Golf

A Hall of Fame quarterback and some funk added to Hootie Monday After Masters lineup

Davis Love III, pictured signing an autograph during a practice round at the 2017 RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island last April, is scheduled to return to the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am next month.
Davis Love III, pictured signing an autograph during a practice round at the 2017 RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island last April, is scheduled to return to the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am next month. jkarr@islandpacket.com

Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino committed on Monday to participate in the 24th Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am, and a pair of musicians from Prince's The Revolution and Earth, Wind & Fire are also among the recent commitments.

The tournament will be held April 9 at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club, and the field is set with the possible exception of a few late additions or withdrawals.

Dez Dickerson, the original guitar player and a backup vocalist with Prince and The Revolution, Philip Bailey, a lead singer with Earth, Wind & Fire, and Arabian Prince, a founding member of the rap group N.W.A., have committed and should add considerably to the post-tournament concert at the House of Blues.

Pro golfers participating include two-time U.S. Ryder Cup Team captain Davis Love III, who has won 21 PGA Tour events, and gregarious PGA Tour character Pat Perez, who has won three times in more than 400 PGA Tour starts, including at the 2018 CIMB Classic.

“It’s going to be an awesome year so we’re really looking forward to it,” tournament director Paul Graham said. “We’ve gotten a lot of interest, a lot of phone calls. We may have a few more names as the tournament comes around.”

Spectator tickets sold out within a couple days of their release on Feb. 19. The event has now sold out of its approximate 6,000 spectator tickets in each of the past 12 years.

Also scheduled to participate is PGA Tour rookie Roberto Diaz, who lived in Myrtle Beach for seven years after graduating from USC Aiken in 2009 and still represents the Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy at Barefoot Resort on tour.

The professional golfers also include past or present PGA Tour members Harold Varner III, Woody Austin, Chris DiMarco, Ken Duke, Chesson Hadley, Chris DiMarco, Robert Gamez, Wil Wilcox, D.J. Trahan, Robert Gamez and Troy Merritt.

World Series winner Tony Womack and former NBA player Spud Webb are among the recent celebrity commitments.

Previously released commitments include ESPN Radio host Mike Golic, basketball hall of famer Rick Barry, hockey legend Grant Fuhr and social media personality and swimsuit model Paige Spiranac, who is taking part in a Myrtle Beach golf marketing campaign this year.

Others include former University of South Carolina football stars George Rogers and Corey Miller, musicians Javier Colon, Edwin McCain and Drew Copeland, and actor/comedian Gary Valentine.

Graham said last year’s event raised $300,000. All proceeds benefit the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, which supports educational and junior golf charities through annual donations and a $3 million endowment that was created through the tournament’s fundraising. Visit HootieGolf.com for more information.

Dunes Club renovating

Renovations to bunkers and drainage this summer will result in The Dunes Golf and Beach Club closing to outside play for 12 weeks.

The bunker and drainage renovation project will be done in two nine-hole phases from June 5 through Sept. 1.

Nine holes will be open for member play each six-week interval as work is done on the other nine holes.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a construction site out there, so we didn’t want to have a guest come in and have to play around heavy equipment,” The Dunes Club head professional Dennis Nicholl said. “The members can appreciate that because they know something is getting improved on their golf course.”

All of the iconic course’s bunkers will be redone with the help of architect Rees Jones through a building process that is designed to hold sand high in the bunker faces and make the bunkers playable shortly after heavy rain.

Jones is the son of Dunes Club designer Robert Trent Jones and has overseen renovations in the past to the course, which opened in 1948 and has hosted national USGA and PGA of America championships, as well as the Senior Tour Championship from 1994-99.

“The bunkers will save us time from maintenance and they’ll be much better from a playability standpoint,” Nicholl said.

The Dunes Club’s golf shop reopened last Tuesday with a new design after being closed from Nov. 15, when the professional staff moved to a trailer in the parking lot. It has a split floor design with resort and member sides, a separate members-only room, a fitting room, redesigned offices and expanded merchandise lines.

