I’m going to go out on the limb here and risk offending not only the Weather Gods (Thor is probably the one we hear most about in the Lowcountry), but the Golf Gods (I’m thinking Arnold or maybe Jack William, the gods of our generation’s love affair with the game). A series of warm nights, the budding of the pear trees that make such a delightful white canopy throughout our golf neighborhoods, and the growing presence of autos with license plates from north of the Mason-Dixon line has me ready to declare that, indeed, winter is over and spring has sprung.
Or maybe it’s the recent departure of my new Lowcountry-resident brother-in-law’s golfing buddies from Michigan after a 4-day, 144-hole orgy of wayward drives, lost balls, and yet smiles all around at their experience, before they trekked back to snow-covered Motown.
After a cold winter that even included the falling of snowflakes on the Island at Christmastime (fortunately, they didn’t stick, except in the memories of everyone who saw them), we have finally emerged into the season where golf is in-play every day.
Yes, unlike some in the southern reaches of Florida, we do have seasons on Hilton Head Island, and most of the golfers here love it that way. The golf is very distinctive with each of those seasons. With the recent warmer nights, the dormant Bermuda roughs are beginning to awaken and provide a thickness to play that complements the over-seeded ryegrass fairways and greens that are still a gorgeous emerald green. The greens themselves are filling in nicely, providing more receptive targets and true rolls with that new flat stick you’ve been itching to try.
Truth be told, right now, the weeks before The Heritage week in mid-April, are some of the absolute best to play in the area. The courses are in great shape as they emerge from the cold (by our standards) winter, they’re a bit less traveled, yet course operators are still aggressive in their pricing to lure you here before the rest of the country is reminded on national television how spectacular this area is for golf year-round.
And nobody, certainly not me, will tell the Golf Gods if you roll the ball over in the fairway for a better lie—after all, for most of the rest of the country, winter rules still apply.