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The Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association (MBAGCOA) has announced their selection for 2016 Golf Course of the Year. Litchfield Country Club (LCC) was one of the first five golf courses on the Grand Strand and inspired the development of 10 more golf courses along the Waccamaw Neck, south of Myrtle Beach. Those courses now make up the Hammock Coast Golf Trail, one of America’s most-awarded golf trails. Since Litchfield Country Club opened in 1966, more than 100 courses have debuted along the Grand Strand, making the Myrtle Beach area the golf capital of the world.

In selecting Litchfield Country Club as the Course of the Year, the MBAGCOA recognized the many contributions Litchfield Country Club has made to the community over its 50 year history, as well as how it has risen above other golf courses in quality of course, exceptional quality of ownership and management, and contribution to growing the game. The designation as Course of the Year makes Litchfield Country Club eligible to be nominated for National Course of the Year, an award that will be given by the National Golf Course Owners Association later this year.

“Litchfield Country Club was instrumental in growing the game in the Myrtle Beach area,” said Tracy Conner, executive director of MBAGCOA. “It truly was the spark that expanded golf along the south end of the Grand Strand, and it continues to benefit the community both economically and through community partnerships.”

Litchfield Country Club employs 65 people in various positions and its economic impact is substantial. The Club and parent company, Founders Group International (FGI), donate thousands of yearly rounds to local charities. Its tennis venue, Litchfield Racquet Club, hosts an annual event to benefit Teach My People which supports youth development programs.

“FGI is very proud of the investment we have made in Grand Strand golf, and we plan to be a key player in the Myrtle Beach golf scene for many years to come,” said Dan Liu, chairman of FGI. “It’s especially exciting to have one of the oldest courses in our line-up recognized as one of the best. From the first time we visited Litchfield Country Club, Nick Dou and I appreciated its unique charm and history, and we’re thrilled that others in the industry are also recognizing how very special Litchfield is.”

As it has since day one, Litchfield exudes Southern charm, teeming with beautiful live oaks, Spanish moss and a spectacular array of seasonal colors. Within this quintessential Lowcountry setting lies a traditional shot-maker’s golf course, calling for keen course management and the use of virtually every club in your bag. There are numerous doglegs and significant bends on at least eight different holes, forcing players to make the most of their tee and second shots. Strategic improvements completed in 2008 were subtle, elevating Litchfield Country Club’s status from timeless gem to award-winning design. Golf Digest gave it four and a half stars. Conde Nast Traveler named it one of the “World’s 50 Best.”

“Litchfield Country Club has a rich history that continues to attract and impress golfers,” said Christa Bodensteiner, Litchfield Country Club’s head golf professional and general manager. “We have a great team who works to make sure every golfer who comes to Litchfield Country Club has an exceptional experience on and off the course.”

LCC will be presented with its award during the September meeting of MBAGCOA.

“FGI is especially pleased that a traditional golf course like Litchfield has been recognized for its enduring beauty and challenge,” said Nick Dou, president of FGI. “Litchfield Country Club’s superintendent, Barry ‘Digger’ Barthelman and its GM, Christa Bodensteiner, lead a dedicated team of people whose day-to-day contributions helped Litchfield Country Club to receive this honor, and we thank them all for their hard work. “

About Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association
Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association is a service organization formed to advance operational initiatives and the welfare of golf course owners/managers in the Myrtle Beach region from Georgetown, South Carolina to Southport, North Carolina. With approximately 90 members, the association coordinates policies and programs to standardize the operational aspects of the golf tourism industry while improving the bottom line for owners.

About Founders Group International
Founders Group International (FGI) is the foremost golf course owner-operator company in the Southeastern United States. Formed in 2014 through various purchases and the 2015 acquisition of National Golf Management, FGI owns and operates 22 golf courses (423 holes) in and around Myrtle Beach, S.C., America’s seaside golf capital.

FGI administers, a leader in online tee time bookings, as well as package outlets Ambassador Golf and Myrtle Beach Golf Trips. With the help of Golf Insider’s 100 percent player-generated course ranking system, thousands of golfers plan and assemble their ideal golf itineraries through FGI’s assets, including “top-100 caliber” coursesPawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club, Grande Dunes Resort Club, TPC of Myrtle Beach, King’s North at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club, Pine Lakes Country Club and more than 80 other Myrtle Beach-area courses.

FGI also has a division that does residential and retail development, and it has partnered with one of the biggest travel agencies in China to bring golfers and wedding parties to Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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