The reality of amateur golf probably kept Rob Simmons away from the game more than he would like.
Golf is not his job. That's sales. And he's often on the road for business.
But he sneaks in afternoon practice sessions when he can and feels good about his game heading into two big weeks. Simmons will tackle Oyster Reef Golf Club today and Sunday to try and defend his Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association Amateur Championship title.
Next week he will defend his Beaufort City Championship at Fripp Island.
"I feel pretty good about my golf game," Simmons said. "It's all about putting and short game when it comes to winning. ... I'm looking forward to it."
Simmons said the Amateur Championship field is probably stronger than last year, with some former professionals regaining their amateur status to strengthen the competition. He's only played Oyster Reef once, but remembers a tight and demanding Rees Jones design.
"You can't overpower that golf course," he said. "It will require some thinking in order to score."
Simmons is coming off his performance at the Players Amateur, where he competed in the Mid-Am division. He shot 75-77-71 in the rain-shortened event and tied for 45th.
Players this weekend will again compete for a spot in the Players Am and will also earn points toward the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking. The Amateur and the amateur division of August's Hilton Head Open at Wexford Plantation award points toward the Honors Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event pitting the area's pros against its amateurs.
Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association Amateur Championship
What: Thirty-six hole stroke play tournament including championship, senior and handicap divisions
When: Today and Sunday
Where: Oyster Reef Golf Club
Details: Championship division winner receives berth in 2013 Players Amateur. Championship now earns points toward Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking. Points also earned for HHIAGA season-ending Honors Cup. Registration is closed.
First round tee times
All groups start on No. 1
8:30 a.m.: Jordan Carpenter, P.J. Tanner, Bob Engler
8:38 a.m.: Craig Case, Nick Lopez, Eddie Andrews
8:46 a.m.: Gary Perkins, Gibby Young, John Vignale
8:54 a.m.: Drew Butler, Chris Lane II, Jamie Manning
9:02 a.m.: Gerry Pascale, Greg Schmaus, Benji Gecy
9:10 a.m.: Joe Vignati, Tom Humphrey, Mickey Sinkus
9:18 a.m.: Michael Clementi, Stephen Holt, Russell Anderson
9:26 a.m.: Pratt Reed , Travis Cashion, Tate Hoisington
9:34 a.m.: Gordon Gourley, Jim Ferguson, Tom Cunneff
9:42 a.m.: Brian Fox, Randy Bradshaw, Al Bischoff
9:50 a.m.: Keith Potts, Bill Fuge, Jeff Wong
9:58 a.m.: John Patterson, Scott Berkner, J.D. Hoft
10:06 a.m.: Chris Lewis, Alex Kiproff, Tony Woods
10:14 a.m.: Eric Dollenberg, Tommy Bell, Kevin Arnold
10:22 a.m.: Tony Nimmer, Eric K. Dollenberg, Randy Sparks
10:30 a.m.: Trent Hoisington, Todd Barranger, Charlie Niland
10:38 a.m.: Phillip North, Mike Balzer, Rob Simmons
10:46 a.m.: Marcus Byler, Brian Langley, Jon Piccone
10:54 a.m.: Doug Ballanger, Chandler Russell, John Boretti
11:02 a.m.: Rick Cooler, Brian Rizzo, Joe Bryant
11:10 a.m.: Jim Quarforth, Ray Clark, Jim Criswell