It was a little chillier than we would have liked it. 10 degrees below normal for South Carolina at this time of the year, but the sun was shining and the courses were in great shape. After all, it was the Winter 4 Ball Classic.
This edition, the 2nd Annual Winter 4 Classic had just shy of 100 golfers descending on the tiny Town of Santee – up from 56 in year one.
It was an exciting and fun few days with teams competing in Men’s, Ladies and Couples Divisions, and with most teams coming from the more northern climates. Canada was well represented and most others from the Northeastern and Central parts of the USA. So it wasn’t really all that cold to them! Days of 69, 67 and 59 degrees, most just happy to be playing in December!
Just like most of these fun events there is nothing life changing on the prize table, in fact the swag that every player received with entry to the event was over and above what was on the prize table.
It was like Christmas Day for all of the players with Santa delivering a Santa sack to all players upon registration.
Each player received $180.00 in Tour Edge Dollars from the pro shop or from the Tour Edge reps onsite with plenty of inventory and ready to custom fit products. In addition, everyone received a pair of either Foot Joy or Sketchers shoes, a wind shirt, golf shirt, hat, glove and a dozen Srixon golf balls. Total cost to participate in the event was $539.00 which also included two nights’ accommodations, three rounds of golf and all meals.
Yup all that for only $539.00!
With Tour Edge being the major sponsor even the newly launched EXS product line was available as was the entire Exotics line. HOT movers just like the product!
The Lake Marion Pro Shop was abuzz with all players filtering through their goody bags and trying to decide which shoes would be best for them from the thousands available.
Returning for a second year were the boys of the PGA’s Golf Talk America, Frank Basset and Brendan Sweeney (also of the fabulous French Lick Resort) who entertained while they broadcast prior to the events first tee shots and again as we all prepared for a fine southern style meal at the historic Clark’s Inn and Restaurant.
To make things move smoothly around the links, divisions were split on to the three courses around the Town of Santee. All are within a mile of each other so no issues with getting there and back for anyone. The Men’s Division played rounds on Lake Marion and Santee National while Ladies and couples played their rounds on Santee National and Santee Cooper Country Club.
Enjoying the moderate temps in South Carolina many players came in early and/or stayed a few extra days beyond the event, making sure that they got a taste of all three courses in Town. The Wyboo Golf Club on the north shore of Lake Marion also seemed to be the favorite, 20 minutes or so on the north side of Lake Marion.
The event seemed to attract a number of colorful participants sporting Loudmouth Golf attire in full glory. Loudmouth just adds to the fun at any event!
The three golf courses in the Town of Santee are all within a mile of each other, the same goes for the two host accommodation properties. The Villas and Condos lining the fairways of Lake Marion are ideal for groups of four with each of the units having two bedrooms and queen beds in each.
The Historic Clarks Inn and Restaurant represents the original business established in Santee – that being the restaurant. One of Santee’s finer dining establishments with an excellent southern style menu and accompanying wine list with a cozy bar for a pre or post meal cocktail.
Clark’s has been recognized by Southern Living as must stop along I-95.
NEW on Santee’s dining scene…..
We discovered a new special treat for wine lovers visiting Santee. Suzanne Reinhard, the former owner of the Santee Fine Wine Shoppe, has re-emerged with a fine wine boutique as part of Wilbur’s Restaurant & Lounge. Tucked away in the back part of the restaurant and club is a private room lined with a selection of wines to enjoy as part of a fine dining experience. Wilbur’s full menu is available.
For those who enjoyed the great Mexican cuisine and mega-margaritas of Pedro’s over the past few years there has been a change of ownership but most of the staff and management has remained and on Dec. 10, Armando’s opened and is looking forward to hosting golfers visiting Santee.
On the north side of Lake Marion and visible from I-95, east side is the Lakehouse Restaurant. A sports bar-ish type atmosphere, we had a great time listening to a bluesy duo while we refueled with some cold ones.
Dates for the 3rd annual Winter Classic have not yet been set with US Thanksgiving being on our usual weekend next year. Keep an eye on our website for details.
Anyone looking to get away this winter or spring, golf getaway Santee might be a great spot for you. www.santeetourism.com