MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (Oct. 20, 2023) – The General Hackler Collegiate Championship, played annually at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., since 2015, just got a whole lot more attractive to the college golfers lucky enough to compete in March of 2024.
The individual medalist will earn a spot in the inaugural Myrtle Beach Classic, a dual-field PGA TOUR event sponsored by Visit Myrtle Beach and managed by SPORTFIVE, a global event management company. The event is scheduled for May 6-12, 2024, at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club.
“The General Hackler Championship has definitely grown since its start in 2002, and now the event will have even more luster,” said Jacob Wilner, who is in his second season as head golf coach at Coastal Carolina University, the host school for the championship. “I can only image how excited the golfers will be to have a chance to win the opportunity to tee it up with the professionals on the PGA TOUR, right here in Myrtle Beach.”
The other schools joining Coastal Carolina in the college event, set for March 18-20, 2024, will be announced at a later date. The championship is named in honor of James F. Hackler Jr., who was a major general in the United States Air Force, a pioneer of the Grand Strand’s golf industry, and longtime supporter of Coastal Carolina University. The golf course at Coastal Carolina is also named in his honor.
“The General Hackler Championship has continued to grow in stature over the years. And we hope that by awarding a spot in the Myrtle Beach Classic field to the individual medalist, we can work together to increase exposure for this collegiate event that has showcased many notable future professional golfers,” said Darren Nelson, tournament director for the Myrtle Beach Classic.
Among the household names in golf who have played in the Hackler are Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina), Bill Haas (Wake Forest), Cameron Young (Wake Forest), Patrick Reed (Augusta State), Corey Conners (Kent State) and Will Zalatoris (Wake Forest).
A Robert Trent Jones-designed course, the Dunes Club was incorporated in 1948. It was host to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship on PGA TOUR Champions from 1994 to 1999, with notables Raymond Floyd, Jim Colbert, Jay Sigel, Gil Morgan, Hale Irwin and Gary McCord claiming titles. Twenty-one years earlier, the Dunes Club was the site of PGA TOUR Q-School Finals in 1973, with Ben Crenshaw taking medalist honors.
“Our golf community provides a wealth of opportunities for players seeking to enhance their skillset,” said Karen Riordan, president and CEO, Visit Myrtle Beach. “With over 90 golf courses and the exciting addition of the Myrtle Beach Classic, the Grand Strand continues to expand upon its legacy as the ‘Golf Capital of the World.'”