Instead of following his father’s career into the tobacco industry, Cecil Brandon pursued one in golf. And even that path was different from most in the game, following his graduation from Davidson College, a stint in the U.S. Army (and Korea) and two years as an insurance salesman.
Brandon could have been a club professional and might even have pursued a playing career with a career-low handicap of plus two. Instead, at age 29, he moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he produced and sold advertising postcards, leaving behind a potential banking career.
Eight years later, he and a trusted few friends started a company that would drive Myrtle Beach into the “golf capital of the world.” He was part of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday from its inception in 1967, serving as executive director for 30 years. Brandon is credited with spearheading the golf package marketing effort that has seen the area grow from eight courses and 10 motels to more than 100 of each.
Brandon was instrumental in attracting the Senior PGA Tour Championship to the area in 1993 and 1994. Golf Holiday hosts the World Amateur Handicap tournament each year, the largest single-site gathering of amateur players in the world, attracting nearly 5,000 competitors from all over the world.
Brandon also worked closely with the PGA Tour to develop the Tournament Players Club of Myrtle Beach. His efforts on behalf of Myrtle Beach have brought worldwide attention not only to his home but also to golf in the state of South Carolina. Brandon Advertising is a successful agency in Myrtle Beach.
He has been honored by South Carolina with the Order of the Palmetto, Tourism Ambassador of the Year, Citizen of the Year, the state tourism award and –special to him – Parent of the Year.
Cecil Brandon was inducted into the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 2001