“The look and feel is so cool, and we have a few higher-end vendors like Peter Millar and Polo,” Nicholl said.

Two bathrooms on the course that were built more than 40 years ago between holes 2 and 15 and holes 3 and 6 were rebuilt in the theme of the old Chapin fishing cabin on the swash that hosted the original meeting in the late 1940s to discuss building the golf course.

Drainage work will target low points on the course such as the 10th and 13th holes, as well as areas between holes 3 and 6. “This course is already one of the best draining courses in the area because it’s all sand next to the ocean, but we’ll just make that product a little better,” Nicholl said. “We’re rolling on with the renovations here this summer.”

USGA announces sites

The United States Golf Association has announced its qualifying sites for its three open championships, including some in relative proximity to the Grand Strand.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open will be conducted over 18 holes at 112 sites in 45 states and Canada between April 30 and May 17.

Local sites in the Carolinas are Columbia Country Club in Blythewood on May 9, Belfair Plantation in Bluffton on May 14, Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C., on May 9, River Landing Golf Club in Wallace, N.C., on May 11 and Pinewild Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C., on May 14.

There will be 12 sectional qualifying sites for those who advance from local qualifying and the 118th U.S. Open will be held at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., from June 14-17.

Neither the U.S. Senior Open nor the U.S. Women’s Open have local qualifying, only sectional qualifying.

Senior Open qualifying will be held at 34 sites in 26 states from May 21 to June 11, including June 4 at both Callawassie Island Club outside Hilton Head Island and Highland Country Club in Fayetteville, N.C.

The 39th U.S. Senior Open will be played at The Broadmoor Golf Club’s East Course in Colorado Springs, Colo., from June 28 to July 1.

Women’s Open sectional qualifying will be held at 25 total sites and 21 domestic locations between May 2-17 including Dunwoody Country Club in Atlanta on May 7 and Bermuda Run Country Club outside Winston-Salem, N.C., on May 15.

The 73rd U.S. Women’s Open will be played May 31-June 3 at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Ala.

Players can register for the championships online at champs.usga.org. U.S. Open registration began this month and the entry deadlines are April 25 for the men’s and women’s opens and May 16 for the Senior Open.

Hootie Celebrities

Steve Azar - Musician

Philip Bailey - Musician

Rick Barry - NBA

Ray Boudreaux - Musician

Mark Bryan - Musician

Andy Buckley - Actor

Jim Cantore - Weather Channel

Javier Colon - Musician

Drew Copeland - Musician

Jimbo Covert - NFL

Patrick Davis - Musician

Ira Dean - Musician

Dez Dickerson - Musician

Patrick DiMarco - NFL

Shawn Drover - Musician

Debbe Dunning - Actor

Angie Everhart - Actor

Joey Fatone - Musician

Dean Felber – Musician

Jackie Flynn - Actor / Comedian

Grant Fuhr - NHL

Mike Golic - ESPN

Adam Humphries - NFL

Dan Marino - NFL

Edwin McCain - Musician

Corey Miller - NFL

Jim McMahon - NFL

Nathan Morris - Musician

Preston Pohl - Musician

Arabian Prince - Musician

George Rogers - NFL

Jason Scheff - Musici

Darius Rucker - Musician

Tony Siragusa - NFL

Jim Sonefeld - Musician

Paula Trickey - Actor

Tony Womack - MLB

Gary Valentine - Actor / Comedian

Spud Webb – NBA

Hootie Pro Golfers

Woody Austin

Blake Adams

Matt Bettencourt

Kent Bulle

Tim Burke

Roberto Diaz

Chris DiMarco

Ken Duke

Tommy Gainey

Robert Gamez

Talor Gooch

Lanto Griffin

Chesson Hadley

Mike Hulbert

Billy Kratzert

Nick Lindheim

Davis Love III

Tom Lovelady

Troy Merritt

Andrew Novak

Pat Perez

Dicky Pride

Brian Richey

Mark Silvers

Paige Spiranac

Ben Taylor

DJ Trahan

Harold Varner III

Willy Wilcox

Chase Wright

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