By Reed Weatherford
As we enter the third week of May, area golfers gear up for the The Beaufort Charities Invitational, the oldest golf tournament of its kind in South Carolina and the second oldest in the nation. This event has grown over the past few years and will feature over two hundred players this weekend. The tournament features golfers of all skill levels — from those that play three days a week to the poor souls that make it to the course only a couple of times a year and don’t even have a handicap. Because of the two-man better-ball format, this is the one event where two people have the chance to compete over the span of two days and where your skill level rivals your social skills. And all set to the natural backdrop of beautiful Fripp Island.
As a golf professional, I’m privy to many styles of golf preparation used by players for this coveted event. Some golfers start practicing in January while others pull out their clubs the week of the tournament. Some clubs are worn from there dedicated range time and other players are literally knocking the rust off them as they head to the first tee. If I were a smarter salesman, I would capitalize on necessary preparation by offering a Charities training package complete with the required Daiquiri consumption.
For someone that doesn’t get to play this format very often, I welcome it. The rules are simple and made to help pace of play. The ball can be moved in the rough, so unlike regular golf, and life, bad lies are hard to come by. It simplifies the game and most importantly makes it fun for all.
There are beverage stations about every three holes and the famous “Daiquiri Hole” looms on the 11th. Golf can beat down the best players, but when played like this, it gives much needed breaks allowing even the less than serious golfer to enjoy themselves. Golf is meant to be fun and while this gentleman’s sport is growing steadily, Beaufort Charities expands the opportunity for those that otherwise may not play.
No other event offers a hole that is 140 yards to the cup and is surrounded by people cheering you on or maybe heckling a bit. The background noise is a battle between popular music and an orchestra of electric blenders, interspersed with cheers and jeers from the socially uninhibited crowd. I have had partners fold under the pressure of this legendary hole while others play to the jovial exuberance. There is no gray area, it is fight or flight.
I am looking forward to this year’s event as I always do. So to everyone that has sharpened up their game and are ready to tout their skills, I wish you the best of luck. To those that fear the Daiquiri Hole, just remember, deep breath, lighten up your grip pressure and the rest will take care of itself. If it doesn’t, there always a Pina Colada or Strawberry Daiquiri waiting for you! Or you can start planning for next year. Call me I can help.
Read Weatherford is the Head Golf Professional at Sanctuary Golf Club.