The Hilton Head Open will celebrate its 40th year when activities begin today before the tournament starts this weekend.
But the event will mark a first by being held at Bear Creek Golf Club.
The layout in Hilton Head Plantation has earned praise in the past for its top condition. The course will also make you think, said director of golf Brett Heisler.
"What club you choose to hit off the tee is very important, because it's not always a driver. And sometimes it's not even a 3-wood," Heisler said. "So you're trying to put yourself in the best position to hit the green in regulation. And then it's a matter of just making some putts."
Defending champion John Patterson is in the field, as is low professional David Rogers.
Tom Logue, Moss Creek professional and tournament director, said 85 players are in the field. The 47 professionals are the most to play in the tournament, Logue said.
Nine teams signed up for a Friday pro-am. A putting contest will follow, along with dinner and drinks. A local cigar company will handroll cigars for participants Friday night.
Logue said Hargray put up $2,000 to sponsor the event. The Heritage Classic Foundation added $1,000, he said.
Players will go off in morning and afternoon waves Saturday and Sunday.
Heisler said this is a rare chance for the professionals to compete against some of their better members. Bear Creek will have a few members in the field.
Those with home-course advantage say the risk-reward factor is high.
"I always tell people it's possible you can birdie every hole out here, but it's also possible you can double every hole pretty easily," Heisler said. "It all comes down to strategy."
Follow assistant sports editor Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.
40th Annual Hilton Head Open
What: 36-hole stroke play tournament open to area professionals and amateurs
When: Saturday and Sunday
Where: Bear Creek Golf Club, Hilton Head Island
Details: Nine-team pro-am Friday, followed by putting contest and dinner and drinks. Defending champion is amateur John Patterson.
First-round pairings for the Hilton Head Open
Saturday at Bear Creek Golf Club
9 a.m.: Derrick Garrou, Kyle Putkonen, Josh Carmichael
9:08 a.m.: Evan Belcher, David Politi, Jamie Manning
9:16 a.m.: Cody Carter, Tony Brown, Jason Hildreth
9:24 a.m.: Scott Hunter, Kevin Arnold, David Wilding Jr.
9:32 a.m.: Mark Tomedolskey, Cole Adams, Matt Bova
9:40 a.m.: Tim Sutherland, John Vignale, Wes Grantham
9:48 a.m.: Tom Logue, John Patterson, Gordon Gourley
9:56 a.m.: Brett Heisler, Eric Dollenberg, Edward Sires
2 p.m.: Ben Smith, Gibby Young, Gavin Lindstrom
2:08 p.m.: Casey Jones, Spencer Nickolite, Steven Potter
2:16 p.m.: Matt Lucchesi, Trey Testino, Caneron Mackay
2:24 p.m.: Matt Stewart, Lenin Lezcano, Franklin Newell
2:32 p.m.: Heidi Wright-Tennyson, Turner Humphrey, Char Cormier
2:40 p.m.: Charles Fox Jr., David DeDecker, Mark Reilly
2:48 p.m.: Greg Crum, Eddie Andrews, Charlie Hall
9 a.m.: Douglas Weaver, Thomas Hines
9:08 a.m.: Brian Keiser, Gerry Pascale
9:16 a.m.: Jim Uremovich, Grady Winstead, Barry Fleming
9:24 a.m.: Ryan Williams, Randy Sparks, Jon Piccione
9:32 a.m.: Ed Brill, Chris Morris, Lance Buntin
9:40 a.m.: Brian Crum, Keith Potts, Benji Gecy
9:48 a.m.: Doyle Ricks, Joseph Prevuznak, David Rogers
9:56 a.m.: Patrick Johnson, Tom Barreca, Matthew Presnell
2 p.m.: Mark Teed, Alex Magowitz
2:08 p.m.: Jon Hundley, Jeff Wong, Matthew Rushton
2:16 p.m.: Tracy Schooler, Dave Tracy, Keith Bach
2:24 p.m.: David LaPour, Bob Fulton, Travis Cashion
2:32 p.m.: Andy Hinson, Bryan Carey, Tim Howard
2:40 p.m.: Adam Lescalleet, Bruce Kline, Michael Bleakley