In a recent post I wrote of the best 4 some of golf buddies, and I threatened to write 2,000 words (actually turned out to be 2056) about our 1st golf outing in a group of 4. It was unanimously decided (without my vote counting) that I would be the one to put together the golf outing. I wasn’t overly concerned I had plenty of organizational skills, Terry, Jim and Don were all retired, and to make it work we only had to work around my work schedule.
L to R Me, Terry, Don and Jim
Early on it was decided that we would go to Myrtle Beach SC. The golf Mecca of the United States, a place where you could play golf 100 consecutive days before you had to repeat a golf course. Of course 26 years ago you only had your choice of about 60 different golf courses. But for as many golf courses you had a far greater choice in accommodations, of golf packages, with more options than buying a car. My sum experience to putting together a golf vacation had come the year before when approached I wrote a check. Yes a ton of experience.
Deciding on Myrtle Beach was the easiest part of the decision process. We had all been there at one time or another, we all knew there were great accommodations available, and we all knew that the restaurants were varied and very good. We also knew that we didn’t want to go during the late spring early summer months because that would be too hot. The guys all being retired left it up to me to narrow the date because I was the only one working. I did as much internet searching as was available back then and found that the early to mid part of February was pretty good weather wise, day time temperatures in the low to mid 60’s night time around high 40s. After a few days of discussion it was decided that we would go for the 1st week of February, arriving on Monday departing the following Saturday. The easiest part of the mission completed. We recognized it might be chilly but figured that was much better than hot.
The next major hurdle was accommodations. I didn’t realize the sheer amount of choices that were going to be presented to me. We were interested in a “package” deal which included golf. I don’t remember what the threshold for my financial involvement, but I knew I was on a limited budget. My budget was such that it ruled out places like the Marriott’s, the Hyatt’s, and the Sheraton’s. The guys also understood the significant difference between staying at the Marriott with a package, and a midrange hotel/motel. I contacted a ten different motel/hotel’s (the Hurl Rock being one of them) offering golf packages and received brochures from all of them I had copies made of them, and created a spreadsheet outlining the package cost, the extra’s, the potential add-ons, closeness to the center of Myrtle Beach and other attractions, and blab blab blab. I mailed the entire package to Terry, Don and Jim. Asked them to review and give me their top 4 choices. Not having had any experience, and dealing with guys that are you to staff understanding their needs and preferences getting a decision was difficult at best. But finally they all provided their input, and the only place that was common to all of their choices was the Hurl Rock Motel. By default the Hurl Rock became the destination of choice. I will say it right now, if you were to ask any of three; Terry, Jim or Don; Jim and Don would swear the Hurl Rock was purely my choice. Terry would kinda stand with them, but would own up that one of his choices had been the Hurl Rock. It took from May to Thanksgiving to make and finalize the arrangements for our 1st golf outing. We were staying at the Hurl Rock arriving on a Sunday afternoon, playing golf Monday thru Friday, and departing Saturday.
Don and Jim road down together, while Terry and I rode together. The Sunday trip from Washington DC to Myrtle Beach SC was driven in a down pour. Was expected to take 8 or 9 hours took Terry and I almost 11. When we arrived at the Motel we saw Don and Jim leaning against the 3rd floor railing waving in greeting. Terry and I quickly checked in and headed up to the 3rd floor, our room was right next to the room shared by Don and Jim. Let me be the 1st to say the place had all the making of Dive, I would go so far as to say the Hurl Rock appeared to be a place that might have had an hourly rate as well. I know that if my wife had been with me she would not have gotten out of the car, she would have refused to even consider staying there, and we would have been driving the strip looking for nicer accommodations. If you do an internet search you can find the Hurl Rock Motel at, http://hurlrockmyrtlebeach.com/. If you will notice there is not a single picture that shows you a view of the Motel from the street. Clearly the place has been renovated more than once since our week there, and in my mind it still looks like a dive. Anyway back to the story. Don and Jim had arrived an hour or so ahead of Terry and I, they had a chance to scope out the room, and the surroundings. Don was so unhappy with the place that he had already started the search for nicer accommodations, but the golf package wouldn’t transfer and the places that had space were extremely costly. Don was also pissed that he got scammed almost immediately after checking in. Apparently some young man came to him with a sad story about needing an alternator for his car and that his family was sleeping in until the next day, and detail after detail, well Don gave the guy $100. Getting a promise that the guy would be there in the am after the auto place opened to return the 100. Needless to say Don never saw the guy or his 100 bucks again. Don’s was teased pretty much without mercy by the rest of us the entire trip and Don took it with quite well. I am getting way off track; let’s get back to the Hurl Rock.
