updated 6/13/2011 1:46:42 PM ET 2011-06-13T17:46:42

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., June 13, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than 45 Myrtle Beach area golf courses are participating in the game's largest "Kids Play Free" golf program this summer, according to Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, the non-profit golf marketing cooperative. The Kids Play Free program in Myrtle Beach is the largest and most comprehensive in the country and features some of the nation's best golf courses, including 27 layouts that earned at least four stars, and courses designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Dan Maples, and Pete and P.B. Dye. Any child 16 years-of-age or younger can play golf of free with a paying adult as part of the program.

Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday also announced its Summer Family Golf Tournament schedule for the 2011 summer season. The single-day events are designed for all ages and ability levels in a family-friendly environment. The Summer Family Golf Tournament series will be hosted every Wednesday from June 29 – August 10 at a different Myrtle Beach area golf course. The single-day events are ideal for the beginner or scratch golfer, young and old with no minimum age limit, or handicap needed to participate.

"Millions of people come to the area during the summer months for family vacations, and we want to expose them to the Myrtle Beach golf experience, too," said Bill Golden, president of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. "Growing the game is a primary mission of ours, and the Kids Play Free and Summer Family Tournament initiatives are both great ways to introduce new players to golf in a low stress and economically friendly way."

To register or to find out more information about the Kids Play Free program and the Summer Family Tournaments, call 1-800-833-8798, or visit www.SummerFamilyGolf.com . Golfers are advised to call or email in advance to check on availability.

Some of the Myrtle Beach area golf courses where kids play free this summer include: Aberdeen Country Club; Arrowhead Country Club; Black Bear Golf Club; Carolina National; all Myrtle Beach National courses; Prestwick; Myrtlewood Golf Club; all courses at Ocean Ridge Plantation; Sandpiper Bay Golf Club; Tidewater Golf Plantation; and many more.

To celebrate the 24th anniversary of the Summer Family Golf Tournaments, all junior golfers, 16 years-of-age and younger, play for free with a paying adult. Participation in a tournament costs $40 for adults (unless otherwise noted on the schedule) with the fee including a cart and the chance to win one of many contests. Each Summer Family Golf Tournament features a closest-to-the-pin and long-drive contest with prizes awarded to the winners. The Summer Family Golf Tournaments have three divisions – open, couples and adult/youth – and feature a captain's choice format.

The Myrtle Beach area is also known as more than just the "Golf Capital of the World." In May, U.S. News Media Group released their rankings of the best vacation areas as determined by a collection of published travel writers and U.S. News Travel website users. Among 49 U.S. and 35 European vacation destinations ranked, Myrtle Beach ranked among the top 10 for Best Family Beach Vacations in the U.S. (No. 6), Best Family Vacations in the U.S. (No. 6), Best Affordable U.S. Destination (No. 7) and Best Beaches in the U.S. (No. 9).

2011 Summer Family Golf Schedule

Date  Course Start Entry Fee
June 29 Legends (Moorland) 2:00 p.m.  $40
July 6 Grande Dunes  8:30 a.m.  $60
July 13 True Blue Plantation  2:00 p.m.  $60
July 20 Crow Creek  2:00 p.m.  $40
July 21 TPC Myrtle Beach  2:00 p.m.  $60
July 27 Carolina National  8:30 a.m.  $40
August 3 Barefoot (Fazio)  2:00 p.m.  $60
August 4 Legends (Parkland)  2:00 p.m.  $40
August 10    Myrtlewood (Pine Hills)    2:00 p.m.  $40

About Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday

Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday is a non-profit trade association comprised of 79 championship golf courses, 99 golf package providers and five golf schools in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area. Founded in 1967, the organization has been and continues to be the driving force behind the growth of the Myrtle Beach area golf market. The originator of the "Stay and Play Package," Golf Holiday provides non-biased information about the area accommodations and golf courses to assist golfers in making the most informed decisions when planning for their next vacation. Golf Holiday also hosts seven events and tournaments annually to help grow the game of golf and attract golfers to the Grand Strand during slower times of year. In addition to hosting the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After The Masters Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament each spring, Golf Holiday also manages the GOLF.com World Amateur Handicap Championship – the world's largest single-site amateur golf tournament, the Summer Family Golf Tournaments, the Palmetto High School Golf Championships, the Veterans Golf Classic and the FDNY 9-11 Memorial Golf Outing. For more information, call Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday at 1-800-845-4653 or visit www.GolfHoliday.com .

For More Information, Contact:
Phil Werz or Erin Barrett, The Brandon Agency, (843) 916-2000
pwerz@thebrandonagency.com ; ebarrett@thebrandonagency.com

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