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Getting to Know: Jerry McGraw

Let’s learn more about the man in charge of Coastal Golfaway – Jerry McGraw.

How did Coastal Golfaway start?

I was a golf pro in Wilmington back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The club I was at in 1987 was sold, and when they did that I didn’t want to leave the coast. So, I went to a friend of mine who started a little package company in the Wilmington area.

We had gone to college together and had talked about me becoming his partner, so we started Coastal Golfaway. When we first started, I said, “We can’t do this just in Wilmington. Wilmington is not going to work. We need to get into Myrtle Beach as well.”

At the time, Myrtle Beach golf was growing so fast, so we got into it and started promoting the business.

What’s your favorite club in your bag right now?

Dunes Club

The best thing I’ve ever been able to do is drive it straight, so my driver.

Favorite area course and why?

My favorite course in the area is The Dunes Club. It’s just a good old-timey golf course. If I had to play one course every day in this area, it would be that one. There are a lot of good ones around here, but that’s the one I’d want to play.

Why should someone take a golf trip?

It’s  a good way to spend quality time with friends and family. The golf course is a great sanctuary from the world, where you can catch up, compete, and enjoy one anothers time with out all of the stress of the outside world. I have been going down with a group for 30 years, and while I only see some of them once a year, we all look forward to seeing each other, and remembering all the good times we have had.  Its definitely gotten tougher over the years, as those nights feel longer, and the tee times earlier, but it is still great to get away and play some golf.

Most memorable golf experience?

About 30 years ago, I was paired with Jack Nicklaus Jr. in a tournament. I had played in some tournaments, but I had never played in any tournaments where there were people wrapped around the tee box and halfway down the fairway. I was shaking so dang bad, I couldn’t even tee the ball up, and had to hit a three wood.  After the early round jitters, my game came alive, and by the end of the day I was a little higher on the leader board. I don’t think he Jerry McGraw and Chase McGraw of Coastal Golfawayremembers playing with me as much as I remember playing with him. Pretty cool to say I beat Jack Nicklaus……..Jr.

Funniest moment on a golf course?

Oh Lord, we were out at Pebble Beach playing in a Pro Am. As most people who have been to Pebble Beach know, things aren’t that cheap. We get to the 10th hole and we ordered some sandwiches and a drink. It was like $70 for the four of us. So, we put our food in the carts, hit our tee shots and ride down the fairway. Now, it had been raining that morning, so we had to stay on the cart path. One of the guys hit one in the water and we all go looking for his ball over the cliff.

Earlier that day, they had told us, “Beware of the birds in that area.” While looking for the ball, we look over at the carts and there are birds going in our cart and flying out with our sandwiches. Well, there goes $70 worth of sandwiches flying over the cliffs of Pebble Beach. We got a good laugh out of that.

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