. The silhouettes of cranes dart back and forth, but everything is quiet. It is a beautiful sight.

I know this because I was there recently, sitting at the front of the cart line at 7 a.m. with my father and brother, drinking coffee, laughing, bracing against the cold and watching the daybreak for enough light to begin our round.

It was a classic male-bonding moment, there in that place, more or less alone, a golf course just waking up for the day.

Myrtle Beach is full of such moments and it's easy to see why this strand of sand and golf remains so popular with groups looking for a guys-only golf getaway, a place where guys can come, hang out, get away from it all.

My father and brother have been going to Myrtle Beach for four years on an annual four-day golf weekend. The wives stay behind. A condo is procured (near a convivial drinking establishment), courses are chosen with much care and discussion, a few favorite restaurants are revisited.

I live abroad, so this year was my first with them. Our Myrtle Beach stay was probably like yours. We battled King's North and Barefoot, we swapped skins, played some high-low and wolf and retired to Molley Darcy's for beers and relived the day's events. Sometimes we'd eat there, or the House of Blues, or Bonefish.

Golf, of course, was the point, and we played a lot of it: 27 holes one day, 36 the next two. A lot of you were doing the same: We saw you, in your coordinated shirts, playing scrambles and match-play, hugging one another on the 18th, cheering on Boston College or Ohio State or the Red Sox later that night over pitchers.

We saw you guys everywhere, having a good time. Everywhere, that is, except on the first tee that early morning at Prestwick. It was only my father, brother and me, and at that moment Myrtle Beach seemed to belong to us.

As always, welcomes your comments.

Garrison Golf Club - No. 14Spooky courses are Halloween best bets

While some golf courses will chill you with difficult layouts, others can frighten the dickens out of a player with things that border on the supernatural, William K. Wolfrum writes. Here's a look at a few that give the term "spooky" a whole other element.

Also: Reviewing Michael Balkind's "Sudden Death"

Cleveland CG Gold IronHigh workability makes Cleveland's GG Gold irons a "player's" golf club

Cleveland's new CG Gold irons are definitely "game-improvement" golf clubs, but they are geared more toward mid-handicappers than high-handicap players. A narrower sole and topline will be a hit with golfers seeking a degree of forgiveness combined with workability, Kiel Christianson writes.

Reader: TaylorMade Burner blows away the Nike SQ Sumo2

Royal County DownColumn: Dreaming up the ultimate Scotland and Ireland golf trip

Our columnist, Brandon Tucker, has just been given two weeks of freedom for a buddy golf trip to Ireland and Scotland. Okay, he might be dreaming, but he knows the courses he's going to play. Oh yeah, and don't wake him up yet!

Also: Scotland remains the ultimate golf vacation pilgrimage

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