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Brett Thomas, head golf professional at Sandpiper Bay Golf and Country Club, welcomes host Shan Coughlin on this edition of Tee It UP Grand Strand, to discuss winter golf specials and some improvements to the course.  From the second hole of Sand Course, Thomas and Coughlin have a view of one of the major renovations to Sandpiper Bay Golf Club – the new bunkers. Filled with pure white sand, Thomas told Coughlin there are still a few other bunkers to complete on the Sand Course, but the other two nines are completely done.  Additionally, Sandpiper Bay has implemented new cart paths, and has also removed about 250 trees. Thomas said they are still going to take about 20 more trees out for maintenance reasons. He said most of the trees were removed from inside the cart path, giving a little more visual off the tee, as well as eliminating some of the roots. The grass will now grow better, there will be more sunshine on the course and more open spaces.

With all the trees and roots remaining on the course, Coughlin said some members want a new rule implemented. Thomas explained.  “We actually have that rule in place for my ladies’ league. There is a root rule. It’s actually called the unplayable lie rule. So, if you’re on a root, first of all, be careful, you could injure yourself quite seriously on a root. I recommend either an 8-iron or a putter to get off of the root. Or your unplayable lie – it’s going to cost you a stroke, but you’ll get off the root,” Thomas said.  

Built in 1987, Sandpiper Bay is one of the oldest courses along the Grand Strand. Thomas said in addition to the course improvements, they are also going to make renovations to club house over the winter months. These changes include new carpet, new fixtures, and a new roof.  With winter temperatures in the 60s, the tee sheet is still full at Sandpiper Bay. Coughlin encouraged listeners to grab a flight or take a road trip down to Sandpiper Bay to take advantage of the great weather and awesome specials being offered right now.  Thomas explained that Sandpiper Bay is currently offering a three-, 10-, and 20-round pass, which golfers can purchase as a snowbird or a local. These passes and gift certificates can be used throughout the whole year.  Additionally, Sandpiper Bay is a part of the PGA (Play Golf Again) packages offered by East Coast Golf Management (ECGM). The PGA 4, 5 and 6 packages offer the chance for individuals to play four rounds of golf, and receive a $100 gift card; play five rounds of golf, receive a $150 gift card, or play six rounds and get a $200 gift card. These gift cards can be used towards food and beverages, apparel, and replays.

When playing at Sandpiper Bay Golf Club, the courses are played in order based off the name: Sand Course to Piper Course, Piper to Bay, Bay to Sand. Coughlin pointed out that there are reasons Sandpiper Bay is designed that way.  “You’ve got to keep everything moving,” she said. “And you do try to spread it out, so people get to play the different threes.”  “We do,” Thomas agreed. “That’s one benefits of 27 holes. It’s one rotation to another. We don’t just single tee or double tee, we can actually triple tee to alleviate some of that congestion. Also, it’s great for a replay. But the other thing we enjoy too, is if we were to aerify, which we only do twice a year – we have miniverde – we will have that nine closed so you will not play aerified greens.”  “And that’s awesome,” exclaimed Coughlin. “Even though I know the technology’s improved so much and the superintendents are getting so good, It’s nice just not to have to worry about it all.”
For more information about Sandpiper Bay Golf Course, visit www.sandpiperbaygolf.com. The website features specials, membership package info, tee times and golf shop specials. Also, check out the Sandpiper Bay Golf Club feature page at TheGolfDirector.com, and be sure to like the course on Facebook by searching Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club.