People waiting to see a reliable weather forecast for April 11 before purchasing tickets to the 17th annual Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am are out of luck.
Tickets to the golf tournament at the Barefoot Resort Dye Club have sold out.
This is the earliest organizers have sold all of the event's 6,000 tickets - which sold for $15 this year - since it moved from Kiawah Island to Myrtle Beach in 2003.
"It's amazing how this event just continues to grow and grow each year," tournament director Paul Graham said. "... We want to thank the Myrtle Beach community for supporting it over the years."
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Celebrities and pro golfers who have committed to the tournament in the past couple weeks include: comedian Ron White; Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore; Boys II Men singers Shawn Stockman and Nate Morris; PGA Tour players Michael Bradley and Scott Stallings; NHL Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr; and actor/entertainer Alfonso Ribeiro, who was a regular on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
They join prior commitments Tyler Thigpen, Dan Marino, Chuck Finley, Mickey Tettleton, Jaret Wright, Ric Flair, Doug Gottlieb, Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, Chris Redman, Jim McMahon, George Rogers, Sterling Sharpe, Michael Waltrip, Kyle Petty, Tom Berenger, Gary Valentine, Kevin Sorbo, Jackie Flynn and caddie Fluff Cowan.
Musicians scheduled to appear, in addition to Hootie's four members, include Edwin McCain, Eric Bass, Colt Ford, Jack Ingram, Josh Kelley, Johnny Lee, Andrew Copeland of Sister Hazel and Scott Phillips of Alter Bridge. Some celebrities, including Flair and Berenger, will take part in functions but won't play golf.
Other pro golfers scheduled to attend include Jim Furyk, Blake Adams, Woody Austin, John Daly, Ricky Barnes, Chris DiMarco, Ken Duke, Tommy Gainey, Robert Gamez, Spencer Levin, Kristy McPherson, Ryan Palmer, Larry Rinker, Charlie Rymer, Darron Stiles, Josh Teater, Kyle Thompson and D.J. Trahan.
The "Mike & Mike in the Morning" ESPN Radio and ESPN2 television show featuring Greenberg and Golic will be broadcast live from the first tee box from 6-10 a.m. Ticketed spectators will be shuttled from the House of Blues area of Barefoot Landing beginning at 5:30 a.m.
Children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticket. More information is available at Hootiegolf.com.
B&C makes changes
Burroughs & Chapin Golf Management has released some of its longtime golf course maintenance directors.
Those no longer working for the company, which owns and/or manages 10 courses on the Grand Strand, include Randy Allen, Steve Martin and Tom Slavish.
Allen has been a leader in golf course maintenance on the Strand for a couple decades and was B&C's senior director of golf and grounds maintenance. He helped B&C prepare the Grande Dunes Resort Course and private Members Club for openings in 2001 and 2005, respectively, and oversaw the Grand Strand's first wall-to-wall planting of the salt-tolerant Seashore Paspalum grass at Pine Lakes Country Club in 2008-09, along with course superintendent Alan Jarvis.
Prior to joining B&C, Allen was the superintendent at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, including the six years the club hosted the Senior Tour Championship from 1994-99.
Steve Martin was a B&C superintendent for more than 10 years. He was moved from Grande Dunes to improve the conditioning of Arcadian Shores Golf Club after the company took over its management in June 2009, and he formerly worked with Allen at The Dunes Club for seven years. Slavish was superintendent of the 36-hole Myrtlewood Golf Club and worked at Pine Lakes in the '90s.
B&C resorts division executive vice president Bob Swezey said the company wouldn't comment on personnel issues, and Allen also declined comment. "I'm going to stay in the business," Martin said. "You dust yourself off and move on."
Hood hits the road
Longtime area head pro Mac Hood has also left B&C, having accepted a position working for the county of Palm Beach, Fla., at the municipal Okeeheelee Golf Course.
