In the wake of Golfsmith International’s announcement last week that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company’s store in North Myrtle Beach is closing.
Golfsmith has two Grand Strand store locations with 30,000- and 35,000-square-foot Golfsmith Xtreme stores in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. The location that is closing is a former Golf Dimensions business across from rival PGA Tour Superstore.
The Myrtle Beach location on the corner of U.S. 17 North and U.S. 501 East is expected to remain open.
Though national public relations representatives and local management would not reveal a closing date for the NMB location, store employees have told customers they expect the store to close on or around Oct. 31.
The Chapter 11 filing reveals a reorganization plan that includes the closing of 20 underperforming stores among Golfsmith’s 109 U.S. locations. The NMB location was identified as one of those 20.
Golfsmith entered the Strand market in the spring of 2013 when it built its Myrtle Beach store.
In April 2014 it purchased the Golf Dimensions business and remodeled its NMB location. Golf Dimensions was founded by Bobby Smith Sr. and Jr. and was operated by the Smith family for 25 years, and had three locations at the time of its sale.
Golfsmith also took over the operation of a Callaway Golf Performance Fitting Center at Barefoot Resort’s driving range from Golf Dimensions, but that business closed in July and the performance center has been incorporated into the Myrtle Beach store.
Golfsmith has been the primary golf retail competitor in the Strand market to PGA Tour Superstore’s two large locations in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach.
The Austin-based Golfsmith announced Wednesday the Chapter 11 filing in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.
The parent company also owns 55 Golf Town stores in Canada, and as part of the reorganization the company plans to sell Golf Town Canada to a group led by Fairfax Financial Holdings.
The company says Golf Town and Golfsmith operations will continue uninterrupted during the Chapter 11 proceedings.
Royer at Tidewater
Golf instructor and former PGA Tour player Hugh Royer III has moved from Possum Trot Golf Club to Tidewater Plantation and Golf Club, where he is the club’s teaching professional.
“It’s just one of those things that kind of fell in my lap, to be honest with you,” Royer said. “I’m just excited about the opportunity to be out there. It’s at the higher eschelon of Myrtle Beach golf and I’ve got a chance to teach there.”
Royer has known Tidewater head pro Chris Cooper since junior golf days, and he was eating lunch at Tidewater one day with his wife, Heather, the director of golf at CondoLux, when he and Cooper broached the subject of Royer teaching at the club.
Royer said he already had some Tidewater members as clients and has added others in the past few weeks.
Though some assistant pros offer lessons, Cooper said Tidewater hasn’t had consistent golf instruction since Troon Golf managed the club in the late 1990s through February 2001.
“We’re excited to have a chance to work with him here at Tidewater,” Cooper said. “I’m always looking for a way to improve the golf experience here. With rhe right situation a golf academy here would be a great thing.”
Royer is utilizing the back end of the driving range for his instruction. To accommodate him, the hitting area in that area has been expanded through sodding and the club is in the process of creating more of a practice area, including adding a bunker to go along with an existing practice green. A small indoor facility that could include a covered hitting bay is being considered and could be built within a year.
“We’re in the early stages of putting together the Hugh Royer Golf Academy here,” Cooper said.
Tidewater has its own marketing team, so it will help Royer promote his business. He and Cooper would like to see two- and three-day golf schools and instruction become part of Myrtle Beach golf packages at the course.
Royer, 52, had recommitted earlier this year to resuming a playing career, and had been traveling to Champions Tour event qualifiers and had planned to enter the tour’s Q-School this fall.
He is exempt from pre-qualifying that precedes the Monday/Tuesday qualifiers because of status gained through his four Web.com wins, and has to pay just $100 to enter the qualifiers. Between four and seven tournament spots are available in each qualifier.
He still plans to attempt regional Monday qualifiers and play in a few tournaments in the area. He said he recently shot a 66 in a recreational round.
I was ready to run with [playing], then this kind of fell in my lap. I didn’t want to screw it up. It’s such an opportunity I wanted to take advantage of it. The opportunity seemed too great to pass up.
Hugh Royer III
“I was ready to run with [playing],” Royer said, “then this kind of fell in my lap. I didn’t want to screw it up. It’s such an opportunity I wanted to take advantage of it. The opportunity seemed too great to pass up.
“It’s security for my family and I can be home with my daughter (Abbey), who is just starting high school, I don’t want to miss that. You just put your priorities in order.”
Schmid entering Hall
Former Carolinas PGA executive director Ron Schmid has been named the 47th inductee into the CPGA Hall of Fame.
Much of Schmid’s 16 years as executive director from 1999 through December 2015 were spent in North Myrtle Beach, where the CPGA was headquartered for 35 years until he oversaw its move to Bryan Park Golf Course in Greensboro, N.C., in 2011.
The move was facilitated when the CPGA’s longtime home on S.C. 9 in the North Myrtle Beach area was purchased and redeveloped by Seacoast Medical Center.
Schmid earned his PGA of America membership in 1975 while working at Duke University Golf Club, where he remained for more than a decade. He served as the women’s golf coach, head pro and executive director of the school’s athletic fundraising organization.
While leading the CPGA, Schmid was dedicated to several causes and served on numerous committees. He helped the section garner more than $3 million in donations between 2007 and 2015 for the Folds of Honor Foundation.
Schmid earned the President’s Council Award on Growing the Game from 2005-2007, oversaw the CPGA’s earning of the National Herb Graffis Award for growth of the game in 2007, and launching the Section’s largest annual event, the CPGA Merchandise Show, which was held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for many years.
Schmid will be inducted into the Carolinas PGA Hall of Fame on Feb. 19, 2017, during the Club Car Carolinas PGA Awards & Honors Dinner at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Special Events Center. Among its other members are Grand Strand golf contributors Jimmy D’Angelo, Aubrey Apple Sr., Ed Bullock, Gary Schaal and Will Mann.
Schaal and Mann are past PGA of America presidents, and Mann is the director of Coastal Carolina’s PGA Golf Management Program.