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Pine Lakes Country Club in Myrtle Beach Set for March 2009 Reopening
A major project to restore Pine Lakes Country Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., to architect Robert White's original 1927 specifications is on schedule for a March 2009 completion.
The restoration is being directed by golf architect Craig Schreiner, who in addition to collaborating with 1994 British Open champion Nick Price on The Members Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, has also directed the construction of 21 new courses in 13 states; managed the renovation and restoration of 28 courses in 11 states; and served as a consultant to major tournaments, including the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill Country Club.
Schreiner and staff are making many improvements to Pine Lakes, Myrtle Beach's original course, to enhance the playability and enjoyment for golfers of all skills. Committed to restoring the course to White's drawings as much as possible, Schreiner shaped the course to establish continuity with White's original holes and nine holes that he created. His efforts will provide the golfers with an authentic visit back to early 20th century Scottish golf.
Seashore Paspalum was sodded and sprigged on the fairways, roughs, tees and greens during the months of May and June and is now receiving ferti-gation (fertilization through the irrigation system) to help the perennial grass get established before this fall.
In addition to the eco-friendly Seashore Paspalum grass, golfers will find four sets of enlarged tee boxes in the classical rectangular shape. More than three times larger than White's original tees, the areas are deeper to allow Pine Lakes' staff to set the course up differently for various events.
In addition to the installation of a modern irrigation system, Schreiner added more than 100 drain basins alongside fairways, roughs and greens to control water run-off.
Over time, Pine Lakes' greens and bunkers shrunk by as much as one-third of their original sizes. Schreiner restored both areas using White's drawings. By using 1937 aerial photographs found in Pine Lakes' clubhouse, Schreiner added native waste areas on several holes to match the feel of White's design, while reducing forced carries and blind water hazards. All cart paths are being reconstructed as natural trails and relocated to service new tees and green complexes.
"This has been one of the best projects that I've ever worked on," said Schreiner. "Typically, we're putting in the grass at the last hour, but the Pine Lakes project has been ahead of schedule this entire time. After waiting out the cool nights in May, we planted the Seashore Paspalum and the grass has responded remarkably well. The greens are the most important part of a golf course and we took great care to make sure that Pine Lakes' greens were done correctly. In late June, I'll go back and paint the fairways so the grounds crew can identify the fairway from the rough when they mow. At this point, we are moving from the growing stage to the grooming the course period."
In July, Pine Lakes' superintendent Alan Jarvis and staff will topdress the fairways and greens using indigenous sand from the former course to level surfaces and protect new grass.
Later this fall, Jarvis and crew will begin grooming bunkers, also filled with indigenous sand. Shaped earlier in the year by Schreiner, staff will edge and contour the bunkers on the back nine to give them a clean, separate line from the turf. Later in the year, indigenous sand from the old 12th hole and former practice range will be used to fill in the bunkers on the front nine, which will then be edged and contoured.
"Pine Lakes has exceeded our expectations and obviously much of that credit goes to Craig Schreiner," said Tom Fous, vice president/senior project manager of Pine Lakes. "I always enter a project with a perceived conception of what it's going to look like at completion and this is already better than I had envisioned. Schreiner has quarterbacked a team of A.O. Hardee, the general contractors, longtime Grand Strand area golf superintendent Randy Allen and current Pine Lakes superintendent Alan Travis, and the team has worked together like a well-tuned orchestra. What they have done to work with the topography, the shot-making and hole memorability will make Pine Lakes one of the top golf courses in the area."
About Pine Lakes Country Club
Opening in 1927 as the Ocean Forest Golf Club, Pine Lakes Country Club is Myrtle Beach’s first golf resort. Designed by White, a native of St. Andrews, Scotland, Pine Lakes put Myrtle Beach on the map as a golfing destination for the country’s wealthier families. Now owned and operated by Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc., the facility is in the midst of a 20-month, multi-million-dollar restoration that will reinvigorate the course and clubhouse. The project also involves the addition of a 282-acre gated neighborhood featuring single-family homes designed in a Low Country style. For more information, visit PineLakes.com.
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