I am just about to load up the car and head south for Pawleys Island, SC, with an overnight stop in Lexington, VA. I have a few things on my agenda for the next two weeks, including some needed R&R. But I do want to make sure I visit Pine Lakes International Golf Club, which reopens next week after a two-year hiatus to redo the golf course and freshen its famous clubhouse. I plan to have an after-round refreshment in the bar where Sports Illustrated was launched in the early 1950s. I also plan a drive through the emerging (new) adjacent housing development that saved the course from extinction.
In 1968, during my first of dozens of visits to Myrtle Beach, I played Pine Lakes. It felt like a club that indeed had opened in 1927, which means unlike any other club along the Grand Strand. Whereas the others strove to be modern and efficient, Pine Lakes' vibe was less hurried. I imagined at the time that I could be content sitting on the club's front porch, sipping a mint julep -- and, at the time, I wasn't even of a legal drinking age.
I'm especially looking forward to seeing what local architect Craig Schreiner has done with the layout. His charge was to restore the golf course essentially to the way original designer Robert While laid it out, with Scottish style fairways without bunkers. I understand that wicker baskets have replaced flags on the greens, and that the staff wear knickers and kilts. I hope it is not too kitschy, although I pray someone wil play bagpipes at some point.
I love bagpipes.