Our Town: Hilton Head Celebrity Golf Tournament
Author: Robert Gilbert
It’s 1979, and shock rocker Alice Cooper is playing to sold out arenas, stalking the stage in leather pants, microphone in one hand and boa constrictor in the other. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, an ambitious group of Hilton Head Island residents is busy launching a celebrity golf tournament in hopes of raising a few dollars to support local charities.
Fast forward more than three decades, and a few things have changed. These days, Cooper spends his time stalking golf courses rather than stages. The leather pants have been replaced with plaid slacks, the boa constrictor with a nine iron. And the Hilton Head Celebrity Golf Weekend is now an annual Labor Day weekend tradition, with those “few dollars” totaling an incredible $3.9 million raised for well-deserving children’s charities around the region.
However, some things have stayed the same. Just like Cooper remains a rocker at heart, Celebrity Golf remains focused on that original mission—helping the area’s disadvantaged children lead happier, healthier, more successful lives.
“The community aspect is really what makes this event so special,” said Eddie Andrews, tournament board chairman. “This tournament was started by the community, it has been sustained by the community, and it continues to benefit the community.”
In fact, as Andrews points out, the fact that the weekend event has been able to weather the difficult economic conditions of the past several years is a testament to that strong community support. With one of the most impressive celebrity line-ups in the event’s history, Paul Smith, the tournament’s director, hopes even more area residents will take part in this year’s festivities in one way or another.
“Whether it’s fielding a team and enjoying the three amazing courses, sponsoring an event, donating to the foundation, or simply coming out and following our celebrities around the course, there are several ways for people to get involved,” Smith said. “And in order to encourage more area residents to participate in this year’s tournament and evening events, we have introduced special local rates.”
Along with Cooper, who will bring his impressive (really…he boasts a two handicap!) golf game to this year’s tournament, a host of other celebrities will tee off on Friday, August 30, including Alan Thicke (star of TV’s Growing Pains), Anthony Anderson (Law & Order), Dennis Haysbert (24, Heat), Brian Baumgartner (The Office), celebrity chef Robert Irvine, and many more.
This year’s tournament will return to Palmetto Dunes Resort’s Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront course for Friday’s round, and will wrap up Sunday on Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort. Making its tournament debut for Saturday’s round will be the Arnold Palmer Signature Course at Wexford Plantation.
“We’re excited to add Wexford to our weekend line-up,” Smith said. “We pride ourselves on offering an unparalleled golfing experience for our celebrities and players every year, and this year is no exception.”
To register your team and buy event tickets, or for more information, visit hhcelebritygolf.com.