On this edition of Tee It UP Grand Strand, host Shan Coughlin joins Mike Benson at the Pearl Golf Course to discuss the two featured courses and to settle some unfinished business.  On the East Course, in the midst of an unfinished grudge match, Coughlin said, “We are doing well, we are not playing well.”  “No, the golf hasn’t been great, although I am one under since I told you I was going to start playing a little golf,” Benson agreed. Despite beating Benson in the last grudge match the two played, Coughlin said he is really beating her bad this time.  “The first match ended poorly,” Benson said. “We stopped and did our interview, and I had a good lead at that point. And then all of a sudden, it just went down the wrong way. So, to start this round, I wanted to make sure I had a good enough lead when we did the interview that I’m comfortable finishing up and winning this week,” he joked.  Coughlin said that while they are having a lot of fun on the East Course, this time of year, it has a really long rough.

Benson explained that during the wintertime, the staff at the Pearl Golf Course does not put any seed down on the rough. He said they let it grow up this year to give it a little bit of a different look.  Coughlin said the rough looks “nice and fluffy.” Benson said that is the look they were going for, but he didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to get out of the rough. “It’s some tough rough,” he said. “But you know what? Come out and challenge yourself.”  

The East Course features Bermudagrass on the greens, which is overseeded with Poa trivialis right now for the winter. Benson said Poa trivialis is a strain of grass that likes the cooler weather and comes in green during the wintertime when the Bermuda goes dormant. So, golfers can expect to play on a live surface at the Pearl Golf Course, rather than a painted surface. Benson also said the grass makes a great putting surface.  The West Course, Coughlin said, “Is beautiful!”  “The West Course is perfect right now,” Benson agreed. The West Course features bentgrass on the greens, and while that type of grass tends to grow better in the Northeast, it is thriving right now with the cooler temperatures along the coast.

Coughlin said the Pearl is one of the only places she knows of where golfers can experiences two completely different courses right out of the same clubhouse. According to Benson, the East Course protects from the elements better and has more tree cover. In contrast, the West Course is more open and there is no shield from windy conditions.  To play the East and West courses at the Pearl Golf Club, to find out about specials, and to check course conditions, golfers can visit www.thepearlgolf.com or call the pro shop at (910) 579-8132.  The Pearl is located in Calabash, N.C., just a short drive from Myrtle Beach.