Late longtime Myrtle Beach area golf professional Gene Weldon was remembered Saturday with a tournament and the unveiling of a bench in his honor on the tee box of the par-3 fifth hole at Rivers Edge Golf Club in Shallotte, N.C.
The tournament and purchase of the bench was organized by former Thistle Golf Club members Mike Travers, Ralph Eckley and Ronnie Hahn.
The bench reads: Gene Weldon 1948-2017 A Legend “If You Play Golf – You Are My Friend.”
Weldon, who died in January after a battle with cancer, was a golf professional on the Grand Strand for 44 years, most recently serving as East Coast Golf Management’s director of new business development. River’s Edge is an East Coast course.
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He was the only head pro at Gator Hole Golf Club for the course's entire 20-year existence from 1980-99, and he spent nine years as the director of golf at Thistle late in his career.
Approximately 30 former Thistle members contributed to the purchase of the bench and took part in Saturday’s tournament, which also featured eight pros who were Weldon’s friends. His son Wil played and widow Geri took part in the bench dedication.
Weldon will be recognized again next month, as the First Tee of the Grand Strand’s Future Generations Tournament at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club on July 25 is in his honor. Weldon was an ardent supporter of youth golf and the area’s First Tee chapters and their programs.