Historic popcorn cart turns 110
The popcorn cart at the 8th tee celebrated its 110th birthday this year, and it's 41st at the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing.
The historic circus cart was once owned by Sea Pines founder Charles Fraser, and kept at Harbour Town until 1985, when he sold it to the VanLandingham Rotary for $1.
Rotary member David Pierce, the "wagon master," took over restoration in 2001.
The cart, which was in poor condition after years of exposure to the elements, was stripped down to metal before being rebuilt, and Pierce replaced the old, weathered windows with new, beveled glass and the rubber wheels with authentic, wooden spokes.
It's a labor of love that took him at least 900 hours.
"If it starts to sprinkle, the cover goes on," Pierce said Sunday. "It never sees rain anymore."
High schools cash in on RBC Heritage
Parking and trash at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing means big business for local athletes.
Hilton Head Island High School Seahawks athletes, parents and coaches work four parking areas to earn money for their teams.
Bluffton High School football players and coaches handle trash and recycling bins, with the money going to the Bobcats football program. Head coach Ken Cribb said on the weekend the job took 18 athletes and five coaches.
Seahawks football players worked the general spectator parking lot at Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, under coach B.J. Payne and athletics director Joe Monmonier. Boys’ lacrosse worked the VIP lots in Sea Pines, boys’ and girls’ tennis teams worked the media parking lot and softball worked the contestants lot near the Harbour Town clubhouse. They also worked the handicapped parking lot.
Edward “Woody” Wood worked every day in the media lot.
“I’ve had three children come through the program and I want to support the kids and the coach,” he said.
Monmonier said the Heritage Classic Foundation approached the school four years ago about participating.
“It’s a long, hard week,” he said, “but we think it’s good for the kids and good for our teams.”
Caddie calls Hilton Head God’s country
Andy Martinez was back at the RBC Heritage this week, 20 years after he arrived as “an answer to prayer.”
Martinez is the veteran PGA Tour caddie who filled in at the last minute as the first speaker in what has grown into the Christian Heritage Breakfast filling a hotel ballroom.
Martinez, 66, is working the bag of Zac Blair now after working with Tom Lehman for more than two decades.
On Sunday morning, he said he may someday move to South Carolina from California. He talked about the beauty of Hilton Head Island.
“It’s a hard place to be an atheist,” he said
Lifelong tradition for the Nimmers
Bryson Nimmer of Bluffton was decked out in Clemson purple down to the laces in his sneakers as he came through the gates Sunday morning at the RBC Heritage.
The Hilton Head Christian Academy graduate from a well-known Ridgeland family has earned a spot on the Clemson golf team as a true freshman this year.
He was headed to the driving range to watch how the pros conduct themselves as he prepares for the ACC championship this weekend.
Nimmer remembers working at the Heritage as far back as age 8 or 9. But the Heritage has been a part of his life since he was born, and his parents, Tony and Patsy Nimmer, still make a weekend of it, docking their boat at Harbour Town.
In fact, Bryson’s father still talks about the Heritage practice round he played with Lee Trevino long before Bryson was born. And now Bryson has to find a way to achieve what his father did as a member of the Clemson golf team: win an ACC title.
A different type of horseshoe
What a difference a week makes for RBC Heritage volunteer Alan Lautzenheiser of Van Wert, Ohio.
He drove through snow on his way to the airport for his annual trip to the sun-drenched Heritage.
His connection to the Heritage is his mother-in-law and fellow volunteer, Marilyn Miller of Hilton Head.
And what a difference a sport makes.
Since retiring three years ago as a school principal, Lautzenheiser also has been working as an usher at Ohio State University football games.
“They thought with my work in the schools, they'd put me in the student section in the South stands,” he said.
Things weren't nearly so rowdy Sunday morning as he worked in shirtsleeves as a marshal at the 11th tee box.
Things were so slow he had time to calculate how many more fans attended the Ohio State spring game on Saturday (101,189) than the Michigan spring game (estimated at 40,000).
Tour heads into the storm
On the PGA Tour, Saturday is called “moving day” because of the movement on the leader board.
But Sunday is the true moving day as golfers, wives and caddies drop off their traveling gear to be hauled to the next stop on a trailer behind Steve and Mary Hulka’s pickup truck.
On Sunday morning, the chitchat was about the weather.
Steve Hulka was telling them to expect him to arrive in San Antonio, Texas, at 3 p.m. Monday, for the Valero Texas Open.
“I built in extra time for ‘slow time’ out on the road,” Hulka said.
They’re headed into severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes.
“We’re headed right into it,” he said. “Looks like we’lll hit it in Lousisana.”