Tom Plankers, General Manager of International World Tour Golf Links, joins host Shan Coughlin on Tee It Up Grand Strand to discuss the course and who is now part of Founders Group International, the Chinese owned golf management company who has purchased several golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area.
Tom shares with Shan some of the rich history of Golf in general in the Myrtle Beach area beginning with the first course built in the area in 1927, Pine Lakes Country Club. The Dunes Club followed, built in 1948, which is still the only course in the area built right on the Atlantic ocean. The Dunes Club has hosted several big tournaments including Senior Tour events and last year’s Professional National Championship for PGA member professionals. It was the love of history that inspired Mel Graham to build World Tour Golf Links to portray his travels and studies from St. Andrews #1 and #18 holes to Pinehurst’s #2’s 16th hole, to TPC Sawgrass #17 with the island green. It is beautiful, it is scary, but it is so fun to play it and then see it on TV. Also fun to play and then to watch on TV are the three holes of Amen Corner at Augusta and they have the same elevations. Other replicated holes have come from Pine Valley, Oak Crest, Bay Hill, and more and they are accompanied by historical plaques at the tee boxes so you feel like you really have traveled the golf world after your round.
Tom goes on to remind everyone how great golf truly is in Myrtle Beach. There is a lot of competition and collaboration which makes for great conditions and service for your golf experience. Shan brings up that even if the plaques were removed from the holes at International World Tour, the course flows seamlessly and the player would not realize they were playing a series of replicated holes. What a feat in itself.
Lastly, we get a bit of information about the Chinese business investment that is happening in the area. This ownership group is not only bringing money into the area, improvements to the courses and new tourists to the area, but also a sense of enjoyment and love of the traditions of golf. There are no major changes planned and tourists to the area will notice nothing more than those improvements and is a high point int he history of the golf industry in the Myrtle Beach area.
To hear the entire interview with Shan and Tom, click the player above. Also, for those coming to this area for your golf vacation, we love to have you and don’t wait to book your golf. Several courses are filling up at the end of April and beginning of May and also, they are using yield management practices so get your times early to get the best rates. This is opposite of what has been done in the past, but times are changing and we want you to have the absolute best experience in the area.