Andrew Rice figured he’d tapped into something when his “Coach Camp” idea sold out its allotment of 50 spots in a week.
Upon securing a larger venue, another 25 spots were snapped up quickly when registration reopened.
“It’s been such an overwhelming response,” the former Berkeley Hall teaching pro said Wednesday. “We do so much for golfers, we thought it might be time to do something for the people who are trying to help these golfers.”
The two-day event begins Monday at Hampton Hall, with teaching pros coming to the Lowcountry from as far away as Europe. Rice noted one is registered from Russia, which as of 2014 had just 30 golf courses.
Presenters include Dr. Morris Pickens, the Sea Island-based mental coach for reigning British Open champion Zach Johnson and others, along with specialists in biometrics, technology and course management.
With recent measures showing golf participation as stagnant, Rice said, all coaches are looking for new ways to grow interest.
“It’s a universal thing,” he said. “How can we in the coaching body help golfers have fun and shoot lower scores? That’s the challenge. To have 75 coaches coming in is a lot of good young talent that wants to learn.”
Berkeley Hall originally was to host the event, but the heavy response sent Rice — now at The Club at Savannah Harbor — looking for someplace that could handle the overflow.
BEN HOGAN WATCH
Matt NeSmith, who captured The Players Amateur in come-from-behind fashion last summer, is among 25 collegians named to the watch list for the 2016 Ben Hogan Award.
The South Carolina senior overcame a five-shot deficit in sweltering heat to win at Berkeley Hall last July, draining a 20-foot birdie on the final hole that proved enough to outlast Floridian Chase Koepka.
That victory could go a long way for NeSmith. The Hogan Award takes into account all collegiate and amateur competitions over a 12-month period starting last May.
EDDY 16TH AT DUSTIN JOHNSON JR.
Hilton Head Island’s Anna Eddy tied for 16th at last weekend’s inaugural Dustin Johnson World Junior Championship, as the international field battled harsh cold and winds for two of the three days in Myrtle Beach.
Temperatures didn’t climb above 45 degrees the first two days, with breezes blowing up to 14 mph. Only three rounds broke par all weekend at TPC Myrtle Beach, and girls’ winner Delaney Shah was the only girl to equal par in a round.
Bluffton’s Alec Weary tied for 23rd in the boys’ division, with brother Drew a little further back at 39th.
KIEFER 3RD AT HJGT
JPGA student Hanna Kiefer made eight birdies over her final two rounds to grab third place at last weekend’s HJGT Eagle Harbor Challenge outside Jacksonville, Fla.
Rounds of 76-72 pushed Kiefer up the leaderboard to finish four shots behind winner See Hee Oh, a student at the JPGA’s branch in South Korea.
SWING FOR COOPERSTOWN
Crescent Pointe Golf Club will host a fundraiser Feb. 28 to help send a Lowcountry youth baseball team to play this summer in the shadow of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Hilton Head 12U Hurricanes have been invited to Cooperstown, N.Y., for a weeklong tournament beginning July 29. The golf event is to raise money for players and coaches to stay in dormitories adjacent to Cooperstown Dreams Park, along with Hall of Fame admission.
Golf entries are $75 per player or $300 for a foursome, which includes tournament prizes and a cookout after conclusion of play. A $20 ticket to attend only the cookout also is available. For more information, call Rod Musselman at 843-507-7153.
FIRST TEE SIGNUP
Registration is open for The First Tee of the Lowcountry’s spring classes, which begin March 7 at the chapter’s new Hilton Head facility and six satellite locations.
Fees for the eight-week classes are $75, discounted to $60 for families with more than one child enrolled. Instruction is offered at four levels, with kids eligible to enter the program at age 7.
For more information, go online to TheFirstTeeLowcountry.org or call 843-686-2680.
ACES & ALBATROSSES
• Suki Brainard scored her fifth lifetime hole-in-one Feb. 12 on the fifth hole at Moss Creek GC’s South course, watching her 8-iron shot find the cup from 99 yards. Witnesses were Rica Comstock, Debbie Retzer and Marilyn Althans.