Coastal South Carolina USA


Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame Welcomes Class of 2010


Representatives of Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc. and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday inducted two golf industry leaders into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Pine Lakes Country Club today. The Hall of Fame was created in 2009 to honor the men and women who have played significant roles in all aspects of the Myrtle Beach area golf industry, including teaching, playing, course design, construction, marketing and administration.

“The Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame is a focal point for the rich golf history of Myrtle Beach,” said Bob Swezey, executive vice president of resort operations for Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc. “From its physical location at the first golf course built in Myrtle Beach, we can reflect upon the area's role in growing both the sport and the economy of South Carolina. We can consider its links to course architect Robert White who went on to become the first president of the PGA of America, and we can envision all the future contributions yet to come.”
The 2010 inductees were George W. “Buster” Bryan, one of the founding fathers of the Myrtle Beach golf package business, and Gary Schaal, a local and national golf industry leader for more than 30 years. 


Bryan, who passed away in 1969 at the age of 56, helped to transform Myrtle Beach from a sleepy beach town with a 3-month season into a year-round golf vacation destination. After building the Caravelle Hotel in 1959, Bryan and his business partner (and fellow Hall of Famer) Jim Hackler, started promoting Myrtle Beach golf packages. During the 1960s, Bryan created Myrtle Beach's first golf promotion group, Golf-o-tel, consisting of eight courses and eight hotels. The group bought advertising that took Myrtle Beach's golf message beyond the Carolinas and set the community on course to become a world-renowned golf vacation destination.

“I personally think George W. Bryan was the father of golf in Myrtle Beach,” said W. Cecil Brandon, a 2009 inductee into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame. “Buster was the first one who put up the money to promote Myrtle Beach golf packages and he inspired others to join together to promote golf. His efforts ended up creating new markets in new states and extending our tourist season to 12 months.”

Bryan worked closely with another Hall of Famer, Jimmy D'Angelo, to attract the Golf Writers of America's annual championship tournament to Myrtle Beach. It remained an annual pre-Masters event for 50 years. Writers who attended the tournament wrote stories about the golf courses and packages in Myrtle Beach, and enthusiastically recommended the destination. Their support helped catapult Myrtle Beach into the national spotlight and spurred both the growth in the number of annual rounds played here and the number of golf courses built.

Gary Schaal turned a big spotlight on Myrtle Beach golf when he was elected the 28th president of the PGA of America, the largest professional sports organization in the world.  He served in that capacity from 1992 to 1993.

Schaal began his career as an assistant golf pro in Myrtle Beach and became a member of the Carolinas PGA Section in 1976. He quickly became a head pro and, later, co-owner of several local golf courses. During the 1980s and early 1990s, he served the community and his profession as president of the Carolinas Section PGA and as a member of the PGA TOUR's Tournament Policy Board. Along the way, he was recognized with numerous awards, including the CPGA Horton Smith Trophy and CPGA Professional of the Year.

A member of the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame and a designated “living legend” through the PGA of America's “Legends of the PGA” Program, Schaal was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.

“Gary has been instrumental in so many things in Myrtle Beach during his career that it's hard to list them all,” said Shelley P. Kenney, PGA head professional at Wachesaw Plantation Club where Schaal serves on the Board of Directors. “He was a founder of the Professional Golf Management Program at Coastal Carolina University. He helped bring the Senior PGA Tour Championship to Myrtle Beach. He helped to bring a Tournament Players Club (TPC) to Myrtle Beach. His name lends instant credibility to any project or golf event in Myrtle Beach and will continue to do so for many years to come.”
The Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, which is located in the Hall of Fame Garden adjacent to the Pine Lakes clubhouse, recognizes individuals whose contributions to the Myrtle Beach golf industry have achieved historic significance. The seven-member Myrtle Beach Hall of Fame Board of Directors reviews membership nominations and selects the most qualified candidates. All seven major Grand Strand golf organizations are represented on the Board.

Each inductee is memorialized with his or her own plaque near the Sports Illustrated monument that commemorates the birthplace of the magazine at Pine Lakes in 1954. Six inductees were honored in the inaugural year (2009).

“The Hall of Fame ensures that the entire Myrtle Beach golf community will remember the individuals who made lasting impressions on our golf industry,” said Bill Golden, president of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. “For anyone who loves golf, it's a treat to stop by and spend some time in the garden looking at the memorials and learning about the people who have made Myrtle Beach the golf capital of the world.” 

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