Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame Inducts Two Industry Leaders Who Helped Myrtle Beach Grow Its Golf Business

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Charles Byers Dramatically Expanded the Grand Strand's Golf Offerings, and Paul Himmelsbach Positioned Myrtle Beach among the World's Premier Golf Destinations

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 held June 21. 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 place where everyone can come to learn about the rich golf history of Myrtle Beach,” said Bob Swezey, executive vice president of resort operations for Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc. “Its physical location is here at the first golf course built in Myrtle Beach and it's the perfect place to reflect upon the contributions that our area has made to both the game of golf and the economy of South Carolina.”

The 2011 inductees are Charles “Charlie” W. Byers, one of the Grand Strand's most visionary golf course developers, and Paul Himmelsbach, one of Myrtle Beach's most creative marketers and golf entrepreneurs.

Charlie Byers pioneered the opening of golf courses on the outskirts of the town of Myrtle Beach, stretching the Grand Strand to new boundaries.

Byers moved to North Myrtle Beach in 1947 and soon became a founding member of The Dunes Golf & Beach Club. He was among a group of five men who opened The Surf Golf and Beach Club, the first golf club in North Myrtle Beach. Next, he opened Seagull Golf Club in Pawley’s Island and Quail Creek Golf Club in Conway. Despite criticism that “no one would drive that far from Myrtle Beach to play golf,” he found success, which encouraged him to then build Burning Ridge Golf Club west of the Intracoastal Waterway toward Conway, Indian Wells Golf Club in Murrells Inlet, and other courses.

Byers encouraged Grand Strand golf owners to cooperate for the betterment of Myrtle Beach as a whole. He became an important influence on the foundation of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. Over the years, that organization has successfully promoted and branded Myrtle Beach worldwide, increasing local business opportunities, area wide employment, and the number of visiting golfers. Byers was also a force behind the creation of the Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owners Association and gained a measure of worldwide fame when he was featured on the Saturday Evening Post's July 8, 1961 cover, “Clubhouse Rainy Day.”

“My father was a visionary,” said Robbie Byers, who is the son of Charles Byers. “He saw that Myrtle Beach could become a great golf destination. He was willing to reach to the north, west and south to make that happen, and he began to stretch into areas that people said just would not draw the golfers. But they did. My father not only expanded the options available to Myrtle Beach golfers, but the size, scope and the very landscape of what we had to offer. And, because Dad believed that if we all pulled together and marketed the area as one destination, we would all benefit and as such organizations like Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and the Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owners Association were born.”

Golf entrepreneur Paul Himmelsbach leveraged his personal relationships with national media to position Myrtle Beach among the world's premier golf vacation destinations. After moving to Myrtle Beach from New York in 1977, he founded On The Green magazine and its sister publication, On The Beach. In partnership with his brother, Jack, he formed Himmelsbach Communications which later partnered with Golf Digest to create a Myrtle Beach advertorial supplement that appeared in both Golf Digest and On The Green twice a year. The supplement informed millions of golfers about Myrtle Beach and the quality, quantity and affordability of its golf courses.

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Himmelsbach was also a partner in Himmelsbach, Wilson & Hearl advertising agency until it merged with Lesnik Himmelsbach Wilson Hearl Advertising & Public Relations (LHWH) in the late 1980's. Over the years, LHWH has launched golf equipment products for national manufacturers, as well as promoted golf courses and resorts throughout the Carolinas.

Himmelsbach co-created the World Amateur Handicap Championship which annually attracts competitors and golf vendors from every state and many foreign countries for a week of golf on the Strand, generating millions of dollars for the economy and worldwide publicity for Myrtle Beach golf. A golf course developer, he partnered with his brother and others to create The Glens Golf Group, known for award-winning golf courses like Heather Glen, Glen Dornoch and Shaftesbury Glen. He is also a partner in Wicked Stick Golf Links and Rivers Edge.

“Paul has a deep love for the game of golf and for the Myrtle Beach golf industry,” said Mitch Laurance, ESPN commentator, golf journalist and long-time friend of Himmelsbach. “He knows the business at every level. He started in golf retail. He's a long-time member of the Golf Writers Association of America. He's a highly respected publisher, golf course owner and creative thinker who has generously helped other golf courses up and down the Strand when they requested his insights into the business. He's always ready to share ideas that can help others grow. Through his relationships with national media and golf writers, he put a spotlight on our town and inspired millions of golfers to make annual trips to Myrtle Beach to play golf.”

About Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday
Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday is a non-profit trade association of 77 championship golf courses, 115 golf package providers and five golf schools in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area. Founded in 1967, the organization has been and continues to be the driving force behind the growth of the Myrtle Beach area golf market. The originator of the “Stay and Play Package,” Golf Holiday provides non-biased information about the area accommodations and golf courses to assist golfers in making the most informed decisions when planning for their next vacation.

Golf Holiday also hosts seven events and tournaments annually to help grow the game of golf and attract golfers to the Grand Strand during slower times of year. In addition to hosting the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After The Masters Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament each spring, Golf Holiday also manages the PGA TOUR Superstore World Amateur Handicap Championship – the world's largest on-site golf tournament, the Summer Family Golf Tournaments, the Spring and Fall Palmetto High School Golf Championships, the Veterans Golf Classic and the FDNY 9-11 Memorial Golf Outing. For more information, call Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday at 1-800-833-8798 or visit GolfHoliday.com.

About Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc.
Burroughs & Chapin’s residential developments include the award-winning Grande Dunes, a 2,200-acre four-star community stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to west across the Intracoastal Waterway. Burroughs & Chapin has created numerous commercial developments offering national and regional name brand shopping. These include Broadway at the Beach – an award-winning 350-acre festival shopping, entertainment and dining complex surrounding the 22-acre Lake Broadway; Coastal Grand Mall, a one million square foot regional shopping mall joint ventured with CBL & Associates Properties of Chattanooga, Tenn.; Seaboard Commons; South Strand Commons; Arcadian Shores Commons; and many smaller “jewel box” centers.

A leader in golf and vacation packages, Burroughs & Chapin’s Myrtle Beach Trips offers visitors to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand the “one call” convenience of a direct connection to the most popular attractions in the area and packages them together in a variety of ways to suit different tastes and budgets. With one easy call to Myrtle Beach Trips at (888) 539-8862, visitors can unlock all the thrills and excitement of many of America’s favorite family seaside destinations.

Burroughs & Chapin Golf Management offers many of the finest 18-hole championship golf courses in Myrtle Beach, including Grande Dunes Resort Course, Pine Lakes Country Club, Myrtlewood Golf Club, Tidewater Golf Club and Plantation, Meadowlands Golf Club, Farmstead Golf Links, Arcadian Shores and River Hills Golf Club. The management group also handles two Par 3 courses and five themed mini-golf courses.

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Jamie Wilburn
LHWH Advertising & PR
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