Six Tips for Your Summer Golf Trip on Hilton Head Island
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With temps in the 70s and bright blue Carolinas skies to match, spring and fall are undeniably the peak golf seasons on Hilton Head Golf Island. But the Lowcountry’s sizzling summer months tee-up nicely for golfers in search of shoulder season value and longer days.
Planning a couples, family or buddy golf trip to “Golf Island” during the proverbial “dog days?” Here are six tips for a safe and enjoyable solstice sojourn.
- Pack Like a Pro
It goes without saying that golf shorts and short-sleeve shirts are the (highly) recommended apparel choice on Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Beaufort-area golf courses in the summer. It’s the fabric of these items, however, that makes the difference between a comfortable cruise and sweat-soaked day of golf.
Most of the big names in golf apparel have designed performance-based, moisture-wicking gear over the past 10 years. Some, however, have taken it a step further using fabrics that actually cool the skin. Greenville, S.C.-based Southern Tide’s “brrr collection” of polos and shorts features natural cooling minerals that can lower skin temps by three or four degrees.
Raleigh, N.C.-based lifestyle brand Peter Millar offers UPF 50+ across many of its lines, including polos and quarter-zip pullovers. Slazenger’s Women’s Solid UV Crew Long Sleeve Shirt is cool enough to wear for morning rounds. And Nike Dri-FIT Solar Golf Arm Sleeves provide UPF 30 and easily slip on and off.
- Hydrate Like a Hero
When it comes to hydration on the golf course, many golfers tend to go light on the water and heavy on the beer. Most nutrition experts, however, recommend drinking up to 32 ounces of water before heading out to the golf course on a hot day. Once you’re dehydrated, it can be too late to play catch-up. And dehydration, simply put, is dangerous.
On really hot days when your body loses both water and salt due to excessive sweating, plain water may not be enough. Golfers can supplement their H2O with branch chain amino acids, commonly referred to as BCAAs, which contain electrolytes. Several brands of powders and droplets are available online and at local drug stores.
As for the cold libations, try to save them sipping post round when settling bets or relaxing over lunch or dinner.
- Eat Like an Athlete
Golfers heading out for 18 or 36 holes tend to eat a “big” breakfast chock-full of carbs and sugar followed by a “turn lunch” consisting of a burger, hotdog, fries or potato chips. On a 60- or 70-degree day, they can get away with it. But with the summer heat index creeping into triple digits, diligent duffers should have an athlete’s mentality.
Think of food as high-octane fuel that can positively impact your performance on the course. Fruits like bananas and apples, good fats like peanut or almond butter, and lean protein like turkey bacon or chicken sausage are all smart choices. Also be leery of energy and / or protein bars that are chock-full of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- Get Ahead on Headwear
Once considered a fashion faux pas, golf bucket hats have emerged as a bona fide fashion trend in 2021. Name brands like Titleist and Imperial now offer “Aussie” versions of the bucket hat with even more face and neck coverage.
Dermatologists agree, these wide-brimmed hats are exponentially better than your standard baseball cap-style hats which offer little protection for the nose and face and zero protection for the ears and neck.
And while you’re at it, wear a good pair of sunglasses rated UV 400 or higher to block 99.9% of harmful UV rays. Excessive sun exposure is known to increase your risk for two of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S.: cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Master the Science of Sunscreen
Speaking of sun, for every hour spent on the course, golfers receive 3.5 to 5.4 times the amount of UV radiation needed to cause sunburn. Repeated exposure to this amount of the sun’s harmful rays can lead to skin cancer, which even professional golfers like Adam Scott and Rory Sabatini have encountered in recent years.
Sunscreen SPFs range from 15 to 100, creating a lot of confusion when it comes to selecting the right one. Most dermatologists agree that the effective range is spans from 30 to 50. A 50 SPF sunscreen blocks 98% of the sun’s harmful rays, while an SPF of 100 stops 99%, a nominal difference.
Also, ingredients matter. Steer away from sprays, which dissipate in the air before ever reaching the body. Lotion-based sunscreens rich in minerals like zinc are the most protective and safe. Oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate and octisalate are ingredients linked to several health issues. Oh, and don’t forget the SPF lip balm.
- Employ Golf Cart Management
Savvy golfers know that good course management can save a few strokes here and there. Well, good golf cart course management can help save your skin by keeping you and your playing partner out of the sun.
With all the live oak and Loblolly pines lining the courses of Golf Island, there’s typically plenty of shade to be found. Especially in the early morning and late afternoon. Aim to park in the shade as frequently as possible, and to rest in the golf cart while waiting for other golfers to hit.
Getting to Golf Island this summer has never been easier.
Major metro areas in the Carolinas, Georgia and north Florida are well under a half-day’s drive from the U.S. 278, I-95 exit. Golfers outside of driving range can choose from two award-winning airports: Savannah-Hilton Head International (SAV) in Savannah, Ga. and Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH), on the north end of the island.
Hit the “easy button” and fly into Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH) on the island’s north end. American Airlines offers nonstop and one-stop service from multiple hub cities and connections. Seasonal Saturday flights to/from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) are offered as of April 2021.
The new route complements year-round service from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and seasonal service from Washington Reagan Airport (DCA), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) and Philadelphia (PHL). Book your flight to Hilton Head Island at www.AA.com.
Starting May 27 and running through Labor Day weekend, United Airlines will offer seasonal service to HHH from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Delta Air Lines Airlines also offers nonstop and one-stop service to HHI via its Atlanta (ATL) hub with connections from 200+ cities worldwide.
Golfers can also utilize Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), with direct flights from numerous East Coast, Midwest and Texas airports. Southwest Airlines service began in March with six flights from five markets.
Major metro areas in the Carolinas, Georgia and north Florida are under a half-day’s drive, while several Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern cities are seven to nine hours away.
For more information on the courses and resorts of Hilton Head Golf Island, visit or www.hiltonheadgolfisland.com or call (800) 523-3373.
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