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Tidewater Reopens with New Greens

Bob Gillespie Bob Gillespie

When Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation first opened in 1990, the course on the north end of Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand was ranked by Golf Digest as the No. 1 new public-access course in the US. Nearly 25 years later, Tidewater - on the heels of a four-month renovation project - is ready to reclaim its place among the best courses in South Carolina and beyond.

Changes in ownership and a rough winter of 2013-14 had left the course's greens in bad shape earlier this year - so much so that course operators gave partial refunds to players - but that reality helped spur the move to change those greens from TifEagle Bermuda to MiniVerde Bermuda, along with other improvements.

Tidewater, which closed June 8, reopened in early October for play after a brief delay from heavy rains, and the 7,044-yard layout along the Intracoastal Waterway and Cherry Grove Inlet will be staging a 25th anniversary celebration in early 2015, operators say. The goal is to reclaim a spot among the nation's top 100 public courses that it previously held in rankings by Golfweek and Golf Magazine.

"Our goal is to get Tidewater back to what it was and what it needs to be, to provide that quality day in and day out," general manager Archie Lemon told the Myrtle Beach Sun News. "Pretty much everyone (who has played the course) would agree the routing, the beauty and the vistas are pretty special."

Developer Ken Tomlinson, who also was involved with the creation of another highly regarded SC course - Musgrove Mill near Clinton - is credited with Tidewater's design, with input from three-time US Open champion Hale Irwin and following routing by renowned architect Rees Jones.

The change to MiniVerde greens came after Tidewater operators viewed the greens at Charlotte's Quail Hollow Club (home of the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship) and East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, which hosts the annual Tour Championship, the final leg of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Besides the greens, some 1,400 tons of new sand was added to bunkers, while some existing sand was removed, The Sun News reported. Nearly 400 trees were removed and others were trimmed to open up areas of the course for more sunlight and air circulation.

For a complete account of Tidewater's renovation and greens change and restoration, see the Sun News' story here.

Bob Gillespie
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