Myrtle Beach golf pioneers inducted into hall of fame

August 26, 2012 

— It was only fitting that the induction into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame of J. Egerton Burroughs occurred at Pine Lakes Country Club on Sunday evening.

Burroughs was the chairman of the board of Burroughs & Chapin Co. Inc. when the company decided to invest several million dollars into Pine Lakes to restore the clubhouse and refurbish the golf course, keeping both on the National Register of Historic Places.

In essence, Burroughs is at least partially responsible for providing himself a place for induction into the hall, which he entered Sunday along with North Myrtle Beach golf course developer and marketer J. Bryan Floyd.

“This is very special. A lot of Myrtle Beach golf history and publicity and seeds were right here,” Burroughs said. “. . . We’re just glad to be part of it and be here tonight.”

B&C executives helped create the Hall of Fame Garden behind the club’s grand clubhouse in 2009 to honor the pioneers and greats in the Grand Strand market. Pine Lakes opened in 1927 as Myrtle Beach’s first golf course.

Burroughs, 65, who was present Sunday, and Floyd, who died in 2004 at the age of 68, bring membership in the hall to 12 people.

Burroughs was B&C’s chairman from 1990 to this past May, and he was a major influence in the company during much of its significant Strand golf ventures.

B&C has built four courses, leased land to other course developers and operators, contributed to the building of The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in 1948, and had a golf course management company that grew to 10 courses before merging this year into the 22-course National Golf Management.

Through an early incarnation of B&C called Myrtle Beach Farms, the company supplied land for the building of The Dunes Club and developed the lots around it, built its first course at Myrtlewood Golf Club in 1966 and added a second course there in 1973, and participated in the early days of golf packages, which are credited with building the Strand golf market.

“In 1966 Edward Burroughs and Dan Brown and the rest of them were trying to figure out what to do with some land we had,” Burroughs said. “We tried raising cattle on it and it didn’t work too good, and we weren’t very good at farming vegetables. … So Edward and Dan and the board decided to get into the golf business and built Myrtlewood.”

B&C built the Grande Dunes Resort Course and private Members Club at Grande Dunes in the past 11 years and refurbished Pine Lakes in the mid-2000s.

“Really Burroughs & Chapin was inducted here tonight, I’m just carrying the torch,” said Burroughs, who serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of South Carolina. “It’s a Burroughs & Chapin honor and I’m just glad to be part of it.”

Though he purchased the necessary equipment and took lessons at one time, Burroughs has played little golf in his life. “I never got to the point where I was considered safe to be around on a golf course,” he said. “I’m not an avid golfer but I understand the importance of the industry to Myrtle Beach and our region, so I’m glad to be part of that tradition.”

Floyd was a partner and developer of Bay Tree Plantation, which was the first 54-hole golf facility in the area when it opened in 1972 and is believed to be the first facility in the U.S. to open three courses simultaneously. He then worked for more than 30 years to market the area nationally as a year-round golf destination.

In addition to the trio of courses at Bay Tree, which hosted a PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament and an LPGA Championship on its “Green Monster” layout, Floyd was a developer of the Robbers Roost and Possum Trot courses in the late 1960s.

He was a founder of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday in the 1960s, was the marketing cooperative’s president from 1990-94 and served on its board of directors from 1986-2001, and was a founder of the Strand’s Tee Time Network.

He also served the community as a civic leader. He served on the North Myrtle Beach City Council for 22 years and was the city’s mayor from 1974-80. He was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina, in 2001, and has a community center and bridge named after him in North Myrtle Beach.

“Golf was a tremendous part of his life,” said Floyd’s widow, Sally Floyd. “He was dedicated to the community through his public service as mayor and on council, but still in all golf was No. 1. It became that.

“Even after he had his stroke in October 1996 and was in a wheelchair . . . he went out there to his office every day at Bay Tree.”

The hall’s other members are Cecil Brandon, Clay Brittain, Carolyn Cudone, Jimmy D’Angelo, General James Hackler Jr., Robert White, George ‘Buster’ Bryan, Charlie Byers, Paul Himmelsbach and Gary Schaal.

Contact ALAN BLONDIN at 626-0284.

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