Proposal would shorten Whispering Pines, turn 18 holes into executive course

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- Some big changes could be coming to the only city owned golf course in Myrtle Beach if a proposal to shorten the course becomes a reality.  But not everyone thinks shortening the Whispering Pines Golf Course is a good idea.

"I love the course it's a place where we can come here and walk because it's wide open with no condos around it," said Kirby Kelly who is a regular golfer at Whispering Pines.

But Kelly said he did not like find out that there is a proposal by city staff that would shorten the course from its now 6,700 plus yard length to a lesser total making it an executive course.

"The course was given to the city by the Air Force and it was supposed to be kept as a golf course," added Kelly.  "To change it into a small executive course all together is wrong."

A big reason behind the new proposal is the fact that the course has not been making money.  City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said Whispering Pines has not broken even in a while.

There is one executive course on the Grand Strand located at the Tupelo Bay Golf Center.  Manager Peter Moeckel said the shortened courses open the sport up to more people such as beginners or people who cannot hit the ball as far anymore.

"It's not as intimidating for some of the lady golfers plus it's great for couples," said Moeckel.

Another way executive courses differ from traditional 18 hole courses is how long it takes to complete a round of golf.

"The time that it takes to play a round of golf on an executive course is close to two and a half hours," said Moeckel comparing the pace of play to the three or four hours it takes to play an average 18 hole course now.

Kruea said the next step for the discussion of this proposal would come during a future city meeting in January.