Golf Shop Radio Part 12: Willbrook Golf Club
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In February 2019, the Golf Shop Radio Show aired its interview with Tim Self of Willbrook Golf Club, one of 12 award-winning courses that are part of the Hammock Coast Golf Trail. Below is a transcript of that interview.
Listen to Part 12 Now:
Speaker 1: Joining us now, he is the Assistant Golf Professional down at Willbrook Plantation on the Hammock Coast Golf Trail, Tim Self, joins us. Tim, hopefully you’re having a better morning talking than I am.
Tim Self: Hey guys. Thanks for-
Speaker 1: Aw, man, doing good. Is it a little rainy down there? It looks like we’re going to have rain about 14 days in a row here in the Charlotte area.
Tim Self: Yeah. We got a little bit of rain this morning. Looks like it’s gonna clear up for the afternoon. I think they’re calling for mid to high of 60s for the afternoon today.
Speaker 1: Aw, so plenty of opportunity to get out there and play. Might be a little wet, but the weather shouldn’t be too bad, Huh? Tee it up.
Tim Self: We haven’t had any rain in the last week, so I think a little rain’s gonna help the golf course and soften it up a little bit.
Speaker 1: Awesome. So, if people are not familiar with Willbrook Plantation, give us a feel for what this golf course has in store for them. When we talk about the Hammock Coast Golf Trail, we’ve seen some courses that are really tree-lined. Others have water or marsh area, others have a lot of bunkering. What’s the feel of Willbrook?
Tim Self: Willbrook opened up in 1988. It is a Dan Maples-designed course. I’m not sure if the viewers are aware of Dan Maples’ designed courses, but he pretty much demands accuracy over length. But pretty much what you see in front of you is what you get.
We have water on 15 of the 18 holes out at Willbrook. But it doesn’t come into play, it’s just more of the look of the golf course. Well we’re actually, aside of two right point basins that Willbrook was built on.
Speaker 1: Nice.
Tim Self: Pretty much takes you back in time when you get up to that first tee at Willbrook.
Speaker 3: Tim, what we’ve seen with all the Hammock Coast Golf Trail golf courses, is the length on all these golf courses is not the deal. You don’t see 7,300 yard golf courses down there. Your length from the back tees at 6,722 I believe, is kinda average for that area. Is that right?
Tim Self: Yes, sir. That’s pretty average for our area. Now, there’s a few courses like TPC Myrtle Beach that go back a little bit further.
Speaker 3: Sure.
Tim Self: But, we like to have everybody enjoy their experience and everything at the golf course.
Speaker 1: So when you start playing a round of golf out at Willbrook, is there a hole out there that is gonna be the one that’s the signature hole and the shot that you’re gonna be thinking about all day long and going, “Man, I either can’t wait to get to hit this shot, or man, I’m dreading having to hit this shot.” You got one of those?
Tim Self: Our signature hole would be our island par three, hole number six, with the play roughly from 125 to 147 yards at the tips. That one, it’s a pretty big green that you’re surrounded by water. Its got a little bridge on the right hand side. So, I think that’d be our signature hole. But I think the most demanding hole is hole number one.
Speaker 3: That’s fun.
Tim Self: Some have said that is the hardest starting hole they’ve ever played.
Speaker 1: Oooh. So why is it the hardest? Give me the particulars, man.
Tim Self: I guess really it depends on what tees you’re playing. If you’re playing the white tees or the back tees, you’ve got a little carry over water, and then it’s pretty much you’re hitting down a chute. You got trees on the right, you got a tree on the left. It’s a little dogleg right. It pretty much demands accuracy on the tee shot.
So you come up to maybe a 160 to 170-yard second shot into a green that has water on the left-hand side.
Speaker 1: So if any of our listeners are feeling a little frisky, what’s the course record out at Willbrook?
Tim Self: I believe it is a 64 from the white tees.
Speaker 1: How many people actually show up and say, “What’s the course record?” People do that as a joke, but there are some people that are serious when they go do that.
