The layout and person named the 2019 Myrtle Beach golf course and employee of the year

TPC Myrtle Beach, which hosted the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Myrtle Beach Regional in May, has been named the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association’s Course of the Year.

Randy Laney, head pro at The Witch Golf Club, was named the golf market’s Employee of the Year. Laney’s energetic personality and willingness to help with any job were key factors in his selection by the organization.

The MBAGCOA evaluates course of the year nominees on four criteria: quality of the golf course, quality of the ownership and management, contribution to the community, and contribution to the game.

TPC becomes a candidate for state and potentially national honors and is a repeat winner, having also won the Myrtle Beach honor in 2005.

The National Golf Course Owners Association implemented the award process in 1996, and past Myrtle Beach winners International World Tour Golf Links in 2003 and Grande Dunes Resort Course in 2008 won the national honor.

TPC, a 6,950-yard par-72 that was designed by Tom Fazio with input from Lanny Wadkins, opened in 1999 as a joint venture between PGA Tour Properties and the Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday marketing cooperative.

It is now one of 22 courses owned and operated by Founders Group International and features general manager Kevin Williamson and superintendent Clay DuBose.

FGI said it has invested more than $1 million in the TPC facility in recent years, including a 2018 bunker renovation project that included the installation of the Better Billy Bunker system. The course annually hosts the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship.

“From course conditions to customer service and the quality of the facility, TPC Myrtle Beach is richly deserving of being named golf course of the year,” said MBAGCOA executive director Tracy Conner.

TPC Myrtle Beach is also involved in the community, annually providing more than $25,000 in greens fees to various charities and donating land that houses the charitable Dustin Johnson Foundation. TPC, like all FGI courses, also donated a percentage of revenue from local rounds in October to victims of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas.

TPC succeeds Meadowlands Golf Club as the Myrtle Beach honoree.

Five of the Myrtle Beach regional winners – Burning Ridge Golf Club, TPC, Wild Wing Plantation, Tradition Club, Arrowhead Country Club and the Myrtle Beach King’s North Course – also captured the state award.

Father-Son this week

More than 650 golfers are competing in this week’s Family Golf Week events, including more than 600 in the 22nd annual National Father & Son Team Classic from Thursday to Saturday.

This year’s 54-hole competition will draw over 600 players from 40 states and three foreign countries competing in 21 flights.

Courses being used include the Barefoot Resort Love Course, Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links, Heritage Club, Indigo Creek, Legends Resort’s Heathland Course, Thistle Golf Club and Wachesaw Plantation East.

The Parent & Child Team Classic for other family members is held concurrently with the Father & Son, and Golf Channel personality Charlie Rymer is participating as this year’s Father of the Year honoree.

Possum Trot tabled

A request for Possum Trot Golf Club to be annexed into North Myrtle Beach was scheduled to be heard by the city’s Planning Commission on Tuesday, but the body tabled the request.

The 167-acre course in unincorporated Horry County is scheduled to close Sept. 30 when The Glens Group’s long-term lease to operate it expires, and the city has received a redevelopment proposal to convert the layout into a mixed-use project called Tidal Walk.

The request for annexation and a Planned Development District zoning includes 456 single-family detached homes, 264 attached multifamily units, and eight acres of an assisted living facility with associated medical services, according to Jim Wood, North Myrtle Beach’s Director of Planning and Development.

The annexation and PDD zoning requests are combined, so they will be approved or denied as one. Some area residents were at the commission meeting to voice their displeasure with the size of the project, citing typical stormwater and traffic concerns. So the proposal could be adjusted.

The Planning Commission will eventually make a recommendation to the North Myrtle Beach City Council, which will have to pass it in two readings for it to be approved.

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Alan Blondin covers golf, Coastal Carolina athletics and numerous other sports-related topics that warrant coverage. Well-versed in all things Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the Grand Strand, the Northeastern University journalism school valedictorian has been a sports reporter at The Sun News since 1993, earning eight top-10 Associated Press Sports Editors national writing awards and 18 top-three S.C. Press Association writing awards since 2007.