MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Asyou drive through the Pine Lakes golf course, it's hard to believe you're rightoff of Kings Highway, one of the busiest roadways in Myrtle Beach. If you wantprime real estate like this you have to move in early, and that's exactly whatPine Lakes did. The club opened its doors in 1927, before Myrtle Beach wastechnically even a town.
"It's the Granddaddythat started it all here in Myrtle Beach. It gave us an opportunity to showcaseto the world and all the people that came down to visit the pavilion and do theshag to realize that there is a great club here in Myrtle Beach, and it's agreat location to play golf," said Bob Mauragus, President of National GolfManagement, proudly.
The course itself has a lineagethat dates back much further than Myrtle Beach. The original golf course wasdesigned by Robert White, the first PGA of America President, and St. Andrew'snative. The Scottish roots of the course ring loud and clear after a quickhello 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 andthe traditions. One of the most popular traditions would be the 11thhole chowder. The course stopped doing it for a while, but they plan onbringing it back.
Boles recalls, "It wentback to 1946 - we started doing the chowder here. It's an old Scottishtradition. You know; when you make the turn you stop. Of course we didn't havethe soup; we had a little nip of some scotch whiskey."
After a bit of chowder, orwhatever helps you sink that putt, you'll head to the original back nine andthen to the club house. It's worth the trip to the hidden club just to see theexpansive 62-room clubhouse, full of southern elegance and charm. The clubhouse has creaky floors and walls literally full of history.
In History Hall, a smallermeeting room in the main part of the club house, you'll find plaques, maps andpictures describing all of the historically-significant things that have happenedat Pine Lakes.
"The concept sittingright here in this room thinking about we ought to design a magazinespecifically designed for the topics of sports," said Mauragus . "And out ofthis 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 sportingpublications of all time."
He goes on to say: "PineLakes will do 40,000 rounds of golf annually, and we feel a strong obligationto have this room dedicated to reminding everyone that comes down whether it befirst generation, second generation, or third, just how important this club wasto Myrtle Beach, the Golf Capital of the World."