The golf is great, entertainment is abundant and there are enough restaurants to bring Ralphie May to his knees, but none of those are the primary reason Myrtle Beach and the Central Strand remain the area's most popular landing spot for golfers.
Myrtle Beach delivers something much more basic: convenience. The Grand Strand initially carved its niche as America's most popular golf vacation destination based on its ability to keep things simple, and that still holds true, particularly in the Central Strand.
The trip from Myrtle Beach International Airport to the golf course, including a stop to pay for terminal parking, is less than 11 minutes. The journey from the golf course to happy hour or dinner is even shorter.
The area's convenience is complimented by unwavering quality. Some the area's most acclaimed golf courses aren't much more than a J.B. Holmes drive apart. The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, the Strand's most revered course is the area's anchor but it has plenty of company.
Grande Dunes, Myrtlewood and the under-construction Pine Lakes Country Club are on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway, all within a mile of the Atlantic Ocean. The bulk of the Central Strand courses reside on the 501 corridor, the primary route into Myrtle Beach.
The courses on the 501 corridor feature more variety than a seafood buffet, and they are more popular. Some of the Grand Strand's most prominent facilities, including the three courses at Legends Resorts - Heathland, Moorland and Parkland - and three layout at Myrtle Beach National - West Course, South Creek and King's North - are just west of the waterway.
The Witch, a layout deserving of the national acclaim some of its neighbors receive, and its sister courses, Man O'War and The Wizard, fall under the guise of Mystical Golf but there is nothing tricky about the experience golfers receive. All three are good, straight-forward golf courses. Throw in World Tour Golf Links, a 27-hole facility inspired by some of the game's most famous layouts, and Arrowhead Country Club, and it's not hard to see why golfers fill ocean front rooms within miles of the courses.
While the North and South Strands offer a quieter environment, Myrtle Beach delivers action. The nearby Atlantic is always bustling with people enjoying the surf and sand, but Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach is the sun around which Grand Strand nightlife revolves.
Martin's PGA TOUR Superstore, a golf retail giant, is almost directly across the road from Broadway at the Beach.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Carolina League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, play on 21st Avenue North, at BB&T Coastal Field, one of minor league baseball's best parks.
Hard Rock Park, the area's newest addition and the world's first rock n' roll theme park, has 40 attractions, a live music amphitheater and roller coasters.
The list of attractions is almost never-ending. It's difficult to travel so much as a half-mile without finding a place you'd like to stop, and therein lies much of Myrtle Beach's charm.
The only thing most Central Strand visitors find lacking is time to do everything.
Golf Holiday is the ultimate source for information on Myrtle Beach golf.