Title: Possum Trot – Myrtle Beach’s Hidden Gem and its Tryst with Golfing Legends
On the tranquil shores of South Carolina, Myrtle Beach has remained the epicenter of golf in America since the inception of the first golf course in 1927. Amidst the more than 100 golf courses strewn across the Grand Strand, one stood out, managing to engrave its own legendary tale – Possum Trot Golf Club.
Sadly, around October 2018, Possum Trot had to cease operations due to real estate development pressures. However, its multigenerational impact on the local golfing community has not been forgotten, and its legacy continues to inspire. It was rather aptly nicknamed The Hall of Fame, and this article seeks to highlight the reasons why Possum Trot deserved this title.
A dignified start
Possum Trot kicked off its golfing voyage in Northern Myrtle Beach in 1968. It was a groundbreaking local course designed by the renowned Russell Breeden. Revered for its large, meticulously maintained Bermuda fairways and greens, Possum Trot was highly accessible for golfers at all skill levels.
For more than 50 years, this visual marvel with subtle elevations offered a friendly environment for programming and training, while still challenging seasoned golfers. It took pride in being the first Myrtle Beach area course to introduce a fully comprehensive teaching facility, The Golf School at Possum Trot.
The Golf School at Possum Trot
The most substantial claim to Possum Trot’s Hall of Fame nickname was its golfing school. Established in 1986, it was one of the first of its kind in Myrtle Beach. Here, students of all levels and ages could learn and improve their game.
The Golf School was headed by Phil Ritson, a former coach to none other than Gary Player, while golfing guru Mel Sole provided top-tier instruction. This facility played a significant role in shaping the golfing careers of numerous players who later became professionals.
The Possum Trot was not just a golf course; it was an integral part of the community. It hosted several local leagues, charity events, and tournaments, bolstering local camaraderie. The course’s passion for junior golf development and its role in community cohesion made it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Tournaments that took place at the Possum Trot over the years, like the Father-Son Team Classic, the Family Golf Week, and several other national and local tournaments, added to its acclaim.
A Tribute to Legendary Figures
The Possum Trot had a profound connection with golf’s legendary figures. An alluring feature of the course was The Avenue of the Champions, where each tee had an honorary designation to a golfing legend. From Arnold Palmer to Billy Casper, every hole was a tribute to a legendary golfer, providing players with a historical context while they enjoyed their game.
Until its last days, the Possum Trot showcased memorabilia of numerous pro golfers, further accentuating its nickname, The Hall of Fame.
Though the Possum Trot Golf Course is now closed, its contribution to the golfing culture of Myrtle Beach is valuable and enduring. It was more than a golf course; it was a social anchor for locals, a nurturing ground for golf talent, and a tribute to the game’s legendary figures, fully deserving its nickname, The Hall of Fame.
Undeniably, it paved the path for other golfing institutions and courses in the area, setting high standards for inclusivity, learning facilities, and community involvement. Its closure was a considerable loss, not only for Myrtle Beach’s local golfers but also for the entire golfing fraternity.
In many ways, every golfer in Myrtle Beach is a torchbearer of the Possum Trot legacy, blending its love for the game, respect for its history, and commitment to community service. Like the Possum Trot, they believe in preserving the beauty and spirit of golf, one hole at a time.