Sneak preview at "The Granddaddy": Pine Lakes Country Club in Myrtle Beach
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Pine Lakes Country Club is Myrtle Beach’s oldest golf course, established in 1929. It’s also been closed for two years now, undergoing an extensive renovation and upgrade of not only the golf course but of the clubhouse as well.
Pine Lakes is on the National Registrar of Historic Places, and the course is going to remain true to its classic character, void of real estate or any design traits that’s horribly flashy or modern.
Craig Schreiner, who’s office is based in Myrtle Beach, is overseeing the redesign work and led a tour of the course yesterday. It’s certainly got a lot of people excited in the area. They’ve amplified a lot of the topography’s dips and mounds. This is for both drainage purposes and also adds to most holes’ character. Schreiner seemed most excited about is how the topography, especially leading up to and around the greens, seems to gradually increase on holes later in the round, getting gradually more undulating. The bunkers, while not filled yet, are going to be very deep, especially later in the round.
Greens were also restored to their original size and shape, as they have a tendency to shrink and flatten over time. One great touch is the long, rectangle tee boxes they’ve implemented.
Pine Lakes’ clubhouse is a beautiful, historic building which is also undergoing a facelift, and during redesign they saw to it to make the structure more visible from more points on the course. Two new holes were built entirely on what was once wetlands.
One other notable is the change in turf, moving to a Seadwarf Paspallum over Bermuda. Being located so close to the ocean, Pine Lakes has always had issues with water quality and paspalum grasses can handle salt and brackish water better than any other turf.
The routing was changed and the 17th and 18th are gone entirely. Two brand new holes were built, holes No. 4 and 5. The original second hole will make up the finisher now, though plays up to 450 yards now.
Pine Lakes is on schedule to re-open in March, 2009. It will also be in the top tier of area courses with a peak season green fee of $150.
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To answer your question about the $150, Shanks...I think its location is ideal, so it has that on its side (along with an expensive-looking clubhouse :-). If conditions are good enough (which, considering they spent so much money on the redesign, they may as well go all out and keep it up), I would say the $150 is justified, at least to the player who appreciates classic-style courses. This isn't going to be Fazio, wow-you-with-crazy-stuff-everywhere golf, more subtle for sure.
That said, there are some pretty good holes out there and the terrain rolls really nicely, which a lot of courses don't have in this area.
I'll put it this way...there are some courses that ask $150-plus around here I think are probably worse than what I think Pine Lakes will be...
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