Everyone loves a good comeback story, and the Myrtle Beach golf community has had more than a few.
People don’t often associate golf courses with comebacks, but they are mistaken. Courses, for a variety of reasons, can find themselves in a position that requires a rally, and here are five Myrtle Beach area layouts that have revived their fortunes in recent years.
— At the top of the list is Aberdeen Country Club. The course was ravaged by catastrophic flooding in 2015 and 2017 (Hurricane Florence). The vast majority of the layout and the clubhouse were under water twice in three years, but Aberdeen was rebuilt each time. Now the course is home to a sparkling new clubhouse and a layout that’s in prime condition. If you’ve seen the pictures of the property underwater, you know how remarkable this comeback is.
— Pine Lakes Country Club (pictured right) was Myrtle Beach’s first course, renowned at one time for its Rolls Royce golf carts and mimosas, but by the early 2000s, those charms had faded and the property was in need of a renovation. In 2008, Craig Shcreiner led a multi-million dollar overhaul of the course that has again made the “Granddaddy” a must-experience layout.
— More than a decade ago, River Oaks, (pictured above) under the control of American Golf, a now defunct course management company, was in shambles. There was more dirt than grass on the greens and the out-of-town management company didn’t seem to care. That changed when local ownership assumed control of the 27-hole property. A two-stage renovation project and the leadership of general manager Scott Taylor led to a transformation. Conditions and service are consistently good and golfers have taken note. River Oaks isn’t the Dunes Club, but players looking for a value-priced round and a good time will be pleased with the experience.
— Out of the ashes of Sea Gull Golf Club, arose Founders Club. We might be pushing it to call this a comeback for the course, given that the old layout was entirely scrapped and redesigned, but the opening of Founders Club (pictured right) was certainly a renaissance for the property. Founders is a unique design, virtually devoid of cart paths, that features elevated fairways framed by waste bunkers.
— Arcadian Shores never declined to the point of River Oaks, but the layout started from a loftier perch, having been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest in the late 1970s, early 1980s. The fall from that peak was gradual, but the layout no longer resembled an upper echelon course by 2015. That changed thanks to a 2017-18 renovation project that included new bunkers, greens, cart paths, drainage and a brand new clubhouse, among other upgrades. How dramatic were the enhancements? Myrtle Beach area PGA professionals voted Arcadian Shores one of the area’s top 20 courses in 2019, further highlighting the property’s resurgence.