Throwing yet another hat on top of our already full head, SwingJuice and AngryGolfHulk will provide you with reviews of courses you didn't know you needed to play. Here at SwingJuice we want to bring you content that inspires, humors and makes you long to play the game of golf. Most of our Northeast fans' courses are sitting under a layer of snow. The long haul towards spring has come a bit early this year. What better way to beat those doldrums then to read about green fairways and tepid weather. Our first course review is from Sunset Beach, North Carolina. Sandpiper Bay Golf and Country Club is a 27 hole facility that is open to anyone. Located at 800 N Sandpiper Club Dr SW Sunset Beach, North Carolina 28468 they have three 9 hole courses, aptly named The Sand, The Piper and The Bay.
I sat down with Head Pro Brett Thomaswick to get a little history of the course followed by playing The Bay 9. The course was opened in 1987 and sits approximately 40 minutes North of Myrtle Beach, SC. Lots of golf packages include Sandpiper Bay Country Club in their rotation and it is very easy to see why. Dan Maples is the architect. Maples is a designer who prides himself on making playable courses for all skill levels. They have recently redone their cart paths and re-seeded their greens with new Tiff Eagle Ultra Dwarf grass.
AngryGolfHulk- When did you become the pro at Sandpiper Bay?
Brett Thomaswick- I was the Assistant Pro starting in 2009 and became the Head Pro in 2013. This is the only course that I have worked at. I started my career here.
AGH- How many times a week do you get to play?
BT- I get to play about twice a week. I get to play a lot more during the summer and winter since those are our slower times of year. There's not a lot of play during those times of year so I get a chance to go out and play a bit.
AGH- Do you prefer walking or riding?
BT- I like both. I don't mind either. In the summer I'll definitely walk. Walking isn't any slower. Especially now with the fairways being over seeded and them being a bit wet. You have to park your cart, walk 100 yards to the ball in the fairway and walk back. So walking is great and we encourage it.
AGH- When is your favorite time to play?
BT- May and October are our two best months weather wise. We're getting about 75 degree weather with slight breezes and the courses are just immaculate during those times. January is usually in the 50's but even then it's not awful to play. We only close on Christmas day. We are open 364 days a year.
AGH- What are your thoughts on playing with music on the course?
BT- Love it. My assistants and I play with music all the time. Some of the members have picked up on it and they are doing it too. Now that comes with the premise that it's not too loud and not annoying to people three fairways over. But for you and your foursome to listen to it, that's perfect. We mostly like classic rock because you always have to be worried about the lyrics to some songs and offending people. But if you keep it clean and not too loud then we love it here and encourage it.
AGH- Favorite drink on the course?
BT- Arnold Palmer, but I like mine with more lemonade because I'm not a big fan of sweet tea.
AGH- Who runs the social media aspect of the club?
BT- I do. I run the Facebook page and manage all the media announcements. My superintendent takes care of the course so I don't have to worry about it one bit (editors note-the super does an amazing job.) I take care of the members and promoting the course and the game to people in the area. I'm about letting people know what we can do for them as far as golf is concerned.
AGH- How has social media helped your club?
BT- It allows me to get through to people that we are accessible to everyone. We need all types of courses. We need walking municipal courses, we need country clubs, we need private courses, we need daily fee courses, we need them all. We are a country club but we are more like a club in the country. We cater to everyone from children to aging citizens. We need to get through the stereotype that golf is too hard, golf is too exclusive, golf isn't for everyone. Facebook has helped me do that and it allows me to show the club unfiltered. People are seeing what is going on in the pro shop and what is going on out on the course and it is completely unbiased information.
AGH- Do you have a dress-code?
BT- We do have one but we promote fun more than anything. We have an enormous first tee program up the road and we promote to them. We have parent/child events that are completely free to both parent and child. We are breaking down stereotypes. We don't want parents saying "oh don't go there, they don't like kids." We want to be inclusive of everyone while still protecting the history of the game.
AGH- What are the top holes on the course?
BT- Bay number 8 is fantastic. It's a par 4 that is a complete risk-reward that allows you to cut off as much as you can to have an approach shot of 100 yards or if you bail out, 180 yards. Brett is a guy who actually gets IT. This game is frustrating enough without all the hidden rules that go along with golf. From his parent/child tournaments, to women's clinics, to rocking out while playing 9 and walking with friends, Brett and the crew at Sandpiper Bay CC are pushing the game forward to a new generation. Check out all our pics below and definitely pay Brett and Sandpiper Bay a visit at some point if you are in the Myrtle Beach area.
View from Old Georgetown Road as you enter the course.
Front porch of the clubhouse. Notice the front yard homage to Augusta National.
The front porch, with its antebellum look, give a calming sense of southern hospitality.
Walking in the front door you are immediately greeted by their championship pedigree and holiday decor.
Pimped out members carts.
Pristine fairways lined with pines.
Ready to embark on this journey on the Bay 9.
You literally cannot go wrong with any of their 9 hole courses.
My fans love me and I love them back.
Showing the next generation how great this game is. 65 degrees the day before Thanksgiving is something I can get behind 100% Brett and the crew are more than ready to help you and your fellow golfers get set up to play. Check them out on Facebook so you can keep up to date on what is going on at Sandpiper Bay Country Club. Drop us a comment below on what Myrtle Beach area courses you like to play.
ANGRYGOLFHULK is refusing to leave Sandpiper Bay and starting to cause a scene. Twitter: @swingjuice @angrygolfhulk Instagram: @swingjuice @danpatascher Facebook: @swingjuice Have our gear? Share some pics on all the above social media platforms using the hashtag #Wearsyourswingjuice