In the Beginning
First Meeting at Chapin's Cabin: May 31, 1948
The Dunes Golf and Beach Club was but a dream for a group of leading Myrtle Beach citizens in the 1940s. On October 29, 1947, the first meeting was held to discuss the building of a recreational facility, which among other amenities would include a golf course. During the next several months, the citizens continued to work and dream about the building of the golf course.
On May 31, 1948, a meeting was held at Chapin’s Cabin to organize the corporation to build the club. Chapin’s Cabin, a small building located on the property near what is now the 11th tee, has been referred to as the Dunes Club’s first clubhouse.
A few weeks later on June 14, 1948, the first Board of Directors was established for the Dunes Golf and Beach Club. A Declaration for Charter was submitted to the Secretary of State of South Carolina. The charter was granted one week later on June 22, 1948.
On February 10, 1949, the Myrtle Beach Farms Company conveyed approximately 269.8 acres to the Dunes Golf and Beach Club for the sum of $10 and other valuable considerations. Two major conditions were attached to the conveyance: (1) a guarantee that within three years from the date of conveyance, an 18-hole golf course would be constructed on the premises and (2) the club operation would continue for a period of not less than 10 years. Both conveyances were met.
Construction began on the Dunes Club and on Saturday, October 22, 1949, nine holes opened for play. Today those holes are the back nine of the Dunes Golf and Beach Club. These holes were constructed first because of the difficult terrain. The second nine holes opened for play in December 1950.
On November 4, 1948, Jimmy D’Angelo (also known as "Gentleman Jim") became the first Head Professional at the Dunes Club. D’Angelo was known for his commitment to promoting golf along the Grand Strand. His passing on May 18, 2000 was mourned throughout the local golf community.
The Dunes Club Continued to Expand...
The original Dunes Clubhouse was completed in 1949. It was updated in 1954 when the lounge and dining rooms were enlarged and air conditioning was added. In 1960, a large swimming pool and dressing rooms were added to the clubhouse. In 1967, the existing facilities had a major renovation, which took one year to complete. A new wing with a new dining area was added and the clubhouse was completely redecorated.
In 1970, tennis became a major part of the Dunes Club with four tennis courts being constructed. In 1990, four additional tennis courts were added, along with renovations to the Pro Shop and restrooms. The Dunes Club is now considered to have one of the best tennis facilities along the Grand Strand.
By the early 1980s, the Dunes’ membership had outgrown the existing clubhouse. On August 11, 1984, a “Demolition Party” was held and members helped to tear down the old clubhouse and collected souvenirs of the “Old Dunes.” The first phase of the new clubhouse opened in July 1985 and featured a new swimming pool complex, Pro Shop, locker rooms, and the Mixed Grill. The completed clubhouse opened officially in January 1986.
In 1992, Robert Trent Jones oversaw an extensive renovation of the golf course. The course greens were replaced with Penn Links bentgrass greens for smoother playability. The contours of six holes were modified to make the course more player friendly. The most extensive renovations were the relocation of the 11th green and building a new tee box for hole #8.
In April 2000, the Dunes Golf and Beach Club began a $6 million project to renovate the clubhouse, the driving range and the golf course to accommodate its growing membership. The project was completed in Spring 2001. The renovations to the clubhouse included the addition of the turn restaurant (Waterloo Bar & Grill), new guest men’s and ladies' locker rooms, larger private locker rooms and private lounges, and more expansive banquet facilities, ideal for guests seeking to enjoy a scenic wedding or special event in Myrtle Beach. The décor of the clubhouse changed from a casual beach club style to a more traditional country club atmosphere with elegant mahogany furnishings and richer color schemes.
The driving range was expanded 30 yards in length and 40 yards in depth, which more than doubled the number of stations from 18 to 40. The halfway house was moved to the clubhouse to accommodate this expansion. A bentgrass chipping green and a Bermuda grass chipping green and bunker complex were also added to the driving range.
Course renovations included changes to the 18th hole, the addition of a new par 3 and improvements to the drainage system. A new tee box was added to the 18th hole reconfiguring it from a dogleg right to a dogleg left. The new par 3 alternate hole located between the 13th and 14th holes, was designed as an extra hole should another hole on the course be closed for maintenance. It will guarantee eighteen, challenging holes for play for Dunes Club golfers.
Present Day Refurbishments
In 2011, refurbishments began inside the Clubhouse. The lobby, banquet facilities, Members’ Dining Room and Members' Bar were updated with new flooring, furnishings, artwork and wall coverings to reflect a modern elegance; the outside colors of the ocean were brought inside to create a relaxing atmosphere.2013 brought significant improvements to the Dunes Club; the Tennis Center was equipped with a new clay court addition and the Club successfully converted all greens from A-1 Bentgrass to Ultradwarf Champion Bermuda surfaces. Additional projects completed during the course closure included significantly enlarging the Practice Tee and Range, the construction and addition of a new chipping green and practice bunker as well as the addition of over 250 yards to the Championship Tees. The Myrtle Beach Championship Course now measures an impressive 7,450 yards.