the 10 people who have had the most
influence on South Carolina golf proved
to be a lot like the game itself...
using a stick to hit a ball into a hole
sounds simple enough, but once you get
stuck into the exercise all manner of
quirks and special circumstances come
into play. To define the criteria for
a perfect list might have required a
book with as many regulations and codicils
as The Rules of Golf. Should a candidate
be alive to be considered? Do they have
to live in the Palmetto state? Does
their influence need to be current or
can it be past?
of the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings
Panel wrestled with these questions
and many, many more before returning
a slate of candidates. In turn, that
list was broken down, rebuilt, analyzed,
and kicked in the tires by the panel's
board of directors. NASA should be so
careful with the space shuttle.
all the hand-wringing and back and forth,
one truth remained immutable - fame
alone does not equate to influence.
This may go part way to explaining Beth
Daniel's absence from the list. An LPGA
and South Carolina Golf Hall of Famer,
the Charleston native now living in
Florida has 33 wins on the LPGA Tour
but her impact on the game in her home
state is apparently not so, well, apparent.
Warren, President of Kiawah Island Golf
Resort and a past-president of the 28,000-member
PGA of America, helped secure the 2012
PGA Championship for Kiawah's Ocean
Course. Warren has the firepower to
rival most of the big guns in American
golf administration right now, but South
Carolina is only one of 50 states in
that realm. He only landed in the state
from Illinois in 2003 and that's recent
by anyone's measure.
renowned golf course architect, Tom
Fazio, has built more courses in South
Carolina than in any state other than
Florida. Pete Dye has built some of
the best, like Harbour Town (home of
the long-running Heritage championship)
and the aforementioned Ocean Course,
which hosted the Ryder Cup in 1991.
Together Fazio and Dye have done as
much as perhaps any individuals when
it comes to laying the stage itself.
But, Fazio lives across the border in
North Carolina and Dye is in Florida,
and what's more, someone else came up
with the money for each and every course.
Jim Anthony did provide the money and
the moving power to transform the golfing
map in the Upstate with the Cliffs properties,
which use to host the Nationwide Tour's
BMW Charity Pro-Am each spring. But,
each of the ultra high-end developments
is extremely private, limiting their
influence on the golfing public. In
addition, Anthony is no longer involved,
the properites having moved on to new
are myriad other notable absentees from
our list, many with legitimate claims
for inclusion. But there was only room
for 10. What we have in the end, we
hope, is a list that in some cases affirms
what you knew and in others illuminates
what you may not have known. The unarguable
certainty is that everyone who did make
our list has made a difference... in
the right way!