Monday After The Masters - The Hottest Ticket In Town
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Jeff Diehl doesn't need anyone to tell him how popular the Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am has become.
On Feb. 23, the Dye Course at Barefoot Resort head professional received a text from his assistant at 10:01 a.m. letting him know his staff had sold its first ticket for the event, to be played on April 13 this year. Twenty-two minutes later, he received a second text saying his club's allotment was gone.
All ticket vendors for the 21st Annual Monday After the Masters took similar paths, and the organizers announced every available one was gone within hours.
That's because, as Diehl said, the three-day event is an opportunity for fans and those in the golf community alike to bridge the gap between the game and the party it has become.
"What I'm really proud of is for North Myrtle Beach, it's good for all of them," Diehl said. "April, it's so busy. It's that one weekend that everyone can let loose and enjoy themselves."
For spectators coming from out of town, there are certainly plenty of options to feel close to the action, even if you're not standing beside Darius Rucker at the Dye Club's first tee while ESPN's "Mike and Mike" broadcasts from feet away.
Monday After the Masters celebrity sightings
There will be opportunities for photo and autograph seekers galore in the two days leading up to the MAM, as well as the day of.
Professional golfers Davis Love III, Jim Furyk and Boo Weekley, among others, will be joined by the likes of comedian Larry the Cable Guy, former pro wrestler Ric Flair, former NBA forward Shane Battier and former NFL receiver Sterling Sharpe. And getting that grip-and-grin with a big name isn't all that hard.
On Saturday, the Monday After the Masters Welcome Party takes place at the back deck of the nearby House of Blues beginning at 9:30 p.m. It will be the first gathering of many of the celebrities playing Monday's pro-am.
Like all of the parties revolving around MAM, it is a VIP ticketed event. However, those without invites can wait out a few celebrities and then make their way over to any of the Barefoot Landing bars or restaurants.
The Masters viewing party will take the masses back to House of Blues on Sunday, with the pairings party following shortly after. On Monday, Mike and Mike's show will air from the Dye Club (weather permitting); the celebrity long-drive contest will begin at 10 a.m.; at 11 a.m., the pro-am tees off.
There's the annual Hootie & the Blowfish concert at House of Blues later that night, followed by, you guessed it, another after party.
Some of the celebrities have been known in the past to spill over into other area establishments, including the popular (and fittingly named) Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach.
Playing a round between goofing around
There's no reason not to get in a few rounds of your own that weekend.
The commencement of the spring peak season could make that a bit tricky but not impossible. Keep in mind that Barefoot Resort's four courses (Dye, the Love Course, Norman Course and Fazio Course) will be jammed with those who are staying on site for MAM. So feel free to stretch your horizons.
About eight miles up U.S. 17 is Tidewater Golf Club, one of few courses on the north end rivaling Barefoot's. Want a cheaper round? Within two miles, there are six courses where getting a tee time for less than $50 shouldn't be a problem.
Many courses run early week specials to locals and tourists as a way to keep the good feelings from the event going. With life returning to normal on Tuesday post-MAM, that can also be your big day to cash in on a round.
Ian Guerin, Contributor