First look at changes underway to help Whispering Pines - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

First look at changes underway to help Whispering Pines

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Thursday marked the first time that Myrtle Beach City Council as a group went and visited the Whispering Pines golf course since council agreed to turn the course over to new management last year.

The city put its trust in the hands of Chip Smith and Atlantic Golf Management to help turn the course around after Whispering Pines lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years.

Smith took council on a tour of the grounds and wanted to thank council members for choosing him while also showing the city why it made the right decision.

Smith is no stranger to golf course makeover projects. This is the third time he has taken on a challenge to revamp a course in our area. Smith knows just how big an undertaking the Whispering Pines project is which is just one reason he pushed for it.

Smith has five years to make improvements to the course and to try and bring more golfers out to play. While he admits it will not be easy, Smith said changes are already underway and they are paying off.

There is new equipment and new employees to help maintain the course to get it up to the level Smith wants. There are also new pin flags, the lakes have been cleared of brush, and crews are renovating bunkers.

Smith is also working on a plan to market Whispering Pines to not only locals but also the thousands of golfers who fly to the Grand Strand every year.

“We joined the Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owners Association and Tee-Time Network,” added Smith. “In the golf business and the hotel side if you're not a member of tee time network it's hard to get the hotel play because it's much easier for them to go online and book the times versus picking up the phone and calling."

As part of this deal, Atlantic Golf Management and the City of Myrtle Beach also have what is basically a revenue sharing agreement. If the city likes the job Smith is doing about five years from now, he can be re-signed for another five.

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