Longtime Grand Strand golf professional, Gene Weldon, was recently named the Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owners Association Area Golf 2015 Employee of the Year. Weldon has served the Grand Strand golf community for the past 43 years.
Weldon who currently serves as the director of new business development for East Coast Golf Management has held many positions in the golf industry over the years. He served as the only head golf professional for Gator Hole Golf Club from its beginning in 1980 until it closed for redevelopment in 1999. He also served as the Director of Golf at the Thistle Golf Club for nine years. Weldon has also been a very strong proponent for junior golf development on the Grand Strand.
Weldon is originally from Hartsville, South Carolina and moved to the Myrtle Beach area after serving his country In the United States Navy. While he was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Albany, Georgia he played a lot of golf at the nine-hole Albany based course when he wasn’t deployed on aircraft carriers. In his last three years of enlistment he worked in the golf shop at the course.
After relocating to Myrtle Beach, Gene entered the PGA Apprentice Program while working as an assistant at Beachwood Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach. From there he moved to Arcadian Shores Golf Club for seven years and then on his first head professional position at the recently closed Waterway Hills which was known at that time as Skyway.
Former North Myrtle Beach mayor, Phil Tilghman, the father of Golf Channel personality Kelly Tilghman, hired Weldon to open Gator Hole. Kelly, who grew up playing golf at Gator Hole, stated that Gene was the “heart and soul” of Gator Hole. He was very accommodating to everyone who played and always greeted them with a smile.
After the closing of Gator Hole, Weldon served as the membership director at the Surf Golf and Beach Club and also as the head professional at Sandpiper Bay Golf Club for three years.
Gene was among the first to work with Carolyn Cudone when she started the Myrtle Beach Junior Golf Program in 1981. In recent years Gene has worked with The First Tee chapters in Brunswick and Horry counties and was instrumental in coercing Tilghman and fellow Golf Channel personality, Charlie Rymer to annually participate in a fund raising tournament at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club.
Congratulations to Gene Weldon for winning this prestigious award. He has been such a great asset to the entire Myrtle Beach golf community and is the consummate PGA Professional.