The Playboy Golf Tour is being revived, and it will be based in Myrtle Beach.
The tour carrying the iconic Playboy brand, which was established through the men’s lifestyle and entertainment magazine that featured centerfolds, playmates of the month and bunnies, was short-lived and has been dormant for about the past decade.
SEU Promotions founder and CEO Scott Schaeffer and company vice president of marketing Teddy McPheeters, who are both Grand Strand residents, say they have acquired the rights to the tour and are renewing it later this year.
The tour’s kickoff event, the Playboy Golf Invitational, is Nov. 12 at Pine Lakes Country Club.
Entry fee is $1,750 per four-person team and includes a welcome party featuring country music artist Kevin Nichols and post-tournament party at 3001 Nightlife featuring live entertainment, Schaeffer said.
A gift bag for each player valued at $250 includes a dozen logo balls, hat, umbrella and valuables pouch, and a bloody mary bar and Ruth’s Chris food will be offered at the course.
The host hotel is the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes. Schaeffer said teams from Los Angeles, Charlotte and Raleigh are already registered.
“We decided we would do this kickoff event just to make sure I’m happy with the way it’s perceived by sponsors before we move forward, but . . . I”m not really too concerned about it,” Schaeffer said. “I expect a lot of teams from out of town. Being held in Myrtle Beach it’s a destination tournament, too, it’s not just a qualifier.”
The tour will hold scramble tournaments in multiple cities and locations throughout the U.S. that will serve as qualifiers for the national championship, which is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas.
Each event will feature at least two Playboy bunnies who will participate in events and take photos with players on the first tee, and the national championship will have several playmates.
Playboy no longer has monthly print editions but remains an online entity.
More than one annual qualifier in Myrtle Beach is a possibility, if not a likelihood.
Schaeffer hopes to hold about 10 events in 2023 and increase to between 15 and 20 in 2024.
Each group in tournaments will have a caddie to verify scores on each hole, and the format will be a four-person team captain’s choice scramble.
Tournament entry fees will vary by market. SEU is a memorabilia dealer and silent auctions may be part of events.
Only the winning teams will qualify for the finals, and most finals expenses including golf, hotel, food, events and gifts will be paid for qualifying teams other than transportation to Las Vegas. Events and activities will be part of the lead-up to the championship round.
SEU Promotions has hired a pair of agencies to seek national sponsors for the tour.
Schaeffer said he also has the Playboy Golf merchandising rights, and the tour’s rights in Mexico.
“I think it’s a brand that’s still relevant,” said Schaeffer, who moved to Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach from Charlotte, N.C., about six years ago. “We’re putting together a tour that leads to a championship, with good prize money, good people. It’s a professional tournament.”
Schaeffer’s SEU Promotions has previously held several golf tournaments in the area, including the Cavinder Elevator/SEU Promotions Pro-Am with up to a $30,000 purse, which has moved to Cherokee, N.C., and Battle of the Bars, which will be held for the fifth time on July 18 at Arrowhead Country Club and is sold out with 36 teams. SEU was also involved in the 2LiveBeyond Celebrity Tournament on the Strand for a few years.
The golf event management and promotion company has been in business nearly 30 years and it operates tournaments, orchestrates silent auctions and sanctions hole-in-one contests, including a Par-3 Challenge currently at Azalea Sands Golf Club that benefits Backpack Buddies serving underprivileged youth.
Upcoming charity scramble events include a benefit for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation on May 14 at Azalea Sands.
SEU Promotions is also unveiling the inaugural issue of the quarterly Grand Strand Golf Magazine as early as this weekend. It will feature golf tips, a course directory, a tournament listing, and profiles of courses, tournaments, charities and advertisers. The print and online publication may grow as more advertisers are added.
Myrtle Beach to host influencers’ tourney
The Golf Tourism Solutions marketing and technology agency that promotes Myrtle Beach golf will be hosting the inaugural “Social Scramble,” a three-day event for some of golf’s leading social media influencers and their fans.
It will be held Sept. 23-25 and a field of 24 social media stars will be highlighted by Paige Spiranac, perhaps the game’s most popular social media influencer with more than 7.5 million followers. The event is sponsored by GTS’ website PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com.
The 36-hole event will tee off with a pairings party that includes a buffet dinner and open bar on Sept. 23 at Crooked Hammock Brewery in Barefoot Landing, followed by golf at the Grande Dunes Resort Course and Pine Lakes Country Club.
