Golf

Annual Hilton Head Celebrity Golf Tournament begins Friday

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comAugust 30, 2012 

As organizers of the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament make final preparations for the 32nd annual fundraising event, the only concern is the weather.

With heavy rain in the area early in the week, any more could make for some soggy golf.

"We just need Mother Nature to cooperate a little better," said Cary Corbitt, director of sports and operations at The Sea Pines Resort and trustee of the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Foundation. "It should be a great week."

The 54-hole tournament begins Friday at Palmetto Dunes' Robert Trent Jones course. On Saturday, golfers will play Colleton River Plantation's Dye Course. The tournament concludes Sunday at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Spectators are welcome throughout the weekend, free of charge.

Whatever the weather, organizers are counting on contributions to charity to again be the bright spot. And this year, the reach wil extend beyond the golf courses hosting the event.

The Hilton Head Island chapter of the Carolinas PGA has worked together to raise money for the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides educational scholarships for children and spouses of military members killed or disabled while serving. Close to 30 area clubs and resorts are helping raise money for the foundation in conjunction with Patriot Golf Day.

Clubs are including donation containers in the pro shop or first tee and some are holding closest-to-the-pin contests, with donations going to the foundation.

The Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Foundation will contribute to the Folds of Honor Foundation through money raised by its closest-to-the-pin contests, with part of participants entry fee going toward the contests. On Friday at Palmetto Dunes, the golfer closest to the pin on No. 5 will win three Titleist wedges. on Saturday at Colleton River, the closest shot on No. 6 will win a custom set of Nike irons. And the closest shot on Sunday on Harbour Town's seventh hole will win a Sea Pines golf and lodging package.

The past two years, Spring Island director of golf Bill Sampson has raised money for Folds of Honor through golf marathons. He played 144 holes in 2011 and raised more than $28,000.

With Spring Island in the midst of renovation, Sampson will play at Callawassie Island Club on Sunday with Callawassie's Wes Grantham.

In a letter to fellow Hilton Head chapter professionals, Callawassie Island director of golf Jeff Spencer encouraged others to participate in Patriot Golf Day.

Corbitt said participation this year is the highest it has been.

"It's a pretty neat deal," he said.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND CELEBRITY GOLF TOURNAMENT

What: 54-hole golf event pairing amateurs and celebrities, with money raised for various children's charities

When: Friday-Sunday

Where: Friday-- Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Palmetto Dunes, Saturday-- Dye Course at Colleton River Plantation, Sunday-- Harbour Town Golf Links

Details: Spectators are welcome. Admission is free. VIP credentials required for admission to certain events. For information, visit www.hhcelebritygolf.com.

Notable players: Richard Schiff, actor, West Wing; Tim Wakefield, pitcher, Boston Red Sox; Robert Irvine, Food Network personality; Brian Baumgartner, actor, The Office; Taniya Nayak, HGTV host; Paul Williams, composer, musician, songwriter, actor; Brian Worley, television personality; Kimberly Locke, recording artist, American Idol finalist; Bobby Cremins, college basketball coach; Gail Kim, WWE; Mark Collins, former NFL player; Phil Varone, actor/drummer; Doug Flynn, former MLB player; Holly Sonders, Golf Channel host; Erik Kuselias, NBC Sports host; Beau MacMillan, Food Network star; Josh Carter and Zack Carter, country music artists; Dwight Hicks, former NFL player, actor; Ken Anderson, former NFL player/coach; Tom Moore, former offensive coordinator Indianapolis Colts; Reggie Smith, former MLB player; Thad Darber, world one club champion; Paul Goodloe, Weather Channel meteorologist; Bucky Waters, basketball coach, broadcaster; Henry Cho, comedian; Alan Kalter, voice of Late Show with David Letterman; Mark Malone, NFL color analyst; George Rogers, former NFL player, Heisman Trophy winner; Tom Bury, Food Network personality

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