Pine Lakes5603 Woodside Avenue, Myrtle Beach, SC, 29577
Opened in 1927, the first golf course built in the Myrtle Beach area, Pine Lakes Country Club deserves its colloquial nickname, “The Granddaddy.” Robert White, first president of the Professional Golfers Association of America, designed the course, which is not only the eldest but one of the most popular courses on the entire Grand Strand.
At only 6,675 yards from the longest set of tees, Pine Lakes would seem one of the shorter courses in Myrtle Beach. But when one considers the par of 70, that sub-6,700 yard number plays a good deal bigger. With long par fours like the third, 14th and 18th, a round at Pine Lakes does not lack for demands on the player’s long game. Not by a longshot.
Complementing Pine Lakes’ longer holes is a clutch of beguiling shorter ones, where birdies are more feasible but big trouble nonetheless lurks. The back nine begins in such fashion, with a downhill par five that plays with the prevailing breeze and may be reachable. However, three large greenside bunkers and a right-side chipping area complicate matters, meaning that short-siding oneself is a great way to turn a birdie into a bogey or worse. The very next hole, the par three 11th, requires only a short iron, but the green is surrounded in front, left and right by a pond. A precise shot means a birdie chance but a poor swing brings double bogey into play in a hurry.
Pine Lakes is not only significant for its golf course, but for the history that has taken place on the site. The stately, recently-renovated clubhouse is in the National Registry of Historic Places and inside, in 1954, a group of Time Inc. executives hatched the idea that would become the Sports Illustrated magazine and media empire.