From its humble beginnings as a pleasant pastime to its rise as a globally beloved sport, golf has played a significant part in shaping Myrtle Beach’s identity. Today, the city is universally acclaimed as one of the world’s premier golf destinations, attracting enthusiasts from around the world. This article delves into the rich history of golf in Myrtle Beach and pays homage to its influential role over the ages.
The story of golf in Myrtle Beach begins in 1927 with the establishment of Pine Lakes Country Club, the city’s first golf club. Its designer, Robert White, was the first president of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America and a co-founder of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. Pine Lakes quickly became an integral part of the regional culture, inspiring golf’s growth throughout the city.
The Golf Boom
However, it was in the 1960s when Myrtle Beach really started gaining its esteemed reputation as a golf destination. This period experienced a significant surge in the construction of golf courses, driven by developers who saw the potential of the sport in converting the city’s real estate into profitable business ventures. Courses such as the Dunes Club, Surf Club, and numerous other layouts were built, making Myrtle Beach a burgeoning golfing hotspot.
The golf capital of the world
By the late 1980s, an increasing number of people around the world were recognizing golf as a sport, and Myrtle Beach emerged as the “golf capital”. There were more than 60 golf courses within a few miles of each other — an achievement replicated by few other locales.
During this time, many improved facilities were established, and several professional tournaments were hosted at these new courses, further boosting the reputation of Myrtle Beach as a golf capital. The city hosted the 1980 PGA Championship at the Ocean Course, marking a noteworthy moment in the sport’s history.
The Modern Era
As we moved into this century, the city continued to grow as a premier golf destination. Today, the area boasts over 90 golf courses, including some that are recognized nationally and internationally. Notable mentions include the Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, TPC Myrtle Beach, and King’s North at Myrtle Beach National.
These courses provide the perfect blend of challenging and visually stunning layouts, offering a range of experiences for seasoned golfers and amateurs alike. Many famous tournaments, such as the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship, lure thousands of participants each year, helping to increase the city’s prominence in the global golf community.
Contribution to Golf
Myrtle Beach’s contribution to golf goes beyond its courses and tournaments. The area is home to the Golf Academy of America, one of the top golf schools in the country. Many professionals have trained and honed their skills here before joining the professional circuit.
Furthermore, the World Golfers Championship, recognized as one of the preeminent amateur golf tournaments, takes place in Myrtle Beach. This demonstrates the city’s vast influence in the golfing world, catering to professionals and amateurs alike.
Looking back all the way to its origins, there’s no doubt that Myrtle Beach’s golfing history is as rich as its coastal shores and as varied as the courses that dot its landscape. The city’s love for golf has propounded its rise as a premier destination for the sport. As we tee off into the future, Myrtle Beach’s evolution and yearning for the sport surely ensures it will remain central to global golf for years to come. And for keen golfers worldwide, a visit to this “golf capital” is an absolute must to experience the charming blend of history and sport.