Pine Lakes Country Club underwent a renovation in the summer of 2021 and with the work in the rearview mirror, it’s time to assess the greens and bunker restoration project and what it means for your experience at the Granddaddy.
If you haven’t played Pine Lakes since the renovation, here is what you will most notice about the changes.
1. The greens are much faster. The old paspalum – a grass that thrives in the Caribbean – was never a good fit and the upgrade is dramatic. The new putting surfaces are smooth, fast and the break is subtle. Seriously, the improvement of the greens at Pine Lakes can’t be overstated.
2. Pine Lakes picked up more than 21,000 square feet of putting surface in the renovation, and while that won’t be as noticeable to players who aren’t intimately familiar with the layout, it matters. It’s a lot easier to hit a green that’s 20 percent bigger and that expansion begins on the first hole.
3. Oh, those new bunkers! The greens expanded in size while the footprint of the bunkers contracted even more. Gone are the steep-faced bunkers that were a house of horrors from a maintenance perspective. Water previously poured off the vertical faces, washing out sand and creating problems that would take days to fix. In their place are grass faces that roll more gently into the sand and vastly improved drainage, meaning you will be greeted by premium sand and dry bunkers.
4. Speaking of the bunkers, don’t equate a smaller footprint with an easier course. The bunkers are now surrounded by gnarly native grasses that can be more difficult to get out of than the sand. The new look is great and adds a dimension to the course, but it’s not easier.
5. The native grasses, starters in kilts – a nod to the fact architect Robert White was a native of St. Andrews, Scotland – a clubhouse on the National Register of Historic places, and the course’s rolling terrain help make a day at Pine Lakes an experience. A round at Pine Lakes Country Club isn’t just 18 holes and your score. The property’s rich history is a focal point of the day and it is to be relished.
A Myrtle Beach golf trip that includes Pine Lakes, which will be celebrating its 95th birthday in 2022, will be a good one.