Bob Gillespie



Special import: Myrtle Beach instructor Mel Sole honored by South African PGA

Posted 1/5/2014 5:04:00 PM

This past August, I spent two days as a student at the Mel Sole Golf School located at Pawleys Plantation Country Club on Myrtle Beach’s south end, in order to write about what others have experienced over the past two decades – and polish up my mediocre game at the same time.

One of my fellow students that weekend was, like Sole, a native South African, now a banker living in Great Britain, who had planned his family’s vacation to the Grand Strand around a chance to take lessons from the legendary teaching professional.

So it comes as little surprise that Sole, named a “Top Teacher” by Golf magazine and Golf Digest, recently was honored as “Master Professional” by the PGA of South Africa, under which he got his start in instructing in 1966. The designation, the organization says, is reserved for “legends” that have made significant contributions to the South Africa PGA and to the game of golf.

Sole and his wife operate two golf schools in the Myrtle Beach area, the other being at Grande Dunes Resort Club. His teaching operations have been named to Golf’s “Top USA Golf Schools” since that ranking began in 1999, and Sole’s school received Certificates of Excellence from in 2012 and 2013.

My own experience with Sole was both fun and insightful, and I took home video and written instructions for improving and refining my game. Instruction is given in “classes” no larger than four students to guarantee one-on-one attention for each.

The personable professional is understandably thrilled to be recognized by his home-nation PGA. “It’s been my life’s ambition to attain the status of master professional,” he says. “I have people to thank (notably mentor and former business partner Phil Ritson) for their many contributions to my career over the years.”

For those visiting Myrtle Beach for a golf vacation, a three-day session with Sole can certainly enhance both their skills and the holiday experience. For more information or to sign up for lessons, visit, email Sole at, or call (843) 237-4993.