MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina – Founders Group International, owner of 22 golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area, this summer is renovating Myrtlewood Golf Club’s popular Palmetto Course.The course, which closed on June 24, will reopen for play on Sept. 1, ensuring it will be in prime condition for the peak fall season.
Founders Group International hired Schlegel Golf Design to overhaul the Palmetto Course’s greens, restoring them to their original sizes and shapes, and to install new Sunday Ultradwarf Bermuda grass. Schlegel Golf Design will also renovate every bunker on the course, installing premium sand and reshaping the bunkers.
“The Palmetto Course has a fantastic layout and golfers love it, so when we started looking at all of our facilities, it was one we immediately targeted for renovation,” said Steve Mays, president of Founders Group International. “This renovation will significantly enhance the course visually and from a playability perspective. When golfers return to Myrtlewood to play the Palmetto Course, they are going to enjoy a dynamic and innovative design we are excited to showcase.”
The new bunkers will enhance the Palmetto Course’s visual appeal, but players will most notice the upgraded greens. The Palmetto Course opened in 1973 and over time the layout’s putting surfaces naturally lost size and shape, but FGI’s management team found the original drawings from Edmund Ault, LTD, the company that designed the course.
Using the drawings as a guide, Schlegel and his team will expand the Palmetto Course’s greens by 28 percent, increasing pinnable areas and making it a much more dynamic design.
“Golf courses go through a lot of changes over the years, but it’s a slow process, almost imperceptible at times, but it was time for the Palmetto Course upgrades,” said Dan Schlegel, owner of Schlegel Golf Design. “The Palmetto Course’s design is very strong, the routing is very good, and it’s a playable layout. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. We want to make sure everything gets rebuilt, reshaped, re-edged and put back to perfect condition.”
The decision to hire Schlegel Golf Design was a natural one for FGI. Dan Schlegel previously worked for Ault, Clark & Associates (formerly Edmund Alt, LTD), and he was part of a team that completed a pair of course enhancement projects at the Palmetto Course in the 1990s.
The decision to renovate the Palmetto Course is a continuation of FGI’s commitment to providing golfers with the best possible experience. In the past two years, six of FGI’s 22 courses have been the beneficiaries of significant capital improvement projects.
In 2018, Tradition Club and Myrtlewood’s PineHills Course underwent renovation projects that included new greens, and FGI installed the Better Billy Bunker system at TPC Myrtle Beach. In addition to the work at the Palmetto Course, the company also remodeled the clubhouses at Aberdeen Country Club and River Hills Golf Club in 2019.
“This is part of our strategic mission,” Mays said of FGI’s dedication to capital improvement work. “We have launched multiple projects over the last two years, and you will continue to see us do that. We want to set the standard in Myrtle Beach and beyond, and to do so, we have to continue to improve our product.”
Formed in 2014 through various purchases and the 2015 acquisition of National Golf Management, FGI owns and operates 22 golf courses (423 holes) in and around Myrtle Beach, S.C., America’s seaside golf capital.
Those courses include Pine Lakes Country Club, the “granddaddy” of Myrtle Beach area courses; TPC Myrtle Beach, host site of the 2019 NCAA Division I men’s golf regional and Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship; and Grande Dunes Resort Club, home of the Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center.