Title: Swing into the Past: Historical Golf Events of Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach, fondly termed as the “Golf Capital of the World,” holds an extensive history stretching its roots deep into the sand of this South Carolina coastal city. Its golfing history, rich in illustrious tournaments and legendary figures, has significantly contributed to the city’s prestige in global golfing circles.
In the early 20th Century, Myrtle Beach gradually began its transformation from a war-gamed area to an alluring paradise for golf enthusiasts. The first major event spotlighting its impeccable golfing ambiance took place in 1927 with the inaugural of The Seaside Golf Course. Designed by R.T. Jones, the legendary golf course architect, it drank the nectar of Myrtle Beach’s natural beauty to present an inviting stage for golfers.
Myrle Beach’s golf history highlighted a significant landmark in ’60s when the course Pine Lakes Country Club was the birthplace of Sports Illustrated magazine. From hosting the top executives meeting that decided the creation of the iconic magazine, it now stands as a monument to one of the defining moments of sports journalism history.
Fast forward to 1962, and Myrtle Beach garnered further popularity with the initiation of the PGA Championship at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club. The complexity of its signature hole, “Waterloo,” a 590-yard, par-5, left the participating golfers spellbound. This Championship set off a snowball effect, throwing Myrtle Beach into the global golfing map.
Following the years of the ’70s and ’80s, Myrtle Beach hosted a series of local and national tournaments that further stamped its authority in the golfing realm. One notably was Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship, a prestigious annual event attracting some of the most talented junior golfers across the globe since its inception in 2016.
However, history does not always lie in championship creation, but also in the nurturing of talents who have tread across local green fields to international reputation. Myrtle Beach has been proud to witness the journey of young golfers evolving into legends, such as Dustin Johnson. Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, Johnson cut his teeth in the game on the Grand Strand and eventually went on to secure World No.1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. His journey epitomizes the platform that Myrtle Beach offers to budding talents.
In 1994, Myrtle Beach opened doors to the “World Amateur Handicap Championship,” welcoming around 5,000 golfers annually. This event conduces a sense of community among golfers worldwide, and the local public naturally blasts the enchanting roars of applause during these exciting rounds.
On a lighter note, the city has a cherished tradition of mini-golf, too. Since 2001, the annual US ProMiniGolf Association Master’s tournament held at Hawaiian Rumble, Myrtle Beach, demonstrates the lighter side of golf while retaining a competitive edge.
Not forgetting women’s contribution, Myrtle Beach witnessed one of the most significant events in women’s golf. The U.S. Women’s Open in 1962 held at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club was a turning point, paving the way for the popularity of women’s golf.
However, the history of golf in this coastal city is not just about professional golfers and prominent tournaments. The multitude of golf courses—over 100 in total—wide-ranging in difficulty and layout, offers a unique experience for every enthusiast, from professionals to amateurs.
Looking back, it is easy to understand why Myrtle Beach is regarded as the Golf Capital of the World. It’s not just the number of golf courses or the number of tournaments hosted; it’s the historical roots, the transformative journey of being a simple seaside town to the fostering hub for golf talents that make it a legend in the world of Golf.
As we continue to swing our clubs on the green stretches of Myrtle Beach, let’s remember and cherish this historical connection—each stroke is a reflection of the past and an aspiration for the future. Here’s to many more years of golfing history in the charming city of Myrtle Beach. Keep swinging!