MB Golf Hall of Fame inducts pioneers Benton, Jerdon

Casper Benton and Ed Jerdon, two men who literally built the foundation for the Grand Strand’s golf industry, were inducted into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame at Pine Lakes Country Club on Sunday.

A true pioneer, Casper Benton left Myrtle Beach in the 1920s for New York to learn the business of golf course construction. He returned in 1927 to build Ocean Forest Country Club, the first course in what would become the “Golf Capital of the U.S.”. Benton lived on-site while it was under construction and became its first greenskeeper, nurturing a layout that helped lead Myrtle Beach to national acclaim.

Benton then built the Dunes Club, the area’s most iconic course. His namesake company, C.L. Benton & Sons, also constructed Tidewater Golf Club, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Plantation Ocean. All of these courses have been ranked among “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest. The Benton family continues to be an integral part of the Myrtle Beach golf community.

In the mid-1960s Myrtle Beach was home to just 10 golf courses, but visionary builder Edward Jerdon saw a prosperous future for the sleepy beach community. Jerdon – one of the most accomplished builders in the South – built and co-owned six Grand Strand layouts, helping jump-start the area’s emergence as golf’s most popular destination.

Recognizing the untapped potential of the South Strand, Jerdon and his investors built Sea Gull Golf Club in 1965, paving the way for many exceptional courses to follow on Pawleys Island. They built and owned Quail Creek and the East and West courses at Burning Ridge – layouts that helped make Highway 501 a golf hotbed. Jerdon was also the impetus behind Indian Wells Golf Club and InternationalClub.

Jerdon served as president of the Dunes Club and Surf Club, two of the Grand Strand’s most prestigious clubs. In addition to his golf work, he also spearheaded the construction of numerous churches, schools and hotels.

“Both Casper and Ed are true visionaries who both saw the potential of the Grand Strand as a world-class golf destination long before anyone else,” said Bill Golden, president of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. “We are truly indebted to their pioneering spirit and sense of community and their place in Hall of Fame is richly deserved.”

Established to pay tribute to the men and women who have played significant roles in the development of the Myrtle Beach area golf industry, the Hall of Fame was founded in 2009. Its opening coincided with the reopening of Pine Lakes – formerly the Grand Strand’s first course, Ocean Forest Country Club.

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