Registration for the event is $5,000 per foursome and is open to the public through SocialScramble.net. The entry deadline is set for Aug. 1. The entry fee includes a gift bag valued at $300 and a complimentary beverage cart during play.
Among the influencers who have committed to join Spiranac are former collegiate golfer and fitness influencer Michelle Rodriguez, instructor Colin McCarthy, and Myrtle Beach golf ambassador Charlie Rymer.
Grand Strand courses undergo renovations
Several Myrtle Beach area courses have been spending the winter and spring months upgrading their layouts and facilities.
These five are among them:
▪ Prestwick Country Club in Surfside Beach replaced the bulkhead that helps support the greens on holes 9, 16 and 18, adding to the three holes’ visual appeal. A new bunker was added on the par-3 16th hole that runs the entire left side of the green along a creek. The large multi-story clubhouse received new floors and patio furniture as part of ongoing improvements.
▪ Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island underwent a $250,000 project to enhance playability and pace of play. Fairways and landing areas were widened via a tree removal effort in the interior of the layout. The work will improve turf condition, enhance sight lines and make it easier for golfers to locate their ball.
▪ True Blue, Caledonia’s neighboring sister course, is being restored to architect Mike Strantz’ original specifications through tree removal. Thousands of native grasses are being transplanted to accentuate natural areas while opening up sight lines. True Blue is also replacing asphalt cart paths with concrete around selected tee and greens complexes, in addition to expanding the practice area.
▪ Rivers Edge in Shallotte, N.C., is reshaping the green surrounds on the stunning 18th hole, which plays along the Shallotte River, including a new rock feature containing a set of stairs leading from the 18th green to the clubhouse. The first stage of a comprehensive bunker project has also been completed. Bunkers on holes 1, 6, 7, 9, 14 and 18 have undergone a complete renovation that features new shaping, drainage and sand. The bridges at Rivers Edge were also improved, making for a smoother ride.
▪ Thistle Golf Club in Sunset Beach, N.C., a 27-hole facility inspired by its namesake design in Scotland, is installing new PermaEdge stacked sod bunkers to provide players more of a taste of golf in the United Kingdom.
In addition to the winter work, the Grande Dunes Resort Course and River Hills Golf & Country Club are closing this summer for major renovation projects.
LPGA player becomes area golf ambassador
Haylee Harford, an LPGA rookie with ties to the Grand Strand, has partnered with Golf Tourism Solutions to become an ambassador for PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com.
As part of the agreement, the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com logo adorns Harford’s bag, she will make appearances on behalf of GTS and the market, and the website will create unique content around her journey.
An Ohio native and collegiate star at Furman in Greenville, Harford moved to Myrtle Beach upon graduation to allow her to work more closely with her longtime instructor Ted Frick of the Classic Swing Golf School at Legends Golf Resort.
“I play golf and live in the Myrtle Beach area, so having Play Golf Myrtle Beach as one of my sponsors is a thrill,” Harford said in a GTS release. “. . . I will continue to spread the word about the amenities in the Myrtle Beach area as I travel around the country on the LPGA Tour.”
After recording eight top-10 finishes in two years on the Symetra Tour, Harford earned her LPGA Tour card at Q-School last winter, shooting 6-under during the eight-round event at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Ala. She finished 32nd to earn full playing privileges for the 2022 season.
Harford was the 2019 Southern Conference Player of the Year and was just the 11th player to be a four-time all-conference honoree.
GTS aligns with Barstool
GTS’ PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com has been named a sponsor of the Barstool Classic as part of a larger marketing program between the two entities.
The Barstool Classic is a series of 25 events played throughout the nation, and it began its 2022 schedule at the Grande Dunes Resort Course on March 21.
A program that will run through November offers the market exposure to the Barstool audience in a variety of ways. The partnership will include live spots on Fore Play, Barstool’s popular golf podcast that looks at the game through the eyes of regular golfers, a presence on the brand’s social media channels, and the sponsorship of video content.
A highlight will be the Fore Play Travel Series coming to Myrtle Beach, allowing Barstool’s podcast team to enjoy and convey the offerings of a Myrtle Beach golf vacation.
Targeting a younger audience, the Barstool golf franchise has enjoyed a rise in popularity on the strength of the podcast, which has hosted many of golf’s biggest names.
This story was originally published April 28, 2022 3:31 PM.