Tim Self: We actually have the original score card on the wall inside the pro shop.
Speaker 1: Wow.
Speaker 3: Nice.
Tim Self: Yeah, which it’s starting to fade away, it was back in 1990, so.
Speaker 1: Right.
Speaker 1: So, when people come out there, if they’re looking to get out there and play, what kind of rates are we talking about? Is there a morning rate, an afternoon rate, weekday rate, weekend rate? Kind of give us a feel for that.
Tim Self: We pretty much have the same rate through the week and the weekend. Right now, our morning rates are right around $57. Our afternoon rate starts about 1 p.m. and we’re right around that $44, $45 mark right now.
Speaker 1: Nice, and so what does the tee sheet look like this time of year? We know the weather can get a little squirrelly, there can be some warm days, there can be some cool days. How many players do you guys usually average this time of year and when does it really start to pick up?
Tim Self: Well, obviously you guys know I’m not the weather (man), but it all depends how nice the weather is.
Speaker 1: Oh yeah.
Tim Self: The last few days we’ve been doing 130 to 150 golfers on a single tee, so that keeps you busy most of the day.
Speaker 1: Are you guys usually single tee this time of year? Do you guys flip to double tees at some point for weekend play or everyday play?
Tim Self: January and February we’re typically single tee and March, April, and May we go to our double tee. It roughly starts at 8 to 10 a.m. and we tee up (again) from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I always think that’s an underrated thing. You don’t see a lot of places doing that and I grew up with that where every Saturday and Sunday it was a double tee start. It was great for me when I worked in the golf shop because you had bust your butt for a couple hours in the morning but once everybody was out on the course it was just kind of wait until about 12 o’clock when they were all starting to roll in.
Speaker 1: And then you get the second wave where you’re single teeing. Is that how you guys deal with it? You double tee it and then the rest of the day it’s a single tee?
Tim Self: Yeah, it just depends. Sometimes we have the larger groups that want to come out in the afternoon that are playing a different course in the morning, so we accommodate them for the afternoon. But typically in March and April, that’s when golf season starts here in Myrtle Beach, and we double tee morning and afternoon.
Speaker 1: Nice.
Tim Self: If the days are a little bit longer we could have a single tee after that second double tee in the summer time, so.
Speaker 1: Again, Tim Self joining us from Willbrook Plantation on the Waccamaw Trail. How long have you been living down in that area?
Tim Self: I’ve been living in Myrtle Beach for about six years now. I actually came down from Michigan.
Speaker 3: I hinted a little Midwestern accent there, Tim. You haven’t lost it yet but that’s okay too. Dan Maples calls this one of his best, and I’m sure a lot of designers, when they’re talking about a golf course that they designed say, “This is one of my best.” But I kind of believe it in this case. In looking at these holes online that I’m looking at and I’m looking at number 17 which just looks like a fabulous golf hole, too, so the par threes there seem to be really beautiful and playable but yet a little bit difficult at the same time. Is that right?
Tim Self: Yes, sir, yeah. My favorite thing about the golf course is every shot’s different, there are no two holes that are alike and it pretty much makes you use every club in your bag.
Speaker 1: Does it make you want to throw every club in your bag?
Tim Self: I once did that.
But we’ve got the old historic oak trees that are centuries old. We got a lot of wildlife, alligators, we actually saw a few bobcats out here a few years back, so. We got a lot of wildlife and historic plaques throughout the golf course that makes a lot of people, I get a lot of phone calls in the shop with people want to come out and have a tour of the plantation.
Speaker 3: Really?
Tim Self: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Well, Tim we appreciate you coming on with us. Remind everybody if they want to book a time out there, what are their options?
Tim Self: You can go to waccamawgolftrail.com. We’ve got our own website, willbrookgolf.com. And you can call us in the pro shop. That phone number is 843-237-4900. Anybody inside would be more than happy to book a tee time for just a single or a large group.
Speaker 1: Alright, Tim, we appreciate you coming on with us. Have a good one.
Tim Self: Alright, guys, thanks for having me.
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