Myrtle Beach's first golf course rich in history - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Myrtle Beach's first golf course rich in history

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - As you drive through the Pine Lakes golf course, it's hard to believe you're right off of Kings Highway, one of the busiest roadways in Myrtle Beach. If you want prime real estate like this you have to move in early, and that's exactly what Pine Lakes did. The club opened its doors in 1927, before Myrtle Beach was technically even a town. 

"It's the Granddaddy that started it all here in Myrtle Beach. It gave us an opportunity to showcase to the world and all the people that came down to visit the pavilion and do the shag to realize that there is a great club here in Myrtle Beach, and it's a great location to play golf," said Bob Mauragus, President of National Golf Management, proudly.

The course itself has a lineage that dates back much further than Myrtle Beach. The original golf course was designed by Robert White, the first PGA of America President, and St. Andrew's native. The Scottish roots of the course ring loud and clear after a quick hello from the bag boy, a long-time employee and resident Scotchman.

With an accent so thick, some might need subtitles, Tom Boles talks about the history of the course and the traditions. One of the most popular traditions would be the 11th hole chowder. The course stopped doing it for a while, but they plan on bringing it back.

Boles recalls, "It went back to 1946 - we started doing the chowder here. It's an old Scottish tradition. You know; when you make the turn you stop. Of course we didn't have the soup; we had a little nip of some scotch whiskey."

After a bit of chowder, or whatever helps you sink that putt, you'll head to the original back nine and then to the club house. It's worth the trip to the hidden club just to see the expansive 62-room clubhouse, full of southern elegance and charm. The club house has creaky floors and walls literally full of history.

In History Hall, a smaller meeting room in the main part of the club house, you'll find plaques, maps and pictures describing all of the historically-significant things that have happened at Pine Lakes.

"The concept sitting right here in this room thinking about we ought to design a magazine specifically designed for the topics of sports," said Mauragus . "And out of this room they went with the declaration that they're going to move forward. They did it and here we are, decades later, and it's one of the greatest sporting publications of all time."

He goes on to say: "Pine Lakes will do 40,000 rounds of golf annually, and we feel a strong obligation to have this room dedicated to reminding everyone that comes down whether it be first generation, second generation, or third, just how important this club was to Myrtle Beach, the Golf Capital of the World."

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