2017 Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame Induction
Myrtle Beach Golf Pioneer Vernon P. Brake and Golf Ambassador Robert J. LeComte are the 2017 inductees into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, in recognition of their significant contributions to the growth of golf on the Grand Strand.
In 1965, Vernon Brake entered the hotel business on the Grand Strand. He quickly realized that to be successful as a hotel owner, he also needed to be involved in the golf packaging business. In 1970, he and several friends purchased The Breakers Hotel and, as managing partner for 34 years, Brake saw the property grow from its original 71 units to 667 units. Golf was a large contributor to this growth. As a result, The Breakers joined with other partners to form Myrtle Beach National Golf Club (MBN), which built three golf courses designed by the Arnold Palmer Group. MBN ultimately developed 10 courses and became one of the driving forces behind the area’s growth.
As golf on the Grand Strand exploded, Brake became an integral part of the Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday Board of Directors and, for 28 years, served in all capacities.
As the need for computerized golf reservations grew, Brake became a charter Board member of the Grand Strand Tee Time Network. He served as a charter Board member of the Hotel/Motel Association and as a Board member of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Dunes Golf and Beach Club. He was also instrumental in the development of Arrowhead Country Club.
Retiring at age 74, Brake is a brilliant example of finding what you love to do and making it your life’s work.
Robert J. LeComte was born in Brooklyn, NY, moved to Wilmington, DE in 1955, and enjoyed a productive 37-year career in marketing at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. Upon retiring from DuPont, LeComte brought his expertise and business acumen to Myrtle Beach, where he joined Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.
Over the course of his career, LeComte created the two most significant title sponsorships in the destination’s history. He brought in DuPont as a sponsor to the World Amateur Handicap Championship, leading to one of the longest title-sponsor relationships in all of sports.
With LeComte as the driving force, the World Amateur became an iconic event in the world of golf, attracting players from around the globe. In addition to leading the World Am, he also assumed additional responsibilities in promoting his favorite golf destination.
LeComte’s tenacity 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 national live television audience, showcasing the Golf Capital of the World.
LeComte’s dedication and professionalism will forever have an impact on the community he cherished and the game he loved.