It just makes sense to have a golf art exhibit in Myrtle Beach.
That’s how Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum director Patricia Goodwin, curator Kay Teer and board chair John Stewart see it.
So they combined their efforts to arrange the “Fore! Images of Golf in Art” exhibit featuring approximately 40 pieces that opened on April 28 and will continue through Sept. 15.
“We just thought, ‘Well, gosh, what is one of the most popular pastimes in Myrtle Beach? Golf,’” Goodwin said. “I mean, we are the Golf Capital of the World. And we knew there were some wonderful images of golf. We had a couple already in our collection.”
Pieces in the exhibit were donated by or arranged for by local courses or individuals including The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Jack Bonner and the Brittain family, the United States Golf Association, and Bill Meek of the Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples, Fla.
“You just start the ball rolling and it happens,” Goodwin said.
The first item you encounter is a display with 19th century Baffling Spoon and Dunn Spoon clubs.
A room dedicated to the history of golf in Myrtle Beach includes a large bronze bust of legendary Myrtle Beach pro and promoter Jimmy D’Angelo titled “Gentleman Jim,” a painting of The Dunes Golf and Beach Club founder and golf package pioneer George “Buster” Bryan, a 1994 watercolor by Ray Ellis of The Dunes Club’s 11th hole, and a Ben Kimberly Prins painting featured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in July 1961.
Prins’ work depicts The Dunes Club’s busy men’s locker room during the Golf Writers Association of America championship, which was held at the course for 50 years, and a copy of the 52-year-old magazine supplied by the publisher accompanies the painting.
Golf courses featured in the exhibit include 2013 U.S. Open host Merion Golf Club, Augusta National Golf Club, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Cypress Point, Harbour Town Golf Links, Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland, Ballybunion in Ireland, and Royal St. George’s in England, which was featured in the James Bond film Goldfinger.
Golfers featured in paintings include Payne Stewart, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Greg Norman and Tiger Woods. Bill Murray, George H. Bush and Jacqueline Kennedy are also featured in golf-related works.
The exhibit also includes bronze sculptures of Palmer and Nicklaus by Texas sculptor Bob Pack, and a bronze sculpture of “The Squire” Gene Sarazen. Other sculptures and paintings depict scenes, and Leroy Neiman and Will Barnet are among the featured artists.
“With every piece that’s in here, we really gave as much information as we could about the golf, about the artist, about whatever else we could,” Goodwin said.
The Burroughs-Chapin Museum, which Goodwin said hosts between 25,000 and 28,000 visitors per year, is in its 16th year and was awarded the 2013 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award by the South Carolina Arts Commission in recognition of outstanding contributions to the arts in the state.