Beaufort News

Local Golf Notebook, Feb. 17

Growing up in Atlanta, Mike Harmon always considered himself a Georgia boy.

Not anymore.

As he prepares to take his place in the Carolinas PGA Hall of Fame on Sunday, the longtime director of golf at Secession Golf Club is redefining his heritage.

"After this, I'll always be a citizen of the Carolinas," Harmon said. "Being in the Lowcountry has been a dream for me."

The dream began in 1983, when, after a brief stint playing professionally, Harmon took a job as an assistant pro at Palmetto Dunes. From there, he moved on to Moss Creek Golf Club, then settled in at Secession in 1986, and he has been there since.

Harmon's time at Secession has included numerous awards -- most notably the National PGA Private Merchandiser of the Year in 2000, the National Bill Strausbaugh Award in 2006 and the Carolinas PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2007 -- but this one, he said, is in another category.

"For me, it's very humbling," said Harmon, who becomes the 41st golfer inducted, joining the likes of Donald Ross, Jim Ferree, Harvie Ward, Clayton Heafner and Johnny Palmer, among others. "This is just different. This has a legacy. To be lumped in with those guys is just way too cool.

"The only problem with it is it makes me feel old," the 57-year-old added with a laugh.

Harmon will be formally inducted Sunday at the Carolinas PGA's annual awards and honors dinner in Myrtle Beach, and he expects a number of friends, family members and Secession members to be in attendance.

"It's hard not to be moved by this," Harmon said. "It's a tremendous honor, and I'm just very proud."

CAROLINAS PGA HALL OF FAME PAST INDUCTEES

Jim Westbrook (2009); Terry Florence (2008); Bob Boyd and Rod Myers (2007); Bill Clemmer and Will Mann (2002); Hamp Auld and Gene Hamm (2001); D. Sherrill Austin and Norman Flynn (2000); Henry Poe and Bruce Sudderth (1999); Jim Ferree and Don Padgett (1998); Joe Davis and Roger Watson (1997); Buck Adams and E. Harvie Ward (1996); Gary Schaal and Luke Veasey (1995); Tommy Card, Joe Cheves and Palmer Maples (1994); Ed Bullock, Charles Farlow, Al Goodrich and Melvin Hamphill (1993); Aubrey Apple, Sr. (1992); Joe Ellis Maples (1991); Grant Bennett, J. Fairley Clark and Orville White (1985); Jimmy D'Angelo (1984); Purvis Ferree and Clayton Heafner (1983); Johnny Palmer (1982); Dugan Aycock, Henry Picard and Donald Ross (1981).

AJGA HONORS LONG COVE CLUB

Local organizers of the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, played at Long Cove Club last June, were given the Hospitality Award from the American Junior Golf Association. The award honors a tournament committee that "creates a special tournament experience for players and families in attendance, both during and after competition."

A designated hospitality committee made up of Long Cove Club members made sure players were taken care of throughout the week -- from homemade cookies in the locker room and extra tournament gifts to taking participants and their families on a dolphin watch using private boats, the experience went beyond the golf course.

"Our objective as a committee was to make the girls feel at home," tournament chairman Staunton Oppenheimer said in a release. "By all accounts, it was a tremendous success, and we are committed to host the 2014 Rolex Girls Junior Championship because of this accomplishment."

LONG 9TH AT BALLANTYNE

Bluffton junior golfer Wesley Long carded rounds of 77 and 75 to tie for ninth in the boys 15-18 age division at the Ballantyne Junior Open last weekend at The Golf Club at Ballantyne in Charlotte, N.C. Long finished five shots behind Jackson Moore of Isle of Palms.

The field consisted of 74 of the top junior golfers from North Carolina and South Carolina.

HJGT HEADED TO WEXFORD

The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour will makes a stop at Wexford Golf Club for the second consecutive year for the Hilton Head Junior Shootout on March 5-6.

The 36-hole event will be ranked by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard and the South Carolina Junior Golf Association and feature five divisions -- boys 15-19, boys 13-14, boys 10-12, girls 14-18 and girls 10-13.

Registration deadline is Feb. 23. For more information, visit the tour's website at www.hjgt.org.

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