7 groups vie for Whispering Pines golf course - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

7 groups vie for Whispering Pines golf course

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After once considering closing Whispering Pines Golf Course, the City of Myrtle Beach now has seven management organizations vying for the chance to turn the future of the course around.

"We just said here's what we have," said Ron Andrews, assistant city manager, "Tell us what you'd do with it and what kind of management structure you would need to be in place to make that happen."

The problem lies in the course's bottom line. Whispering Pines is losing up to $250,000 a year and the city can no longer foot the bill.

A major concern for city council is capital and how much, if any, the potential firms would need to get their plans off the paper and on to the course.

"We need to know up front, if there's going to be a need for any cash contributions from the city to make this thing work and that's a very important part of the discussion," said Andrews.

Although the decision of choosing a proposal is up to the seven council members, Andrews has reviewed each and admits that some seem more beneficial to the city than others.

"I think there are a couple in there, maybe three, that have some merit, that council will be very interested in," said Andrews.

According to Andrews, of the seven proposals, some would take action as soon as the first of July and others would need at least six months before any noticeable changes could be made, but the one thing Andrews did emphasize was that this resolution will take time.

"It's going to take time. It's going to take a lot of agreements that have to be drawn up," said Andrews. "We'll still have to get Department of Interior approval, which I believe we can do."

Andrews says regardless of how the course is operated, he believes the recreation department will offer a formal youth golf program, with the hopes that it will become a feeder program for a junior golf division.

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