Myrtle Beach Golfaway

Renovation Plans in the Works for Whispering Pines Golf Club

By • Mar 30, 2009

As visitors fly into Myrtle Beach International Airport via Carolina blue skies, a spectacular view of a dramatic new hole will welcome them to the world capital of golf. The expected expansion of Harrelson Boulevard from Highway 15 to Kings Highway as part of a new layout plan for the airport will require the alteration of holes 16 through 18 at the city-owned Whispering Pines Golf Club.

The city of Myrtle Beach is in the process of hiring designer Craig Schreiner to do the work as soon as the road extension is approved, and Schreiner has some outstanding ideas. In particular, the par 3 17th hole will have to be rebuilt and will run along the proposed road.

Whispering Pines Golf Club“We’re really thinking about something extraordinary for the 17th hole, literally as you drive out of the airport we’re going to have something spectacular there; an island green, something really just eye-catching, and even lit at night, anybody coming to Myrtle Beach will know they’ve arrived at the Mecca of golf,” Schreiner said.

Jimmie Walters, Myrtle Beach City Director of Cultural and Leisure Services, said the city will pay Schreiner $7,000 to proceed with a preliminary study and plan for the three holes and work on the course will be done before the road.

Schreiner, who just recently renovated Pine Lakes International Country Club and co-designed the Members Club at Grande Dunes with Nick Price, said amongst some of the changes, the tee on the par 4 18th will have to be moved and the green on the par 4 16th will have to be moved to the East.

“Anybody arriving or leaving this city is going to see three phenomenal golf holes,” Schreiner said. “The city realizes this is really a good opportunity for them to say ‘hello’ in a lot better way than what they see right now; that little scummy pond with some poor little turtles hanging out in it. We’ll give them a much bigger lake and a much better home. I guarantee you they’ll like it more than what they’re sitting in now.”

Walters said course work—which should be completed in less than three months—could proceed without closing the course because a spare green was retained after the 10th hole was changed from a par 5 to a par 4, and a short par 3 can be created there.

Walters said now that the city and Horry County have agreed to build the road, the Federal Aviation Administration and National Parks Service have to sign off on the plan. He said the FAA owns the property Whispering Pines’ driving range occupies. Approval could come in a few months or a year or longer, if at all.

“A lot of things have to happen and we have no timetable on the road itself,” Walters said. “We won’t do anything on the golf course until we’re set on the detail of the road, and then everything has to happen pretty quickly.”

Walters believes the course will enjoy more play from the exposure. “That will open up the golf course to the travelers on the road who might not know it’s there and all the visitors coming to town,” Walters said. “It will be a great marketing tool for us.”

Schreiner believes the alteration of the three closing holes could lead to a renovation of the entire course. “Ultimately I think that will lead us to look into the rest of the golf course once we get those three holes completed,” he said.

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Born in Durban, South Africa, Azor fell in love with the game a little late in life. He served an apprenticeship in the printing industry and then went into print sales. In the early nineties he moved to the United States with his wife Glynis, and their two sons Dave and Clint. In 1994 he and Glynis established "Electronic Pencil" a Graphic Design company. In 2004 they started a golf magazine; he currently enjoys writing for their publication and writing the editorial for Myrtle Beach Golfaway’s website. “Besides the challenge and fun factor, the camaraderie on the golf course is second to none, it’s a blessing to spend time with good people and play a great game in such tranquil settings,” says Azor.
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