Hood, who had been the head pro and general manager at both Farmstead Golf Links and Meadowlands Golf Club for B&C, said an impressive benefits package, no state income tax and the ability to enter the Florida pension fund influenced his decision to move.
"That [pension fund] was the big carrot," Hood said. "I'm 53 years old and I don't care who you are, you can't save enough money in a 401(k) plan for retirement."
Hunt spent 18 years in the Strand golf market. He worked at Colonial Charters, Sandpiper Bay, Magnolia Greens near Wilmington, N.C., and Blackmoor before joining B&C.
Strand courses honored
Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is holding down the 100th spot in Golfweek magazine's annual list of the Top 100 Modern Courses (post 1959) in the U.S., published March 11. The 1994 Mike Strantz design had been ranked anywhere from 92nd to 100th over the past four years.
The Dunes Club, a 1948 Robert Trent Jones design that had been ranked among the Top 100 Classic Courses (pre-1960) for several years, fell out of the top 100 after being ranked 100th in the annual list last year. It fell out primarily because of five newcomers to the list that all received restoration work.
In Golfweek's list of the top 10 public-access courses in each state, Strand courses hold six of the spots in South Carolina. Caledonia is ranked third, The Dunes Club is fifth, Tidewater Golf and Plantation is sixth, True Blue Plantation is seventh, the TPC of Myrtle Beach is eighth, and Barefoot's Love Course is ninth.
In Golfweek's N.C. rankings, Leopard's Chase at Ocean Ridge Plantation is sixth and the new Cape Fear National in north Brunswick County is 10th.
Redding makes list
Brad Redding, the director of instruction at The Golf Academy at Grande Dunes, has been named to Golf Magazine's 2011-2012 "Top 100 Teachers in America" list.
Redding has been recognized by the magazine since 2001, and is one of only four PGA pros in S.C. to be named to the ranking that appears in the April issue.
Redding has contributed instruction material to Golf Magazine, as well as Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, PGA Magazine and USA Today, and has served as an instructor on Golf Channel's "Golf Academy Live." Redding was named the 2007 Carolinas PGA Teacher of the Year and was a six-time Tennessee PGA Teacher of the Year.
AJGA returns to area
The American Junior Golf Association is holding its 36-hole Preseason Junior at St. James Plantation in Southport, N.C., for the third consecutive year.
The 96-player field is full and will compete on the Founders Club over the weekend of April 9-10, with a practice round April 8.
The preseason events are for new AJGA members. Canada and 12 states are represented and there are 41 players from North Carolina and 11 from South Carolina, including Zachary Hickman of Myrtle Beach.
Among the favorites are Keith Brooks of Ashland, Ohio, who finished fifth in the 2010 Hudson Junior Invitational and has signed to play at Cleveland State, and Olivia Landino of Hermitage, Pa., who finished ninth in the 2011 Sea Pines Junior Heritage.
HGTC student excels
Matt Dusenbery, a student in Horry-Georgetown Technical College's two-year Golf & Sports Turf Management Program, recorded the highest score on soils testing in the annual Turf Bowl competition sponsored by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
Dusenbery beat competitors from more than 80 schools, including Purdue, Clemson and Georgia Tech. As a school, HGTC finished 21st and has finished in the top 10 four times in the past decade.
Dusenbery, a Colorado native, served eight years in the military and had duty in the Middle East before enrolling at the Myrtle Beach campus of the Golf Academy of America, and also worked security with Blackwater before enrolling at HGTC.
In the coming months Dusenbery will serve on the turf team going to the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla., to help manage course maintenance during The Players Championship, and will travel with sports turf management program chairman Richard McGuinnes to work during The Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in Savannah, Ga., a Champions Tour event April 22-24. He's also in the midst of his second internship with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at BB&T Coastal Field.
One of HGTC's graduates, Bland Cooper, is returning to the school Wednesday to give something back to the program. Cooper is an agronomist with the PGA Tour and will speak to students about setting up a course for a PGA Tour event.