Are We Ready Now?
By Bob Stevens
Yes, it has been a tough few months for golfers everywhere, even on the Golf Island. Imagine being surrounded by golf, two dozen courses on Hilton Head Island and more just across the bridge on the mainland tempting you to play, during a fabulous spring season that seemed even more glorious this April and May- the island’s prime months for golf. Then imagine having the best players in the world come for a visit- 8 of the top 10 in the world rankings on the island for the RBC Heritage, and not being able to go see them play up close- only watch them on TV like we do any other week.
But as we watch the PGA TOUR pros cavort around Harbour Town Golf Links this Father’s Day weekend in June, we can come to at least one positive conclusion, at least one commonality we hackers share with the greats of the game. We certainly can’t bomb it like Rory or Bryson, hit our irons like Dustin or Justin, or putt like Jordan and Rickie. But we all do love the game, don’t we? Have you seen the smiles on the faces of the TOUR players just happy to again get to do what they really love to do with the gang they love to do it with? You actually thought they’d be ecstatic to play for nothing else but the competition, the chance for bragging rights over their fellow players (OK, maybe there are 7-million reasons why that’s not completely true).
With the coronavirus pandemic still swirling around every part of our lives, a round of golf with our friends, let alone a weeklong golf vacation, might still not be on the top of your to-do list. But it is on that bucket list somewhere, and might be moving up, right?
When you’re ready to come to America’s Favorite IslandTM, Hilton Head Island, the courses, the amenities, and the cuisine of the Lowcountry are all ready to welcome you back. Once the pros leave, Harbour Town will be the last course re-opened for public play. Most all of the other courses have quietly remained open for locals and the few visitors who came in spring and then the uptick early this summer. The other two courses in Sea Pines- Heron Point by Pete Dye and Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III- rotated play for a while, but are now both open and flourishing.
Palmetto Dunes reports significantly increased play at its three courses, the Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Course, the Arthur Hills Course and the George Fazio Course, with more players this summer than in previous Junes and Julys.
The Heritage Group of courses, Oyster Reef, Shipyard and Port Royal’s 36 holes, are also seeing increased play this summer after the slow spring that was a great time to allow the Bermuda grasses on the fairways, roughs and greens to become even more lush than ever. The Country Club of Hilton Head and sister-course Golden Bear by Jack Nicklaus are also in great shape.
Off-island staples like Old South and Hilton Head National are also working overtime to optimize conditions and display their famous hospitality, while keeping everyone safe while they interact with staff and other visitors.
Frankly, carts at all the area courses have never been cleaner and many of the courses are still offering single-cart use to guests who request it.
Hotels, villas, restaurants are open while operating under CDC and state health guidelines and have plenty of room for you to enjoy the hospitality that’s made us the Rory McIlroy of islands, ranked #1.
The Lowcountry courses are playing it smart and safe. If only we’d think that way as we play, right? And if there’s something else good that’s coming out of this pandemic, the pros we’ve watched on the Golf Island are reminding all of us to appreciate our great game just a little bit more.
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One in 12,000. Those are the odds of a single golfer carding a hole-in-one. One in 17 million.
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