Recently, Tony Leodora of GolfTalk Live – one of America’s leading golf radio shows – spoke with Matt Daly, head golf professional at Pine Lakes Country Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., to discuss what makes “The Granddaddy of Myrtle Beach Golf” special for visiting golfers.
Tony Leodora: This Myrtle Beach Report is a little more than just another visit to another golf course in the Myrtle Beach area; it’s your history lesson.
We’ve got Matt Daly – he’s the head golf professional at Myrtlewood Golf Club, and also at Pine Lakes Country Club, the oldest golf course in Myrtle Beach.
Matt, welcome to Golf Talk Live!
Matt Daly: Hey, Tony, thanks for having me. Happy to be here!
TL: Well, it’s great to talk to you, Matt, and great to revisit Pine Lakes – a place I’ve had a love affair with for many, many, many years, going back to the days playing in the Golf Writers Association of America Championship. I had one of my best rounds in the championship ever on the OLD Pine Lakes course. Of course, that was before the renovation, which really restored Pine Lakes to a position of grandeur along the Grand Strand. That was, what, about four years ago?
MD: Yes, we reopened in 2009, and really what we did was we tried to look at the original architecture of Robert White, the original course designer, and we restored the course back to its original design and original features. We took down a lot of trees, which really opened up the vistas … It’s pretty neat. Just about every hole, you can see our antebellum clubhouse. There are a lot of great vistas, and you can tell the history (of this course) when you’re playing out there.
TL: Yeah, your clubhouse is absolutely beautiful, and it really just absolutely reflects the atmosphere of the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
MD: It does, and we actually rebuilt that with the renovation in 2009, so now when you’re at Pine Lakes you can enjoy all of the clubhouse, whereas pre-restoration you really just had the golf shop and snack bar area. Now, the clubhouse is restored, and throughout it you have historic relics from the property … it’s very, very nice.
TL: Well, you have the history from the fact that it was the first course in Myrtle Beach, but it was also the birthplace of some little magazine – (joking) what was the name of it, I forget?
MD: (Laughing) Yeah, I think it was a weekly publication … Sports Illustrated?
TL: That’s right. It was born right on the premises there, huh?
MD: Yes, it was, and it’s a cool little story. Members of the board of Time-Life came down on a retreat to Myrtle Beach to visit. They were at Pine Lakes, and (it was there where) they came up with the concept of a weekly sports publication. Pine Lakes is historically registered as the birthplace of Sports Illustrated.
We’ve got the first cover there (on display), framed, along with a couple of nice letters that the people of Time Magazine wrote to the Miles Family to thank them for their hospitality … it’s pretty cool.
TL: It’s amazing – they went down there on a retreat, and came up with a magazine. I’ve been down there on many retreats, and all I ever came up with is a hangover. I guess they were a little more focused than me (laughing).
Well, Matt, I think for our listeners, one thing they should understand is when they play Pine Lakes Country Club they’re going to play one of the more enjoyable golf courses – you’re not going to be looking for your golf ball, it’s not a torture track, it’s no pushover but it really is an enjoyable round of golf. You can get a round in at a pretty good pace of play.
MD: You absolutely can. The way the course is laid out, it’s very easy to get around. And it doesn’t beat you up – you’re right. If you’re a high handicapper there’s a lot of forgiveness off the tee, we don’t have a lot of water (hazards) on the golf course … But at the same time, if you’re a lower or single-digit handicapper, it still keeps you honest.
TL: By now, Matt, the listeners are chomping at the bit. So, what’s the best way to find out more about Pine Lakes, your Web site?
MD: Yes – go to PineLakes.com, there’s all sorts of great information on there. We’ve got some great golf packages; we’re actually affiliated with 21 other golf courses around here. We’ve got a great 4-round special going during the spring: if you play four rounds, you’re actually going to get a $100 gift card you can spend at any of our golf shops or for food & beverage …
TL: Well, you cannot beat that!
Matt Daly, head golf professional at Pine Lakes County Club and also Myrtlewood Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, thanks for being with us on Golf Talk Live!
MD: Thanks, Tony. Next time you guys are in Myrtle Beach, come look us up!
TL: Now that’s an offer I can’t refuse!