Hotelier and golf course owner Vernon Brake and Bob LeComte, an integral part of the World Amateur Handicap Championship’s growth, were inducted into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame at Pine Lakes Country Club Thursday evening.
“Vernon Brake and Bob LeComte were vital figures in Myrtle Beach’s growth, doing work that sometimes went unnoticed by the public but was pivotal to the area’s emergence as the Golf Capital of the World,” said Bill Golden, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday’s president. “Both were locks for induction and it was a pleasure to celebrate their accomplishments and Myrtle Beach’s rich history.”
Brake was part of a group that bought The Breakers Hotel in the 1970s and as the managing partner, he spearheaded its growth from a property with 71 units to one with more than 650. Brake also launched a golf package business at The Breakers, booking hundreds of thousands of rounds over the years.
Buoyed by his success at The Breakers, Brake was a founding partner of Myrtle Beach National (MBN), one of the Grand Strand’s bedrock developments. MBN eventually expanded to include 10 courses with Brake helping lead the way.
He was also an influential board member at Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and Grand Strand Tee Time Network.
LeComte, who was inducted posthumously, didn’t arrive on the Myrtle Beach golf scene until the conclusion of a 37-year business career, but he left a lasting legacy on the Grand Strand, helping attract the two most significant title sponsorships in the destination’s history.
LeComte secured DuPont as the title sponsor of the World Amateur Handicap Championship, and it grew into one of the longest and most successful relationships in all of sports. During DuPont’s 22-year year run as title sponsor, the World Am grew into an event that annually attracted 4,500+ players from every corner of the globe.
LeComte’s tenacity also led to securing Energizer as a title sponsor for the Senior Tour Championship, bringing a high profile, professional golf event to Myrtle Beach. The Senior Tour Championship provided international exposure as well as a live domestic television audience, showcasing the Myrtle Beach golf experience, and it wouldn’t have happened without LeComte.
Brake and LeComte became the 22nd and 23rd inductees into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, which is located in the courtyard at Pine Lakes, the area’s first course. Other members of the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame are: General James Hackler, Robert White, Jimmy D’Angelo, Carolyn Cassidy Cudone, Clay Brittain, Cecil Brandon, George “Buster” Bryan, Gary Schaal, Paul Himmelsbach, Charles Byers, Egerton Burroughs, Casper Benton, J. Bryan Floyd, Edward Jerdon, George Hilliard, Russell “Doc” Burgess, Critt Gore, Sandy Miles, Phillips Goings, Kelly Tilghman and Edward Burroughs.
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.
For more information about Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, visit www.themyrtlebeachgolfhalloffame.com.