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Out Of The Inbox

February 02, 2009

From Kenneth Hamilton of Sumter, South Carolina:

Dear Matt,

Thanks for your feature on the Myrtle Beach area. We moved to North Myrtle Beach 52 years ago last month, and there was no golf course in town, though there were two in Myrtle Beach, Pine Lakes and The Dunes. About the time Dad thought I was old enough to start playing (1959), he started taking me for the Thursday afternoon clinic conducted by "Mr. Golf" on the Grand Strand, the legendary Jimmy D'Angelo, first Dunes pro and one heck of a nice fellow. That didn't last too long, because the next summer, when I was 12, the first nine of the Surf Golf and Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach opened (founding member, major stockholder, and longtime board chairman was Kelly Tilghman's grandfather), with the second nine being ready for play in 1961.

Hard to believe it now, but some of the naysayers said, "It will go broke; a town this small will NEVER be able to support a golf course!"  (How many are in the northern area now?)  Some of the board members used to tell about going to businesses and individuals in town trying to sell shares of stock for $525 each, just to meet the weekly payroll! Needless to say, before the first decade had passed, there was a waiting list. One of my first summer jobs was in the mid-1960s; I remember well that the green fee was $4.40, but only $3.30 if introduced by a member or a member motel. (That was 18-hole green fee only, because some golfers walked, with push carts, and caddies were still available then.)

All of the Digest articles are extremely interesting to me, but I have a special liking for the ones on the South Carolina coastal area. Keep up the good work!

*(Do you have a question, comment or complaint? Reach me through this blog in the "comments" box below, or send me an e-mail by clicking on this link.)

*--Matty G.