Golf Travel: Myrtle Beach’s Granddaddy Getting A New Look

Pine Lakes Country Club

Pine Lakes Country Club, Myrtle Beach’s First Course, Undergoing Greens, Bunker Restoration Project

Historic Layout Slated To Reopen In Early July

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Myrtle Beach’s “Granddaddy” is getting a facelift this summer.

Pine Lakes Country Club closed on April 26 for a greens and bunker restoration project that will have Myrtle Beach’s first golf course in prime condition well ahead of the area’s peak fall season.

Founders Group International, Pine Lakes’ parent company, has partnered with Craig Schreiner, ASGCA, ASLA, who spearheaded the course’s 2008-09 renovation, to lead the project. Pine Lakes is scheduled to reopen in early July.

At the heart of the effort will be the installation of new Sunday bermudagrass greens, which will be a significant upgrade over the paspalum grass it is replacing. Sunday bermuda has proven to be a particularly hearty grass in the Myrtle Beach environment and will provide a much faster, smoother year-round putting surface.

The greens will also be restored to their original size, expanding the total putting surface area at Pine Lakes from 103,000 square feet to 124,000 square feet, an increase of 20 percent. The additional size will create more pinnable areas on numerous greens, providing even more room for creativity on an already enjoyable design.

Schreiner is also restoring every bunker on the course with an eye on improving drainage, playability and returning Pine Lakes to the more natural look architect Robert White intended. Pine Lakes is installing a sophisticated new drainage system that will ensure the course’s 26 bunkers don’t hold water.

“Pine Lakes holds a special place in the Myrtle Beach market, and this project, highlighted by the new Sunday bermudagrass greens and the bunker restoration, will ensure the Granddaddy continues to deliver the type of experience golfers have enjoyed for more than 90 years,” said Founders Group International President Steve Mays. “This is the first step as we begin looking forward to the 100-year anniversary of Pine Lakes’ opening and the birth of Myrtle Beach as a golf destination.”

“I call this a restoration because they asked me to do the bunkering as well [as the greens], and that’s where we are restoring an important part of the architecture – updating it, modernizing it and adding new sand drainage, which was always lacking here,” Schreiner said. “In terms of the bunkers, the sand will be a little less obvious and [the faces won’t be as] highly flashed as grass faces will be more prevalent.”

Pine Lakes was originally designed by White, a native of St. Andrews, Scotland and the first president of the PGA of America, and the course, along with its famed clubhouse, is part of the National Registry of Historic Places.

Built along natural dunes less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean, Pine Lakes features natural elevation change and a classic design that has long made it one of the Myrtle Beach area’s most popular courses.

Pine Lakes is one of 21 FGI courses and more information is available at PineLakes.com.