The Golf Shop Radio Show: Tradition Club

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In January 2019, the Golf Shop Radio Show aired its interview with Christa Bodensteiner of Tradition Club, one of 12 award-winning courses that are part of the Waccamaw Golf Trail. Below is a transcript of that interview.

Speaker 1: Joining us now, she is the GM and head golf professional down at the Tradition Club on the Waccamaw Golf Trail, Christa Bodensteiner joins us. Welcome in, Christa.

Christa B.: Thank you very much for having me.

Speaker 1: So, we talk to you, one a week on the Waccamaw Golf Trail. And the one thing that I always like everybody to do, is kind of give me a little 60-second commercial about your club. So have at it, Christa.

Christa B.: Absolutely. Tradition Golf Club is just a spectacular golf course. It actually opened in 1996. It’s a great layout.

There are a whole lot of memorable holes here. Ron Garl is the designer. He did a great job just carving it out of some beautiful land. And there’s water, waste bunkers, tree-lined fairways, a couple island greens – just a lot of things to remember at Tradition Golf Club.

Speaker 1: Yeah, I mean, that’s one of the things. You see some golf courses on the Trail that, you know, have the marshland, and others, are really tree-lined, and some have a lot of bunkers.

This seems to, like you said, have a really nice mix, just looking at the pictures, between tight fairways, a little bit more open fairways, some bunkering, some beautiful, kind of island-looking greens.

So, when we start talking about playing this golf course, the other thing I always ask everybody is, is there a shot that you’re thinking about the entire round, and you’re dreading getting to on this golf course? Just one of those shots that, you know, gets you every single time.

Christa B.: Yeah, well there probably is. The hole that probably stands out for that, is Number 9. Number 9 is just a good, challenging hole, and you have to be able to place your tee shot in the right place for a decision on your second shot, basically.

It’s a par five, and if you don’t hit it far enough on the drive, you’re stuck on the second shot to lay up before the environmental areas. It’s a good hole to either birdie, or possibly double bogey. So, you kind of got that in your head as you’re going through.

If you play it right, you’re going to get rewarded. And if you hit a bad shot, you’re probably not. 

Speaker 1: Now, with some of the bunkering out there, are they all considered bunkers, or do you have some waste area that is not raked?

Christa B.: Yeah, we have some waste areas as well, actually. Most of them are regular bunkers, just traditional bunkers. But, we do have some waste areas. Like you said, it’s just a real good variety of water, waste bunkers, tree-lined, island greens, just a little bit of everything at Tradition.

Speaker 1: Nice. What’s considered the signature hole, or the signature shot, at Tradition?

Christa B.: Number 7. It’s a par four, and it’s the hole that everybody sees driving in. Kind of sets the tone for the day. It’s a beautiful golf hole, runs right along the road, and you have a pretty open tee shot, but the green is an island green, which is kind of rare for a par four.

So, you see that coming in. Everybody’s looking forward to that hole, too. It’s another hole that you can score on if you hit a good tee shot. And if you have a mid-range iron to the green, or a low iron to the green, you’re good.

If you’re hitting much more than that, it’s going to be a little challenge to hit it. But, that’s the signature hole, and probably one of the more memorable holes there.

Speaker 3: Christa, what I’ve noticed in reading about Tradition, is your practice area is pretty vast, isn’t it? I mean, you’ve got a-

Christa B.: Yes.

Speaker 3: -huge driving range, and chipping areas, and putting greens, a lot of undulation.

Christa B.: Yes. Huge, huge putting green.

Speaker 3: Okay. So, that was a Ron Garl kind of thing that he did at most clubs he was designing, I think. Is that what you get from that?

Christa B.: I believe so. I believe that is the case, yes. It’s definitely, the practice green, everybody always walks over … So, I don’t know if Ron Garl did that intentionally, or what, but it definitely comes in to good use.

Speaker 3: Over all the weeks that we’ve been talking to the Waccamaw Golf Trail, head golf pros and general managers, in looking at the pricing of tee times, I think y’all have the same exact prices, which is something I just kind of noticed today. 

What’s the tee sheet looking like today, and is the weather kind of cool like it is up here, or are you a little warmer down there, I would assume?

Christa B.: I think we’re probably a little warmer. We did have a little frost this morning, but nothing significant. We do get an occasional frost in the winter time, but we have a lot of great golf days.

We’re looking at mid-50s, basically, for the next week or so. To me, that’s perfect golf weather. I’m actually originally from Iowa, so anything in that area, to me, is absolutely perfect.

But, yeah. We have openings, today is pretty well full, but we can always get more in, though. This time of year, it’s all weather dependent. We get nice days like this, we get a lot of players that want to play.

So, it’s sunny, beautiful. Everybody should come out and play today. 

Speaker 1: Yeah! And one of the things, too, is that the golf course can set up anywhere from 6,875 yards at the champions, well, the tournament tees, all the way down to the junior tees, at 4,106, and kind of everything in between.

What’s the most popular yardage that you’re seeing people play at?

Christa B.: Yeah. So, actually, most people probably play the white or the gold tees, which are 6,300 and 5,700. I have been surprised, a little bit, there are so many more people moving forward, which is exactly what we want.

The PGA has done the Tee it Forward campaign, and people are starting to listen to that a little bit more, which I love. The great thing about Tradition is, if I set the tees, there’s a set for everybody.

The forward tees, the blue tees, get used quite a bit, and people just love it. There’s no reason to make this game any harder than it needs to be, so if they’d let me, I’d play from the blue tees, too.

Speaker 1: Again, we’re talking with Christa Bodensteiner, GM and head golf professional down at Tradition on the Waccamaw Golf Trail. And you know, when we start talking about when things are going to start picking up, maybe get a little bit more difficult to get tee times down there, when does that start really happening, and what’s the peak and off peaks?

Christa B.: We’re coming up … Actually, we start getting quite a bit busier in the middle of February. Then, the season really picks up in March, and goes through May this year, actually, is a super-busy month this year.

And then, basically, the summer is a little bit more beach traffic, and we’re very busy again in mid-September to mid-November. But, there are always still times available.

With 12 courses on the Waccamaw Neck like this, you can always find the time somewhere. 

Speaker 1: Yeah. What do you generally find, if people come down in groups? I mean, are they playing 36 at one place, or are they playing 18 in the morning somewhere, jumping over somewhere else nearby?

Or, is it kind of a little bit of mix of everything?

Christa B.: It is a mix of everything. On the south end, with the Waccamaw Golf Trail, it’s actually ideal for those that want to play 36. They can stay at the same golf course if they want to, or they’ve got 12 courses within five minutes.

So, they can move around and play a second 18 someplace else. We see a variety of those. We probably have a lot more people who play 18 than 36, but there are some die-hards out there, and we love to see them come into town.

Speaker 1: Oh, yeah. Well, you know, it’s always interesting. So, Christa, remind everybody where they can go get a tee time if they want, either now or at some point in the near future.

Christa B.: Absolutely. Well, you can always go to waccamawgolftrail.com. That will show you the 12 courses that are down in the Pawleys Island area, and Tradition is, obviously, one of those.

You can also go to traditionclubmyrtlebeach.com, and that will be the website directly to the course, so you can look at every golf hole out there, and be able to book a tee time as well.

Speaker 1: Well, Christa, we appreciate you coming on with us, and we look forward to sending some people your way.

Christa B.: That sounds great. Thank you.

Speaker 1: All right. Thanks a lot.

Speaker 3: Thanks, Christa. 

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