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Big Cats - Apr 2011 Trip
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Author:  KirkG [ Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Big Cats - Apr 2011 Trip

Disclaimer…. I am not a frequent golfer, but hopefully some will find this info useful.

Booked all 4 Big Cat courses for ~210.00 pp through a special on GolfDesk.com. Brian Noblin provided great service, and both e-mailed and “snail mailed” the reservations with booking slips. Take the booking slip to the Pro Shop to obtain the starting card.

Thursday: off to play Lions Paw. Sunny weather cooperated so much more than my golf game…. My drives were attracted to all water… anywhere. The fairways were in great shape, the fringe was very low and cut well, but the greens had a “splotchy” color…. They rolled fast and true, but their color was not real attractive. Rough & trees were relatively easy to play out off with packed pine needles. Play was a little slow with some waiting, but typical of the MB high-season. As one marshal put it…”everyone thinks they are playing the US Open”.

Friday : up to Panthers Run for the first course of the day, the first group at 7am. Maintenance people were a little “behind” and had us hold-up at the first tee which was annoying. Lots of mowing, blowing, spraying, etc on all the holes. One short Par 3 even had two large mowers going… Not a very pleasant round with all the noise. Round ended at 11am, but would have been quicker if we weren’t held up by maintenance/mowing.

Tiger’s Eye for the afternoon and much more enjoyable round from a noise perspective, though now a very slow pace of play. Lots more “waste areas” with hard-packed sand, but easier to hit out of versus soft traps. Spotted some gators for viewing enjoyment. Hit the 19th hole at Tiger’s Eye which is more upscale, but no one in the clubhouse…. So went back to the Lions/Panthers clubhouse where the bartender was very enjoyable. Helped her change a beer keg and earned a freebie. She enjoyed ribbing us about the Red Sox early-season performance (my family is from Boston).

Saturday: An 11am tee-time at Leopard’s Chase. Newest course (~3 yrs old) and challenging for our level. Lots of “placement golf”… don’t hit too hard or too far left/right on some holes, plus very large “waste areas”. Bunkers were also highly sloped, along with steep swales in certain fairways. Leopard’s provides a free yardage guide plus range balls which is a nice touch. Fairways/Greens in great shape, but upscale houses line most holes so felt like playing in someone’s back yard (a common theme on all Big Cat courses). Again, a slow round due to play ahead of us. Marshal’s said they were challenged in speeding the pace with some groups…. Clubhouse is basically a double-wide mobile home with some cupolas on it. Unimpressive, but did have the biggest TV of the 3 Cat houses (others had 25”, tough to watch the Masters on). No happy-hour, and their regular prices seemed higher than the other 2 clubhouses.

Overall… the staff was pleasant and very helpful (great starters). While the courses were in great shape and challenging, don’t think I’ll be returning soon. I don’t mind playing through residential areas on a few holes, but can only recall a few holes where you weren’t staring into somebody’s living room…… unless the hole was on the road. I prefer my golf a bit more secluded.

Author:  beaj01 [ Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Cats - Apr 2011 Trip

Kirk - Sounds like a good trip! Thanks for sharing!
We're playing Tiger Eye in October... Love the Cats!

Author:  MBKY [ Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Cats - Apr 2011 Trip

All golf in MB is slow golf no matter what time of year you are playing. Either they overbook the courses or people have no idea what time a round should be completed in. Swing an x amount of times and pick up. If it you swing 8 times on a par 4, then pick up and go to next hole. No matter how bad,or good you are keep up with the group in front of you. Hate to rant, but who has all day to spend at golf course and waste other things they could be doing on vacation. I'm finding this pretty much a common experience regardless of where you play in MB.

Author:  patrish [ Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Cats - Apr 2011 Trip

Kirk, thanks so much for this post!

Author:  beaj01 [ Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Cats - Apr 2011 Trip

We found the premium courses (e.g. Dunes, Tidewater, etc) to play a bit faster than the lower tier courses... However, I agree that many people have the wrong mentality when they play. These are people that drive me nuts:

- Players who shoot in the 110's yet insist on pacing off yardage from a sprinkler head... They aren't close to being able to control their distance anyway! (Buy a GPS!)
- Players who stand around on the green waiting for their turn - Then deciding to look at their put from ALL angles!
- Players who have the "cart conventions" in the middle of the fairway and drive to each ball and watch 1 player play.
- Players who when playing CPO take 1 club all the way across the fairway then make 2 trips back to the cart for the "right" club. Some of our guys will carry 3 clubs or even their entire bag to their ball!
- Players who mark their ball on a green when they are not even close to anyone's line. Think about a foursome each marking their ball when not needed. Time to mark and replace ball is about 15 seconds - Times 4 people = 1 minute - times 2 putts = up to 2 minutes per hole or an extra 36 minutes in a round. Sometime a ball must be marked... and cleaned... but this can be a major waste of time.
- Who's out? LOL If you're ready and play!
- Players that insist on ball hawking in the middle of a round!
- Players that play from the tips and hold a 25+ HC....
- Players who take 10 practice swings on EVERY shot.....
- Players who hang out at the tee to count shots and fill in the score cards - do that on the next tee!

And then their are:
- Players who take a divot so large it could be used as sod in my front yard then drive off without repairing it!
- Players that don't take the time to rake bunkers!
- Players who don't fix ball marks - these are the same ones who complain about the bumpy greens....
etc etc etc...

Yikes! A bit of a rant! Sorry!

We have 10-12 players who range from 9-35 HCs. We go to MB for fun, not torture... We run a 6 day tourney and have some very basic rules:

1) Keep up with the group ahead of you - Even our worst players can play bad golf quickly!
2) OB, in the woods, etc. we play "resort golf" - Take a quick look, if you can't find your ball then drop where you entered and move on! (some of our lower HCs do play strict USGA rules but why torture the occasional players on our trip!)
3) Gimmes - Measure with your putter - if in the leather - pick up and move on
4) Leave the cart girl alone - You're married and old and fat!
5) Take car of the course - Fix divots, fix ball marks (2 or 3), rake traps...
6) Play ready golf!
7) If a player is looking for his ball, play your shot then join the search....
8) No cart conventions! Drop your cart partner off at his ball, let him take a few clubs, then proceed to your ball (of course need to respect safety and courtesy....)
9) Line you put up while others are readying their putts - again some courtesy needs to be taken into consideration
10) Who has honors on a tee? If you're waiting on the group ahead of you then you care... if you are behind then the first person to the tee should tee off....

Wow - Again sorry about the rage and rant!

Author:  KirkG [ Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Cats - Apr 2011 Trip

These should be posted in every clubhouse... not just in Myrtle Beach ! Hope you don't mind if I cut/paste for future reference.

My 2 rules of golf: no matter how bad you are playing, there is always someone, somewhere, playing worse... so don't worry about it. And no one cares how bad you play, just keep with the pace.

Author:  KirkG [ Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Cats - Apr 2011 Trip

Jeff - one more comment about Tigers Eye... a starter (I think it was at Leopards) mentioned they will be re-doing greens soon. Unfortunately I can't recall if it was Lions or Tigers greens..... Didn't mention specific dates, but press them when you book. Can't imagine any of these courses having sub-par greens in October, but...... worth asking !

Author:  beaj01 [ Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Cats - Apr 2011 Trip

Thanks Kirk!
I'll check some other forums and make a phone call!
Enjoy!

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