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Myrtle Beach golf industry loses a longtime contributor, builder and leader

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The Myrtle Beach golf industry and community at large lost one of its longtime contributors and leaders on Tuesday.

Jack Himmelsbach followed his older brother Paul to the Grand Strand from the Northeast and worked alongside him for about four decades in businesses and ventures that helped the golf industry grow.

He died on Tuesday at the age of 75.

Himmelsbach was inducted into the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame last September in a ceremony at Pine Lakes Country Club, where the Hall of Fame Garden resides. Paul Himmelsbach was inducted in 2011.

“He was my partner and the company chief financial officer in all my businesses,” Paul Himmelsbach said of his brother Wednesday. “His contributions to the community in his various roles was legendary. He was fun, loving and a brilliant guy, and he loved golf.”

Jack Himmelsbach’s contributions to the area extend beyond golf. His involvement dates back to about 1980, and he was managing partner of Glens Golf Group, the developer and operator of Heather Glen Golf Links, Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Club and Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club.

He served as managing partner and had a role in the design and building of the courses. The company also operated Possum Trot Golf Club.

He was a partner in Wicked Stick Golf Links and Rivers Edge Golf Club. Heather Glen, Possum Trot and Wicked Stick closed in favor of redevelopment, and the other three courses remain open.

“Jack has . . . been a family member, father figure and mentor,” said longtime Shaftesbury Glen general manager Ryan McCarty in his HOF nomination letter. “In this day and age it is rare to work for the same company in the golf industry as long as I have. The simple reason for this is Jack and his brother Paul. They have always treated me as part of the family and have taken me under their wing since Day 1.

“Jack is great man and has always done what is best for not only his business, his
employees but the industry as well.”

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Himmelsbach has also been involved in Himmelsbach Communications. which published the golf publication On The Green Magazine and tourism publication On The Beach for decades, and created promotional campaigns for the area.

Himmelsbach has served the golf industry through many positions including president of the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association, and board member of marketing cooperative Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and the Grand Strand Tee Time Network, which today are consolidated in the Golf Tourism Solutions agency that promotes the market.

“I owe my good life to Myrtle Beach and golf. It has given me a life I never thought I’d ever have, and there are so many people who were so important to that,” Himmelsbach said at his HOF induction.

As president of the course owners association, he spent time on the committee that chose hall inductees.

Himmelsbach had four children, grew up on Long Island, N.Y., earned a college degree in business management in West Virginia, spent two years in the Army, and spent 10 years in Vermont largely in carpentry before moving to Myrtle Beach.

Paul, who is eight years older, had started On The Green a couple years prior and welcomed help on the business side with the new venture.

“Without him I would not be here. I wouldn’t be anywhere nearly as successful,” Paul Himmelsbach said of his brother at his HOF induction.

Himmelsbach further served the community as president and treasurer of the Myrtle Beach YMCA for 15 years, and as a board member of the North Myrtle Beach Rotary and St. Andrews Parish.

A visitation that is open to the public will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at McMillan-Small Funeral Home at 910 67th Ave North in Myrtle Beach. A funeral service will be held privately.

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