Posted on August 30, 2023
The restoration of Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, a Jack Nicklaus design that plays along a tidal marsh, continues to progress smoothly, and the layout’s plans for an October reopening are on schedule.
Founders Group International, Pawleys’ parent company, closed the course on May 22 for a comprehensive greens, bunkers, and clubhouse renovation project. The on-course work is being led by Nicklaus Design design associate Troy Vincent, with the goal of reinvigorating a layout that has been among the Myrtle Beach area’s more popular course since opening in 1988.
The heart of the project is the restoration of the course’s greens to their original size and specifications, an effort that will collectively expand the putting surfaces by nearly 40,000 square feet. The average green will be 48 percent larger after reopening, dramatically increasing the number of pinnable areas.
By early August, the greens were all restored to their original size and re-grassed, while the greens surrounds are largely complete as well.
As substantial as the restoration of the greens is, the changes to the bunkers are even more transformative. Every bunker is being overhauled and the sprawling bunkers on holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 16, and 18 are being replaced by smaller fairway traps, native areas or expanded fairways, enhancing the course’s playability for mid to high handicappers without reducing the challenge for more skilled players.
“Watching the work at Pawleys Plantation take shape has only served to heighten our excitement about the project,” Founders Group International president Steve Mays said. “The restoration of the greens will infuse the layout with creativity, and the reimagination of the bunkers will help ensure that Pawleys Plantation maintains its place among the best courses in South Carolina for years to come.”
“There are a lot of changes to the course, and they are going to be very noticeable,” Vincent said. “The majority of the large bunkers are gone and in their place will be expanded fairway, more traditional fairway bunkers, and native areas. The layout is going to be more playable, but we haven’t taken the teeth away for better players.”
Founders Group International owns 21 Myrtle Beach golf courses, making it one of the Southeast’s larger management companies. The company has aggressively reinvested in its courses, undertaking significant capital improvement projects at Grande Dunes Resort Course, TPC Myrtle Beach, Pine Lakes, Aberdeen Country Club, River Hills, Tradition Club, and the PineHills and Palmetto courses at Myrtlewood over the last four years.