Litchfield Country Club To Celebrate 50th Anniversary

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Litchfield Sparked The Growth Of Courses On The Grand Strand's Waccamaw Neck, And Is The Only Myrtle Beach Area Course With A Female Head Pro/GM

After 50 years, its classic layout remains a fair challenge for visiting golfers who often comment on the beauty of the large azaleas and the southern grace of our plantation-style clubhouse.

One of the first golf courses built along Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand, Litchfield Country Club (LCC) in Pawleys Island, S.C., is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The only Myrtle Beach area golf course with a female head golf professional/general manager, LCC was one of the first eight golf courses built along the Grand Strand and the first on the southern end's Waccamaw Neck.

Since LCC debuted on November 16, 1966, about 100 more courses have opened in the area. In 2007, the Waccamaw Golf Trail, composed of courses on the Waccamaw Neck, was created.

LCC was created to spur interest in tourism in the Pawleys Island area. Two years prior to its opening, Litchfield Inn owner Bill Jones told businessman Tommy Farr he was concerned no guests came to his inn once the summer season ended. Farr suggested building a golf course to attract tourists and fill those rooms. They joined four other investors, bought almost 500 acres from International Paper Company, and created the Litchfield Country Club golf course and residential development.

“We have a great variety of golf courses on the Waccamaw Neck and it all began with Litchfield Country Club,” said Christa Bodensteiner, Litchfield Country Clubs' head golf professional and general manager. “Golf is a big contributor to the economy here. It's the primary reason we have visitors after the summer season closes. Our golf economy has created thousands of jobs and attracted visitors from all over the world.”

Bodensteiner has shared in the opportunities launched by LCC. She began her career as an assistant professional at LCC and is currently the only female head golf professional/general manager on the Grand Strand. She grew up playing golf and excelled with both her high school and college golf teams. After vacationing with her family in Myrtle Beach in 1994, and realizing the area's golf opportunities, she relocated to the Grand Strand. She worked for three months as a photographer taking shots of visiting golfers on the first tee, then landed a job as an assistant professional at LCC. After sharpening her business management and golf skills at other area courses, she returned to LCC in 2003 to become the club's head professional. In 2013, she was also named General Manager.

“It's an honor to work at this historic course with such an exceptional team,” said Bodensteiner. “After 50 years, its classic layout remains a fair challenge for visiting golfers who often comment on the beauty of the large azaleas and the southern grace of our plantation-style clubhouse. The classic design and natural beauty of LCC combine to create a great example of what golf along the Waccamaw Neck should be.”

The 6,971-yard Willard Byrd-designed golf course has had few modifications over the years, and the integrity of the original design has been maintained. Several holes feature lakes, creeks or small ponds that come into play along the fairways. LCC's southern charm is seen throughout the complex which is dotted with magnolias and camellias, mature live oak trees draped with Spanish moss, and the occasional palm tree.

LCC has been a golf focal point for its community. It has hosted South Carolina Junior Golf Association clinics every summer, and been the home course and host for the Low Country Prep team for the past few years. Litchfield participates in the Kids Play Free program, introducing children to the game by letting them play for free with a paying adult. LCC teaching professional Paul Contento has given lessons and clinics for nine years. And, many head golf professionals launched their careers at Litchfield Country Club, including Tom VanHoogen and Nick Isom.

About Founders Group International

Founders Group International (FGI) is the foremost golf course owner-operator company in the Southeastern United States. 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.

FGI administers http://www.MBN.com, a leader in online tee time bookings, as well as package outlets Ambassador Golf and Myrtle Beach Golf Trips. With the help of Golf Insider’s 100 percent player-generated course ranking system, thousands of golfers plan and assemble their ideal golf itineraries through FGI’s assets, including “top-100 caliber” courses Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, Grande Dunes Resort Club, TPC of Myrtle Beach, King’s North at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club, Pine Lakes Country Club and more than 80 other Myrtle Beach area courses.

FGI also has a division that does residential and retail development, and it has partnered with one of the biggest travel agencies in China to bring golfers and wedding parties to Myrtle Beach, S.C.

More information about Founders Group International, is available at http://www.foundersgroupinternational.com, http://www.mbn.com or MyrtleBeachGolfTrips.com.

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Jamie Wilburn
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