Golf Media Trailblazer 2016
One of the most decorated junior golfers in Grand Strand history, the game has been a vital part of Kelly Tilghman’s life. She lived on the third hole at the Surf Club, one of Myrtle Beach golf’s most venerable layouts, and her family owned Gator Hole Golf Club, where Tilghman worked every job imaginable and honed a game that earned her a scholarship to Duke University.
Upon graduation from Duke, she played professionally across the globe for four years before retiring to take a position with the then upstart Golf Channel. Tilghman’s stature grew along with the network’s, and she went on to become the first full-time female play-by-play broadcaster in American sports history when she led PGA Tour coverage on Golf Channel.
Her play-by-play work eventually extended to NBC’s coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, but Tilghman has carved out a hall of fame career - in Myrtle Beach and beyond - as a result of her work in golf.
While her star rose nationally, Tilghman continued to maintain ties to the Grand Strand. Over the years, she has returned to the area on numerous occasions, along with Golf Channel’s cameras, to highlight the work of the Myrtle Beach Chapter of the First Tee.