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Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Founders Club at Pawley's Island

I played the Founders Club at Pawley's Island near Myrtle Beach today.  I was fortunate enough to be joined up with three guys from Detroit, Larry, Rick, and Clay.

The weather was perfect, the course was in great shape, and we had a great time.  The Founders Club is an interesting and challenging layout with fairways lined with waste areas that are used as cart paths--an excellent idea. Many of the greens are elevated and well bunkered, some fronted by water.  It definitely isn't a course for the faint of heart.

The guys grew up playing golf at the Rackham Golf Club, designed by Donald Ross.  They were taught the game by Ben Davis, who was apparently the first black club professional and, in Larry's words, "One of the greatest gentlemen I have had the pleasure to know."  Once they'd received the nod from Mr. Davis, the boys were allowed to venture onto the course to play nine holes for the princely sum of fifty cents.  Those nine holes often became many more as the boys often were sent off the back nine and were able to stop at seventeen and slip back over to the eleventh tee and play eleven to seventeen again and again until they were chased off the course.

Larry's father, Fred Schroeder, was a caddy at Oakland Hills during the Depression and actually caddied once for Walter Hagen. His mother also worked at Oakland Hills, though the two actually met at a Roller-skating rink.  Fred taught his son to love the game.  In fact, all the boys played with their dads and, like me, have so many great memories of time on the links with their fathers.  They also played together on their high school golf team.

After a very enjoyable round, we headed back to my place and enjoyed a few beers and some snacks.  We hope to arrange a game at some future date at Rackham.  That would be a real treat.  Golf is such a great game.