October 11th, 2021

The world’s largest golf course management company is back in Myrtle Beach

Original article by Alan Blondin for MyrtleBeachOnline.com >

Troon, the world’s largest golf management company, is replacing McConnell Golf as the management company operating the Members Club at Grande Dunes and the Grande Dunes Ocean Club social facility on the ocean.

Troon Privé, the private club operating division of Troon, will manage all operations including golf, club, food and beverage, course agronomy and membership marketing.

In January 2020, the private Members Club announced it would become semi-private in April 2020 and begin accepting outside play through golf package providers.

But the coronavirus thwarted those plans, and the club aggressively tried to add new members with initiation promotions and has added 280 new members, most of whom are golf members, according to Members Club general manager Brian Vest.

So the Members Club is honoring outside rounds that are currently on tee sheets but is otherwise back to being fully private, Vest said. “Our whole goal was to remain private, and we’ve been pretty successful at it,” he said.

The Grande Dunes community is managed by Freehold Communities and features 17 unique neighborhoods stretching across 2,200 acres between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway.

Grande Dunes residents can enjoy membership privileges at the Ocean Club and golf memberships are available at the par-71 Members Club, a 7,029-yard par-71 layout designed by Craig Schreiner and three-time major champion Nick Price that opened in 2005.

The course has recently undergone major renovations overseen by Schreiner that included bunker and drainage enhancements and a changeover of the greens from bentgrass to Ultradwarf Bermudagrass.

Crews work to add new sand into a bunker on the ninth hole at the Members Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach on Jan. 15, 2020. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

The Members Club’s 27,000-square-foot Tuscan/Mediterranean-style clubhouse includes casual and fine dining rooms with views of the course’s ninth and 18th holes that wrap around a lake with an island in between.

The two-story Ocean Club offers private beach access, a resort-style pool with cabanas, an outdoor terrace, and dining and entertainment opportunities.

Troon already has a working relationship with Freehold as the manager of its Club at Savannah Quarters in Georgia. “Our Troon Privé team will now look to further elevate the member experiences at the Members Club and the Ocean Club,” said Matt Hurley, Troon’s Executive Vice President of Managed Properties East, in a news release.

Full Members Club members are now automatically enrolled in the Troon Privé Privileges program, which delivers reciprocal play at other Troon Privé-managed private clubs around the world, as well as golf and lifestyle benefits.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have contracted Troon Privé to manage Grande Dunes Members Club and Ocean Club,” said Peter Kyte, Freehold Communities’ Vice President of the Southeast Region, in the release. “The team at Troon Privé has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will undoubtedly bring an elevated experience for all members. From day one we have been thoroughly impressed with the entire Troon Privé team.”

Troon, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona has been in the Myrtle Beach market.

Troon Golf managed Tidewater Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach from the late 1990s through February 2001, and since early 2018 it has owned and operated the four private clubs at St. James Plantation in Southport, N.C, which were included in Myrtle Beach golf packages before becoming solely private.

Troon provides services at nearly 600 locations in 45 states and more than 30 countries, and manages more than 640 18-hole equivalent golf courses.

McConnell Golf, which is based in Raleigh, N.C., owns and operates a collection of 14 private courses including The Reserve Club in Pawleys Island that is among 12 in the Carolinas.

It began operating the Members Club in 2014 and it helped the club recover from low membership numbers. The Members Club has recently been the only club that McConnell managed but did not own.

Vest said it’s too early to tell what changes, if any, Troon will make at the club.

Read the original article here >