Call now with questions or to book

800-882-3420

877-241-5992

« Back to All News

Myrtle Beach Golf Remembers the Legacy of “The King”

Arnold Palmer, during the 1995 rededication of King's North at Myrtle Beach NationalArnold Palmer’s enduring impact on the game has been well chronicled, and will continue to be felt for generations.

And as it joins the rest of the world in mourning Sunday’s passing of “The King,” the Myrtle Beach golf industry also remembers Mr. Palmer with heartfelt gratitude for the significant role he played in the growth of “The Golf Capital of the World.”

Its roots trace back to Palmer’s college playing days in the early 1950s, when as a Wake Forest University standout he competed against Davidson College’s Cecil Brandon. The two men became good friends, and stayed in frequent touch as Palmer launched his professional career and Brandon moved to Myrtle Beach in 1959.

Twelve years later, Brandon became a founding stockholder in the newly formed Myrtle Beach National Company, which was poised to help catapult a sleepy beach town with 10 courses into a national golfing mecca. When it came time to launch that effort by building three new courses in the company’s name along Highway 501, Brandon presented Palmer with an opportunity.

The old college rivals were now teammates. The rest quickly became history.

In one of his first efforts as a course designer, Arnold Palmer joined architect Francis Duane in opening Myrtle Beach National’s North Course in 1973, followed in successive years by the property’s West Course and SouthCreek tracks. By this time, the Grand Strand golfing landscape had doubled its offerings – and was well on its way to a growth boom in ensuing decades that would peak with nearly 100 designs.

Two decades after its opening, the North Course was in need of a facelift to match the appeal of the dramatic new layouts now popping up around it. Leave it to none other than Arnold Palmer to put his one-of-a-kind stamp on the renovation.

In the 21 years since its reopening, King’s North at Myrtle Beach National has endured as one of the Grand Strand’s premier designs that features some of Myrtle Beach golf’s most iconic holes, most notable among them “The Gambler” – the par-5 6th hole, featuring an island fairway that famously presents its challengers with the ultimate “know when to hold ‘em … know when to fold ‘em” proposition.

In typical Palmer style, it was the dedication of his last effort at Myrtle Beach National where his trademark graciousness and electric smile were on full display. “He didn’t come just to shake a few hands, cut a ribbon and leave. Mr. Palmer was fully engaged in making it a special experience for everyone in attendance,” remembers Nate DeWitt, a longtime Myrtle Beach National Company golf professional in attendance that day.

Palmer played all 18 holes of his latest creation, giving the several hundred fans in attendance a first-hand preview of what they could look forward to experiencing themselves. Even the summer heat of that afternoon couldn’t wilt Palmer’s enthusiasm for the moment.

As DeWitt vividly recalls, “There wasn’t an autograph he didn’t sign, there wasn’t a picture he didn’t take, and there wasn’t a hand he wouldn’t shake.”

It’s just one of the countless ways Arnold Palmer left an indelible mark on the game and its fans over the course of more than six decades. We join the rest of the golf world in expressing our condolences to his family and loved ones, and our appreciation for all he’s meant to our industry – and beyond.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Palmer. We can’t thank you enough. 

Find Out More


Other Articles You Will Enjoy

Registration Open For 50th George Holliday Memorial Junior Golf Tournament

This Thanksgiving weekend, November 22 through November 24, junior golfers will have the opportunity to show off their skills and challenge their abilities at the 50th Annual George Holliday Memorial Junior Golf Tournament. Read More

5 Combinations for a Perfect 36 Holes of Myrtle Beach Golf in One Day

Thanks to geography, players can knock out a round in the morning, take a break for lunch and then scoot over to a nearby course. To provide variety under the same day’s sun, we’ve put together a list that won’t repeat designers or even layout style. Read More

Diverse Work Portfolio Shooting Matt Daly Up The Myrtle Beach Golf Ranks

You could say that Matt Daly was tailor-made for his current job. The more factual statement would be that he saw the writing on the wall before most golf industry types of his generation and adjusted with the times. Read More

Related Specials

$54 per golfer per day

The Gator Package

If you like golf courses where you might spot an alligator during your round, we’ve put together a package…...
$91 per golfer per day

South Carolina Ratings Panel Top Rated Grand Strand Courses

Every other year, the South Carolina Ratings Panel narrows down the top 50 golf courses in South Carolina. Get…...
$55 per golfer per day

East Coast 4 Round Special From $220 per golfer

Choose 4 Rounds from the East Coast Golf Group, and receive a $100 Gift Card than can be used…...
Continue Below
$47 per golfer per day

Rewards Package ~ Each Golfer Receives $100 in Rewards!

Book 4 or more rounds on the Rewards Package, and each member of your group receives a $100 Rewards…...
$125 per golfer per day

Barefoot Golf - Play 3, Get 1 FREE

When booking online: Book three rounds. Then please put your FREE round request in the comments field on the next…...