Stoney Point has come a long way
Sunday, May 11, 2014 1:29 AM
Never when I was trudging through the thick brush or woods bordering Stoney Point Golf Club -- or hitting ball after ball into Lake Greenwood -- did I think someday it would be home to a large national golf tournament that would bring people from far and near to the area for a week-long golf event.
That was back in the early 1990s after brothers Dr. Brooks Scurry and Dr. John “Jack” Scurry decided to turn a chunk of farmland property on Lake Greenwood into a golf course and residential development.
Stoney Point was designed by Tom Jackson and built in 1990. Even before the course was complete and the clubhouse was built, the Scurrys hired Mike Hyduke as golf pro. I talked to Mike last week and had a good time reminiscing about the early years of Stoney Point. He remembers walking the sketched out design of the course and picking up rocks and tossing them into a truck. He also remembers playing the course before grass filled in the fairways just to see how it would play.
Mike Hyduke is the brother of retired teacher, coach and principal Nick Hyduke, who these days is more known for his recruitment of talent for the Music on Maxwell concert series and Uptown Live performances.
When I joined the Index-Journal in the mid-1980s, I was one of a two-person sports staff. Nick Hyduke was a coach at Greenwood High School back then and in conversation he mentioned his brother was going to be pro at Stoney Point. I did a story on the course opening and Mike Hyduke being the pro. I talked to Mike Hyduke a lot back then and we formed a friendship. He would call in information about tournaments the club hosted or to pitch a story idea. Inevitably, Mike would invite me to come out to play.
I was able to accept his offer on several occasions. It was great to be on the course with someone who knew how it played. Mike was a good golfer and I wasn’t. When we would play he didn’t laugh or try to correct my swing or anything like that. We were just two buddies on the course -- for good or for bad. We talked about life and what was happening in the world -- and very little about golf.
He even extended an invitation for me to bring my dad to Stoney Point to play a round. That was a first time my dad and I played golf together. It was a pretty cool day.
Mike Hyduke was pro at Stoney Point until 1994 when he left to work at Fujifilm. He’s been there ever since and celebrates his 20th anniversary in June. Hyduke hasn’t played Stoney Point since he left. I haven’t either. Maybe one day he and I can get together and play 18 there again.
During my visits to Stoney Point, I got the feeling the brothers saw it as a place to hang out and play golf. It really was more than that. Whether the brothers liked it or not, Stoney Point was a viable draw to bring tourism to the area.
The state House of Representatives and state Senate knew it. The Scurrys were recognized by the General Assembly of South Carolina in 1992 for their development of “a recreational gem for the state of South Carolina.” The Scurrys, it was noted, along with former Stoney Point vice president Bill Gregory, were instrumental in the development of Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head Island.
Stoney Point did host the Velux Classic, which was part of the T.C. Jordan Professional Golf Tour in the 1990s. The T.C. Jordan tour went on to be called the National Golf Association Hooters Pro Golf Tour and then the NGA Pro Golf Tour, which recently made its annual stop at Savannah Lakes Village in McCormick.
Stoney Point fell on some rough times before Jim and Denise Medford bought the course. The Medfords have certainly turned things around at Stoney Point since the purchase and there’s still work to be done. This weekend’s Symetra Tour Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic is just a hint of the possibilities.
This is a historic time for Stoney Point and the Greenwood area. Let’s hope for many more such historic events for years to come.
Sitarz can be reached at 864-943-2529 or via email at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.