The rooms at the Hurl Rock were approximately 11 by 25 foot. The back half was the “2nd bedroom,” with a bath separating the 2 sleeping areas. The main area (which included the bed) has the kitchenette in it with a couch, table and 4 unmatched chairs. The AC/heater unit was beneath the double window in the front of the unit. The 2nd sleeping area had no window at all, but it had its own AC/Heater unit craved into the outside wall. The interior walls were a cheap plywood stain a color I didn’t recognize then and wouldn’t today. The beds had that sag in the middle depicting the thousands of bodies that laid there before. The linen was tread bare at best, all in a miss matched white. I am just saying that some of the old stuff was older than some of the other old stuff, which was real friggin old. The AC/heater units had the most unique cycles and were as loud and annoying as possible. Just as you thought you had the pattern down and was falling asleep the pattern would change again. The attributes of the Hurt Rock as I have described them were the better qualities. We didn’t cook a single meal in the rooms for fear of what an open flame might do. We used the refrigs to keep the soda and booze in, and that was the extent of our uses of the facilities. The Motel had no working soda or ice machines, but we were quite lucky there was a convenience store just on the other side of the parking lot, and their soda’s and other junk food were reasonable priced. The freezer did work in the frig so a 5 lb bag of ice when a long way. The joint was clearly a Mom and Pop place, and their were at the end of their rope, it was clear neither liked their lot in life, and customer service was clearly not in their vocabulary, requests during the week generally fell on deaf ears. One of the biggest selling points to the Hurl Rock is that it offered free breakfast. This turned out to be the high point, and it truly was. We were given a chit each morning for breakfast at one of the local non chain restaurants, and this was great, we ordered off the menu, and I had a feast each morning. That was the only redeeming value that any of us found with the Motel.
Don continued to look for other accommodations for 3 more days, even to the point of offering to cover most of the cost himself just to get us out of the Hurl Rock. But we finally just beat him down to the point he knew it didn’t makes sense to move.
As I stated in the beginning the drive to Myrtle Beach was in a down pour, Monday morning it really appeared that the day was going to be washed out. But according to the rules, we could and would not get a refund unless the course was closed, and we and to be at the course ready to play at our tee time, or we would be in forfeit. Monday our tee time was 11am. The 4 of us gathered for breakfast at 8am, it was raining and very ugly, we assumed that golf would be cancelled and that we would get a refund, that’s when we read the fine print had breakfast and ventured out to the golf course. It was so ugly, but as we turned into the drive way of the golf course, the sun peeked between a couple of clouds, the rain stopped and by the time we were called to the 1st tee, the skies were blue, barely a breeze, and it was a wonderful day. By the 5th hole we were playing in short sleeve golf shirts, having peeled off more than 1 layer, and wishing we had worn shorts. It did not rain a drop the rest of the week. But the weather got progressively worse each day. Monday the temp got to mid 70’s, Tuesday maybe 60, and the breeze picked up. Wednesday wow what a change the temp got no higher than 50 and the breeze turned into a strong wind. We had seen the forecast the night before, and when out and did a little shopping. This is a USF sweatshirt I have on, it was cheap and it fit, is the only reason I bought it. Thursday the daytime temp did not reach 45, and the wind was howling at times, but we tough it out and played. The forecast for Thursday night was to be the coldest in history for that day, with the possibility of snow. Folks, only Terry and I were brave enough to play. The overnight temp dropped to 17 degrees, and it did snow in Myrtle Beach, it was only a dusting, but the fact remains it snowed, and like dumb asses Terry and I tried to play. It was only 28 degrees when Terry and I teed off. I lasted 12 holes and Terry lasted 17. I was sitting in the club house working on my third hot chocolate when Terry dragged his ass in. It was decided at that moment that there would be no more February golf in Myrtle Beach, and there wasn’t.
Every year after the Hurl Rock I was teased about the accommodations. And I got no mercy at all, but the reality was the Hurl Rock sucked and I deserved it, but really for 10 years LOL give me a break.
For those of you that made it to the bitter end thank you, this turned out much longer than I thought, and I could have made you suffer more. But enough is enough. As always if you have any questions concerns or comments please feel free to ask. Take care and be safe. Bill