King’s North at Myrtle Beach National to undergo two-year renovation

  • King's North
    Founders Group International

    Hole six, also known as ‘The Gambler’ will be among the holes receiving significant changes

Alex Smith
By Alex Smith

King’s North at Myrtle Beach National has closed to begin a two-part, two-year renovation project. 

Founders Group International, Myrtle Beach National’s parent company, has selected Brandon Johnson Golf Course Design to oversee the project on the Arnold Palmer-designed course. Owner Brandon Johnson worked for Arnold Palmer Golf Design for more than 17 years and will carry out a renovation project that maintains the original design vision while modernising the course, which was last updated in 1996. 

“We are looking to honour some of the things Mr. Palmer was trying to achieve here,” said Johnson. “He always wanted his courses to be fun to play and pleasing to the eye and that’s what this course is, but there are some strategic and playability elements we can add to enhance the experience. We are looking to build upon what’s here by using the existing contours and landforms more effectively and incorporate them into everyday play.” 

Phase one will focus on the front nine and will last four months. It will include renovation to the greens, which will be restored to their original size by reclaiming 30,000 square feet of putting surface. The expansion will make them 36 per cent larger, while adding pin positions that were eliminated by encroachment. The new greens will feature TifEagle ultradwarf bermudagrass. 

Every bunker on the course will be renovated and have Capillary Concrete bunker liners installed, eliminating washout and improving drainage. New bunker sand will also be installed.  

Changes will also be made to the layout, with an emphasis on reimagining the green surrounds. King’s North’s current greens are framed by mounding that limits approach and recovery shots. This will be removed to create a layout that can be attacked through the air and along the ground.  

Johnson will emphasise the rugged look of the course as he renovates it, making use of the naturally sandy soil. Hole six, which is a par 5 also known as ‘The Gambler’, will be among the holes receiving a significant makeover. Technical work will be carried out along the edges of the lake, while one of the three fairway bunkers will be eliminated and replaced by a large waste area that is intended to improve the look of the hole and the challenge. 

“King’s North has long been one of Myrtle Beach’s most popular and recognisable courses, and we are look forward to working with Brandon Johnson to ensure that continues to be the case,” said Steve Mays, president of Founders Group International. “Brandon understands Arnold Palmer’s architectural vision as well as anyone, so he is the ideal person to ensure King’s North maintains the architectural integrity of Arnold’s original design while delivering an even better experience going forward.” 

The second stage of the project will begin in the summer of 2025 and include an overhaul of the back nine. Additionally, the Myrtle Beach National clubhouse will receive a renovation in the near future. 

The renovation of King’s North is the latest in a series of investments by Founders Group International in its 21 courses in the Myrtle Beach area. It has carried out capital improvement projects on 12 of its courses in recent years.