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Story and Photos by Ian Guerin
The Granddaddy isn’t letting up any time soon.
Better known as Pine Lakes Country Club, the first golf course in Myrtle Beach is thriving well beyond its 80 years of service and quality play. Discovering why takes no more than a handful of holes, if that long.
The staff’s attitude gives members and visitors an exclusive feel unmatched by the majority of the Grand Strand’s courses. From there, it’s on to manicured SeaDwarf turfgrass fairways and greens. An expansive, renovated clubhouse handles the rest. Point being, Pine Lakes has maintained its status among the area’s elite.
The course itself more than backs up that thought. The par-70, 6,305-yard (6,675 from the championships; 4,758 from the ladies) track kicks you off with one of its manageable par 4s. The 332-yarder – like most of the par 4s, for that matter – is a relatively straight and short start to the round. In fact, only three of the par 4s on the entire course measure longer than 400 yards. It allows mid-range hitters plenty of opportunity to reach in two throughout.
Oddly enough, many require the same approach on the par 3s, especially Nos. 2, 8 and 16. On those three, muscling up with a mid-iron is not uncommon just to reach. No. 8, for instance, is a stout 187 yards from the standard tees and 212 from the tips.
It is part of the mystique that was reinstituted when the course re-opened in 2009 after a 20-month renovation project designed to bring much of the course closer to Robert White’s original 1927 design. The venture invigorated new life into the popular Myrtle Beach golf landmark.
And it’s making sure the Granddaddy’s place in Grand Strand golf lore is much more than history.
NO. 9 A MAJESTIC MIDWAY POINT
The final hole on the front nine is an artistic end to first half of a round at Pine Lakes.
The 350-yarder first requires players to advance their tee shot over a small pond and marsh grass. But simply clearing the short water isn’t enough to make sure this hole goes your way. Outside of a small landing area that mimics a two-tiered fairway, shots toward the left will leave players with either a nasty angle to the green – or requiring a drop.
Those fortunate enough to find the more traditional portion of the fairway then have a short, but slightly uphill, approach to a green protected by pair of bunkers. Did we mention the green is sloped back to front?
Regardless, even when a favorable score isn’t there, the scenery remains. - Ian Guerin