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Story by Ian Guerin
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Jimmy Biggs may be new to Pine Lakes Country Club. But locals and visitors alike have been crossing paths with the colorful golf boss for years. Biggs, who took over as the Head Golf Professional and General Manager at Pine Lakes in November of 2018, has used his outgoing personality to connect with golfers making their way to the Carolina coastline for years. Formerly the head pro at the two courses just across the border in North Carolina, Biggs long ago found that it was one of his best attributes and brought it with him to Pine Lakes.
“Where I started golf in the northeast, these were high-end courses. People were paying a lot of money to be schmoozed. It was all very strict, rules and everything,” Biggs said. “When I got to Myrtle Beach, it was much more laid back. We just want everyone to have a good time. Don’t crash or wreck anything. But we want you to come back. That’s the mantra I’ve adopted at my clubs.” Biggs’ penchant for hilarity started with an online radio show revolving around the game and then spawned a series of online videos that drew thousands of views. He’s been an attraction of sorts for those who have searched him out, and for him, it all goes back to his original goal of making the game more personable. Of course, it took him some time to get over his own jitters.
Born in California and raised in New York, Biggs found his way to the Carolinas for college. He went through the Professional Golf Management program at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., before going on to earn Master’s Degree in Business Administration there. Within seven months of that, he was settling in at The Pearl. “Here I was at 23 years old running a 36-hole facility,” he said. “I screwed up a lot, but I learned a lot.” That trial-and-error process has led him to Myrtle Beach’s first course. Pine Lakes opened in 1927 and has survived market forces, not to mention massive storms. In recent years, it underwent a significant on-course renovation project and reverted back to having staff wear kilts and knickers and re-opened the clam chowder and mimosa stands. Now, Biggs is in charge of it all.
“It’s an honor,” Biggs said. “The tradition of this place - I’m still learning all the history - but the members have been here for generations. I’ve seen all the pictures of the clubhouse. I love the tradition, the guys in the kilts and the knickers, I wouldn’t change a thing. When you come to Pine Lakes, I want it to be an experience. You can zip into the past but get the modern flair.” He takes that new responsibility seriously. That doesn’t mean he’s going to stop his own colorful personality from playing a role, too.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of series of stories illuminating the men and women serving as Golf Professionals at Myrtle Beach-area golf courses