Shaftesbury Glen Golf Club's list of honors just got a little longer. The Clyde Johnston design has been named the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association (MBAGCOA) Course of the Year. The par 72 layout, which was inspired by the designs of A.W. Tillinghast, is the 13th course to receive the award.
A highly regarded layout since it opening, Shaftesbury was also nominated by Golf Digest for “Best New Public Course in America” in 2001, and Golf World ranked it the 34th best resort course in the United States in October of 2008.
“We are truly honored to have Shaftesbury Glen named Golf Course of the Year,” Jason Himmelsbach, the Glens Group’s director of marketing said. “The MBAGCOA judged our course using strict criteria and to be recognized as the best, when there are so many great courses along the Grand Strand, really showcases the hard work and dedication of everyone here at the Glens Group and Shaftesbury Glen.”
The MBAGCOA evaluates courses on conditions, quality of ownership and management, contributions to the community and efforts to improve the growth of the game.
Last year’s winner, Grande Dunes, went on to win National Golf Course of the Year honors.
“It feels good to win an award like this but to me the real credit goes to golf course superintendent David Kingsland,” said Johnston, who designed the other three Glens Group layouts, Glen Dornoch, Heather Glen and Possum Trot. “I designed the course, and that’s all well and good, but the land was still in a raw state (upon completion). It’s a tribute to David and the work he’s done to continue nurturing the property. It’s also a tribute to Paul and Jack Himmelsbach (the course owners).”
A 4-star layout, according to Golf Digest’s prestigious “Best Places to Play Guide,” Shaftesbury Glen is a traditional design. The course features open fairways and raised greens heavily guarded by bunkers. The ample fairways provide latitude off the tee and the course rewards a strong short game.
Shaftesbury, which features a clubhouse that overlooks the Waccamaw River, is a long-time participant in Myrtle Beach’s Kids Play Free program, allowing junior golfers to play for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
By virtue of winning the MBAGCOA honor, Shaftesbury is eligible win South Carolina Golf Course of the Year honors.
The National Golf Course Owners Association implemented the award in 1996 and the MBAGCOA has since nominated courses from the Myrtle Beach area. Past recipients of the award include Wachesaw Plantation East (2007), Burning Ridge (2006), TPC of Myrtle Beach (2005), Indian Wells Golf Club (2004), World Tour Golf Links (2003), Wild Wing Plantation (2002), Blackmoor (2001), Tradition Golf Club (2000), Bay Tree Golf Plantation (1999), Arrowhead Country Club (1998) and Myrtle Beach National’s King’s North (1996). Five of the Myrtle Beach regional winners also captured the state award; Burning Ridge, TPC, Wild Wing, Tradition, Arrowhead and King’s North. World Tour was named as the national “Golf Course of the Year.”