Title: The History of Golf in Myrtle Beach: A Timeline
As a Myrtle Beach local, I have a front-row seat to one of the most fascinating golf histories to be shaped in the glowing sands of South Carolina. What we know as a golfing paradise today, Myrtle Beach has quite an eventful past to its name, a narrative that will surprise and intrigue you in turns. Let’s tee off on this historical journey, scrutinizing some of the key milestones that shaped the history of golf in Myrtle Beach.
Marking the beginning in the early 20th century, the seedlings of golf first took root in 1927, when the grand ‘Pine Lakes Country Club,’ fondly referred to as ‘The Granddaddy,’ was established. The course, designed by Robert White, the first president of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of America, was the first-ever golf playing area in Myrtle Beach and quickly gained popularity among the locals.
The Ocean Forest Hotel and Country Club was the next to follow in 1930. The Spanish Colonial-style resort rapidly found its place among the who’s who of American businesses, media, and government, making golf a prominent part of Myrtle Beach’s cultural fabric.
Fast-forward to the 1960s, golf began to take a more public form when Myrtle Beach’s first public course, the ‘Myrtlewood Golf Club’, was established in 1966. It marked a shift from the game being exclusive to the elite to becoming accessible to everyone. This democratization of golf was a significant step in shaping the city’s future golfing landscape.
In 1973, another critical development occurred. A group of enterprising businesspeople, including Jimmy D’Angelo, established the ‘Golf Holiday’, an organization that marketed Myrtle Beach as a golf destination. This initiative contributed significantly to boosting the local golf industry, attracting golfers from around the nation to this golf paradise.
The quest for innovation led to the development of renowned architect Pete Dye’s “The Dye Course” at Barefoot Resort & Golf in 2000. Known for its exceptional difficulty level and beautiful design, this course has been a favorite of seasoned golfers since its inception.
The following years witnessed an exponential growth in the golf landscape of Myrtle Beach. In 2009, the city tasted a hint of international recognition when ‘The Grande Dunes Resort Club’ received the acclaimed title of the “National Golf Course of the Year” by the National Golf Course Owners Association.
Recognizing the culturally rich and evolving golf history, in 2014, the city opened the doors of the ‘Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame’ to honor the pioneers and influencers of local golf. This venture was much appreciated by the golf enthusiasts and veterans alike.
An important recent milestone was the hosting of the 19th annual Palmetto High School Golf Championships in 2018. It saw participation from across 78 teams from 10 states, marking Myrtle Beach as not only a haven for seasoned golfers, but also a nurturing ground for emerging talent.
Today, with over 80 top-quality golf courses, Myrtle Beach promises a rich golfing experience for beginners and experts alike. It’s a testament to a rich history and undying local passion for the sport. Each hole, every fairway, and bunker narrates a story of evolution, resilience, and glory.
In conclusion, the golf history of Myrtle Beach is far more than a series of dates and developments. It is a vivid tale of the rise of a city and its people, intertwined with their love for a sport that has become an integral part of their identity. From ‘The Granddaddy’ to today’s flourishing golf resorts, the local folks’ dedication towards cultivating and maintaining the golfing culture is nothing short of inspiring. You’ve read the history, now come and make your own in the hallowed sands of the Myrtle Beach golf courses.