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Sports Of The Grand Strand

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Website: http://www.myrtlebeachsports.org/mb/


The Myrtle Beach area has long been called "seaside golf capital of the world." Now the area has an exciting new moniker, thanks to Sports Illustrated magazine and the National Recreation and Park Association: Sportstown USA.

As part of a celebration marking the magazine's 50th anniversary, representatives have been selecting one city from each state for the Sportstown USA designation. Sports Illustrated representatives visited the Myrtle Beach area in 2003 to bestow the honor. According to SI President Bruce Hallett, Myrtle Beach was chosen because its leaders recognize that sports are an enormous force for good in the community. The area's large number of parks and recreation facilities and 120-plus golf courses also were factors in the selection.

Incidentally, Sports Illustrated got its start right here in the Myrtle Beach area. In 1954, parent company Time Inc. met at Pine Lakes International Country Club and announced plans to launch the magazine. The rest, as they say, is history.

Needless to say, golf is the Grand Strand's No. 1 sport. But the area also boasts professional baseball, indoor pro football, auto racing, collegiate, high school and youth activities (including the annual Beach Ball Classic national basketball tournament), tennis, water sports, recreational fishing, and much more. Sportstown USA? You betcha!

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Pelicans, an Atlanta Braves Carolina League Class-A team, were league champions in 1999 and 2000. The Coastal Federal Field (21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach) serves as the team's home field. (843-918-6002)

Myrtle Beach Speedway

Enjoy professional and amateur racing on a half-mile, tri-oval asphalt track sanctioned by NASCAR. Races are scheduled every Saturday April through September, with special events adding to the fun. (843-236-0500)

Myrtle Beach Stingrays

Professional indoor football has arrived in the Myrtle Beach area! The Stingrays, a member of the 24-team National Indoor Football League, plays in the Atlantic East Division against Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia's Ohio Valley Greyhounds. The season runs March-July, and the Myrtle Beach Convention Center is home field. (843) 997-RAYS.

120 Championship Golf Courses

The Grand Strand offers virtually an unlimited choice of golf courses. Local tournaments include the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Pro-Am (April), National Father & Son Team Classic (July), DuPont Coolmax World Amateur Handicap Championship (August), and the new Harley Rider's Greater Golf Classic for MDA (September).

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Fishing along the Grand Strand can be enjoyed from one of eight fishing piers, along the beach, as well as in backwater creeks between Georgetown and Little River (where the crabbing is great, too). More serious fishermen (and women) can board a head boat for bottom fishing, or charter a boat and venture all the way to the Gulf Stream for true deep-sea sports fishing.

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Sailboats, Jet Skis (personal watercraft), Canoeing, and Kayaking

Rentals are offered up and down the Grand Strand. If exploring a historical shipwreck resting on the ocean floor sounds exciting, go scuba diving. Other options for a sporting good time include parasailing, surfing, boogie-boarding, or windsurfing.

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More than 200 tennis courts with a variety of surfaces, including several stadium courts, are scattered throughout the Myrtle Beach area.

Myrtle Beach Area Sports Facilities

Parks and recreation facilities, as well as facilities at Coastal Carolina University and area high schools and middle schools.

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Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers

Coastal Carolina University's intercollegiate sports teams are known as the Chanticleers, the cunning rooster from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The Chanticleers compete at the highest level of college sports - NCAA Division I and field 17 sports programs. Coastal Carolina is a charter member of the 20-year old Big South Conference. In Fall 2003, Coastal Carolina will played its inaugural football season at Brooks Stadium on campus. Chanticleer teams and individual athletes have registered over 30 NCAA championship appearances and won a league-best 41 Big South Conference team championships since 1990. Local fans and visitors are encouraged to cheer the Chanticleers. All events are very affordable with discounts for students and senior citizens available. 

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