Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is one of the biggest -- if not the biggest -- golf destinations in the United States. With some 75 golf courses in a reasonable driving distance of, as our Mitch Laurance puts it, "the seaside golf capital of the world," golfers are drawn to the Grand Strand throughout the year to play golf on a variety of courses.
However, golf courses around Myrtle Beach were closing earlier in the week when an order from the city government compelled non-essential businesses to close. Hotels, tourist attractions and golf courses were among the facilities closing until May in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The goal of the order was to prevent the spread of COVID-19, primarily by keeping tourists from other states away from Myrtle Beach and potentially infecting thousands more people by taking a quarantine vacation.
Meanwhile, local golfers would suffer under that order, prohibiting them from enjoying the now cleared-out golf courses even if they practiced proper social distancing and followed CDC guidelines.
Fortunately for local golfers and courses, the city order was amended on Friday, March 27 to allow golf courses to remain open -- to local players only who want to walk.
Now, the kicker is there are only four golf courses within the city limits of Myrtle Beach. However, similar ordinances already issued in adjoining counties, like Horry and Georgetown, didn't require courses to close.
Courses aren't required to open, either. In total, 11 golf courses in the Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach region have chosen to close at this time.