Founders Group International, the largest golf course ownership group in Myrtle Beach with 22 golf courses along the Grand Strand, has promoted Samantha Swinehart Smith to general manager and head golf professional at River Hills Golf Club. With this promotion, Smith becomes only the second female general manager and head golf professional along the Grand Strand. The other is her FGI colleague, Christa Bodensteiner, regional operations manager for Founders Group International and general manager/head golf professional at Tradition Golf Club.
“I’m excited for this opportunity and thankful for the trust that Founders Group International has put in me,” said Smith. “It’s an honor to be a part of an organization that values women in leadership roles and is leading the charge to grow the game along the Grand Strand. I look forward to the challenge ahead of continuing to make sure we provide world-class golfing experiences for all of our guests.” Prior to being named general manager, Smith served as the first assistant professional at River Hills Golf Club. She has shown great promise in her three years with FGI, having served as an assistant professional at two other well-known Myrtle Beach-area courses, Grande Dunes Resort Club and TPC Myrtle Beach.
“Sam has been a popular member of our team since she started at River Hills a few years ago,” said Matt Daly, director of golf operations for Founders Group International. “We are confident in her abilities to lead River Hills and are excited to see her take this next step in her career.” Smith has a stellar golfing background, having earned All-American honors while playing at the University of South Carolina. She is passionate about sharing the game she loves and has volunteered with the First Tee of the Grand Strand, an organization dedicated to growing the game among the next generation. Smith will begin her new duties and responsibilities immediately.