Myrtle Beach Classic golf tournament is open. Did people attend & are tickets available?

At 6:50 a.m., May 9, 2024, the inaugural Myrtle Beach Classic received its christening when golfers teed off for the first time at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club.

James Hahn, Greyson Sigg, and Carl Yuan were the first trio to tackle the front nine, while golfers Ryan Moore, D.J. Trahan, and Kelly Kraft took the first crack at the back nine. Despite the history-making moment for the Grand Strand, the golfers played before mostly small crowds under dark skies that remained throughout much of the day.

Fairway viewing areas were occupied sparsely, attendees sometimes set up lawn chairs to watch a hole exclusively, and general admission bleachers had available seats. Indeed, the crowd’s mood was mellow aside from the respectful clap after a golf shot, as event organizers wanted to avoid the rowdy reputation of golf tournaments like the WM Phoenix Open.

Aside from a player hitting a promotional car parked near one of the holes during the pro-am before the tournament, day one of the Myrtle Beach Classic avoided loud spectacles. The weather could’ve impacted the attendance.

The National Weather Service’s weekly forecast projected rain could arrive across the Myrtle Beach area, and indeed, a few trickles fell on the golfers and spectators. With the dark skies and occasional droplets, attendees took to their umbrellas for a reprieve, and some headed for the shuttles to leave the Dunes Golf & Beach Club early.

Joe Austin, Josh Goldsmith and Wayne Jackson all attended the tournament. Jackson lives in Surfside Beach but is originally from Virginia, where Austin and Goldsmith are also from. It’s Goldsmith’s first PGA tournament, and he said the day was slow, while Austin added that they’d leave if rain came.

The low turnout comes as thousands of tickets are still available for the rest of the tournament, which could impact the Myrtle Beach Classic’s desired goal of 40,000 total spectators and 10,000 people per day.

Tournament Director Darren Nelson said 5,000 attended the practice round May 8, 2024, but the tournament isn’t sold out yet.

“Today, we’ll have probably between eight (to) 9000 tickets out there in the market,” he said. “For the weekend, probably closer to 15,000.”

Nelson declined to say how much the tournament organizers spent to create it but said buy-in from the local Grand Strand is a sign of success.

“Within 50 miles from the Dunes Golf and Beach Club, and then also kind of Wilmington, Columbia, Charleston was our kind of target market,” he said. “I think it’s just baby steps in year one, just knock it out of the park, do our thing here in Myrtle Beach, (and the) PGA Tour will notice.”

Despite the dark skies and weather, the golf course retained its scenic appeal. The course was renovated before the tournament, and the expansive views of the golf course were typically unimpeded by planted trees. The changes made the Robert Trent Jones-designed course feel more intimate as spectators walked around.

Round two of the Myrtle Beach Classic begins at 6:50 a.m. May 10, 2024.