Pine Lakes Country Club is coming back.
Not that Myrtle Beach’s first golf course has gone anywhere, but it has lost its identity over the past decade.
That is what’s coming back.
Course operators are bringing back the Scottish garb and traditions the club became known for over more than four decades.
The outfits will be introduced as soon as they are delivered to the club, which is expected by mid-October. On-course clam chowder will return for the spring and fall golf seasons likely beginning in March, and on-course mimosas – champagne and orange juice – will return next summer. The club is still considering a winter offering.
The chowder will be offered on the par-4 sixth hole. A chowder pit will be built this winter adjacent to a bath house that will be expanded.
“We’re going back to the knickers outside, kilts and all the traditions that Pine Lakes used to have,” Pine Lakes head pro Jonathan Brock said. “I was asked what we could do to enhance Pine Lakes. Obviously you go back to your history and traditions and what you’re known for. We hear it every day with the golfers coming in.”
Starters and rangers will wear kilts, sporrans – a type of hanging men’s handbag – white button-down shirts and bow ties.
Bag drop workers will wear black knickers, knee-high black and red socks and red polo golf shirts, with a hat to be determined. Considerations include a baseball hat, plaid baseball hat or tam similar in style to the hats made popular by Payne Stewart.
Pro shop workers will wear black dress pants, white dress shirts and plaid ties.
Pine Lakes and its grand clubhouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The course, which opened as Ocean Forest Country Club, forged its identity after the Miles family purchased the course in the 1940s. The family owned Pine Lakes for 57 years until selling it to Burroughs & Chapin Co., in 2001, and Sandy Miles nicknamed the venerable design the “Granddaddy,” perpetuated the Scottish theme and demanded first-class service.
Starters served hot chocolate in the winter months on holes 1 and 10, cooks served homemade Manhattan clam chowder in a pot over open fire pits on holes 7 and 15, mimosas were served in the summer, and all guests’ clubs were cleaned and shoes were polished.
Miles is inducted in the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame that is housed behind the Pine Lakes clubhouse. Another induction ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 26 in the Hall of Fame Garden.
The course opened in 1927 so it is celebrating its 90th anniversary. It was designed by St. Andrews, Scotland native Robert White, the PGA of America's first president from 1916-19. The next-oldest course on the Strand, The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, opened in 1948, and the two layouts remained the only 18-hole courses on the Strand until 1960.
A pair of monument plaques honoring White and Gene Sarazen, who as legend has it shot his age of 78 on the course, have been put back on the course on the first and 10th holes.
The course got away from its traditions after reopening in 2009 following a more than two-year renovation project.
“I think it’s just going to enhance Pine Lakes,” Brock said. “I think it’s going to take us back for what we’re always known for, history and tradition and being the Granddaddy, the 1927 golf course. We are who we are. We need to embrace it. I think it’s going to make us stand apart from any other course down here, as it used to. The only thing we can’t go back to is the old Rolls Royce golf carts.”
Pine Lakes has an authentic Scot in Glasgow native Tom Bole, 79, who has worked at the course as a ranger and bag drop attendant for 16 years. Bole owns and wears his own kilt.
“I’m quite happy about it,” said Bole in his deep Scottish accent. “This should help business. Not a day goes by that somebody doesn’t ask you, ‘Where are the kilts?’ and ‘Where is the soup?’ It happens all the time.”
The Scottish clothes are being purchased from GolfKnickers.com, which has opened a store in Myrtle Beach.
For the past decade, the clubhouse’s History Hall contained the vestiges of its past and prior traditions, including being considered the birthplace of Sports Illustrated in 1954 when a group of Time-Life employees met to discuss a new sports magazine venture.
Brock received approval for the tradition revival from Steve Mays, the acting president of Founders Group International, which owns and operates the course along with 21 others on the Grand Strand. “He thinks each course should have their own identity, and that’s what we are at Pine Lakes,” Brock said. “I’m not sure why they ever got away from it.”
Tiger’s Eye reopens
Tiger’s Eye Golf Links, one of the more decorated courses in Brunswick County, reopened Friday following renovations that included the installation of new TifEagle ultradwarf Bermudagrass greens.
The 17-year-old course closed on July 23 to replace its original G2 bentgrass greens.
The 7,014-yard Tim Cate design is one of the four courses known as “The Big Cats” at Ocean Ridge Plantation in Sunset Beach, N.C. It has been ranked among the top 10 public courses in North Carolina by Golf Magazine several times, and in the top 15 among public courses in the state by Golfweek multiple times.
Tiger’s Eye is the third Ocean Ridge course to transition to Bermuda from bent greens since 2010. Panther’s Run and Lion’s Paw, which are both older, have MiniVerde Bermuda, while Leopard’s Chase, which opened in 2007, still has its original L93 bentgrass.
There are now fewer than 10 courses on the Grand Strand with bentgrass, a cool-weather grass that tends to become stressed in the summer heat.
TifEagle is featured on several Strand courses including True Blue Golf Club, Farmstead Golf Links, Prestwick Country Club and Pawleys Plantation, as well as TPC Sawgrass and Harbour Town Golf Links, which host PGA Tour events.
CCU men impress
The Coastal Carolina men’s golf team and senior Thadd Obecny II had an impressive opening tournament under new coach Jim Garren.
Obecny II was voted the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week for his runner-up finish at the Janney Shootout hosted by Virginia Commonwealth last week, and the Chanticleers finished fourth in the 12-team event.
Obecny, of Wheeling, W.Va., tied for the field lead with 14 birdies for just his second top-20 finish of his CCU career, and his 9-under 207 tied Dustin Johnson for the 12th-best 54-hole score in school history.
Coastal’s team total of 9-under 855 is its best 54-hole score since 2013. The Chants return to action Oct. 7-8 at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate at North Carolina’s Finley Golf Club in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The CCU women finished 14th in their opening event last week, the Mercedes-Benz Championship at Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., and were led by junior Sena Ersoy’s 34th-place individual finish in her first event at CCU. The Chants are already back in action Monday through Wednesday in the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Vail, Colo.
Love on her side
First Tee of Brunswick County members Jayla Rogers and Spencer Faircloth participated this past weekend in the PGA Champions Tour’s Pure Insurance Championship on the Monterey Peninsula in California, and they drew some pretty good pairings.
Rogers was paired with Golf Hall of Fame member Davis Love III and Faircloth was paired with six-time PGA Tour winner Jeff Sluman, and they played famed Pebble Beach Golf Links and scenic Poppy Hills Golf Course.
Rogers and Love tied for 25th in the pro-junior portion of the competition, and Rogers missed the pro-junior cut to the final round for the low 23 teams by two shots at 9-under par. Faircloth and Sluman tied for 33rd at 8-under among the 81 teams.
Individually, Love tied for 10th at 7-under 208 while Sluman tied for 24th at 211.
Faircloth is a senior at West Brunswick High in Shallotte and Rogers is a junior at Laney High in Wilmington.
A trip to Pebble Beach is being raffled off by the First Tee of Brunswick County. Raffle tickets are $100 each and only 250 will be sold, and the winner will be drawn on Feb. 10 at the First Tee’s Golf Ball.
The first prize is the four-day, three-night trip that includes rounds at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and The Links at Spanish Bay, lodging at The Inn at Spanish Bay and $1,500 toward expenses. Second prize is a 2018 Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship entry and third is a Myrtle Beach March Championship entry. Visit www.thefirstteebrunswickcounty.org to enter.