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Charleston golf benefits from volunteer’s work
Even though Martin Shorter took up golf relatively late in life, South Carolina golf – and tourism – can be thankful he decided to make the game his passion and vocation. But don’t wait for the self-effacing Shorter – who has been head golf professional for more than 10 years at Cassique, one of Charleston’s finest private clubs – to tell you about his accomplishments. He prefers to credit others.
“Martin was instrumental in laying the groundwork for an integrated marketing effort that has strengthened golf in the Charleston area,” says Terry Sedalik, executive director of the Charleston Golf Course Owners Association (CGCOA) and the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association.
At age 30, after earning PGA pro status three years earlier, Shorter became president of both the CGCOA and Charleston Golf, Inc., the association’s marketing arm. Not only did he lead the effort to bring in Tee Links as a reservation system for area courses, but he succeeded in partnering with local hotels and restaurants and making them part of the system as well.
“When someone wants to stay and play golf in Charleston, they can now take care of all their arrangements at one time,” says Sedalik. “In addition, Martin was instrumental in fundraising for the association’s marketing, particularly in obtaining grants from the state for tourism. He also took the Charleston Tee Time Book, originally created by Terry Florence (CGCOA president prior to Shorter), to a level in which its sales provide funding for a range of association activities.”
Shorter, 45, continues to volunteer with the association, primarily as an advocate on legislative issues affecting private clubs.
“It just makes sense to join the CGCOA and volunteer,” he says. “After all, volunteerism is the only way it will work. As a result, the association can provide a cost-effective way to hire a lobbyist; course owners can benefit from ideas from other owners; marketing opportunities are available that otherwise wouldn’t be viable; and there are cost reductions that owners can take advantage of. We should all be friends in this business even though we’re competitors. As Terry Sedalik, one of South Carolina golf’s unsung heroes, likes to say, ‘A rising tide floats all boats.’”
Outside of golf, Shorter and his wife, Kate, spend most of their time watching daughters, Emily, 11, and Olivia, 9, climb competitively and dance.
Most memorable moment in golf:
The grand opening in 2002 of Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare, Ireland where Shorter was director of golf, having taken an 18-month hiatus from Cassique. On Monday of that week, there was a match between Padraig Harrington and Greg Norman, Doonbeg’s architect. Later that week, the club hosted the Palmer Cup – the equivalent of the Ryder Cup for top collegians. “We had players like Bill Haas, Nick Watney, Hunter Mahan, D.J. Trahan, and Alejandro Canizares,” Shorter says. “Seven hundred spectators were invited, but we ended up with more than 3,000 ‘party crashers.’ It was an unforgettable time.”