Beaufort News

Golf notebook: Moss Creek's South Course gets a makeover

Members at Moss Creek Golf Club's South Course should find their new greens roll better and are a little larger than when they last played the course.

The South Course closed May 7 to undergo renovations. The greens were cored out and rebuilt to United States Golf Association standards. Sturdy Champion bermuda replaced the the dated TifDwarf bermuda susceptible to mutations.

Fairways were all regrassed with Celebration bermuda, replacing the 419 bermuda still grown in the rough.

The 1970s George Fazio design had received some tweaks over the years, and a few greens had been redone in the past. But nothing this extensive.

The completed renovation will be celebrated Saturday with a member-member, mixed-play tournament.

"Bottom line, it's fantastic," said Heidi Wright-Tennyson, director of golf at Moss Creek. "I've been waiting a long time. It's fun to finally see it happen."

Hilton Head Island golf course architect Clyde Johnston, of Clyde Johnston Designs, worked on the project, along with Mitchell Wilkerson, Moss Creek's director of golf and grounds.

Johnston conducted sunlight studies to determine where trees needed to be removed. A live oak on the front left side of No. 7 green was removed after much protest. More than 250 Bluffton residents signed petition in 2011 against removing the tree, which they said a professional estimated was 200 years old. A bunker was built in the tree's place.

Johnston said there was nowhere to move the seventh green and that because of the tree, the green received no sunlight after 1 p.m., 12 months a year.

Two other greens were altered to save trees. The third green was shifted 15-20 feet, Johsnton said, while maintaining the original design. The green on No. 16 was reshaped to preserve a large live oak to the right of the green.

The costs to avoid removing the trees was $160,000-$175,000, Johnston said.

"We do whatever we can," said Johnston, who has worked on Moss Creek's courses since the early 1990s. "That was one on No. 7 where we had no other alternative."

The Champion bermuda is also grown on Moss Creek's North course. Based on knowledge from the North course, Johnson softened some of the slopes on the South course greens to allow for the increased speed.

The new greens should roll truer than the TifDwarf. And the new layering under the surface, the USGA-approved mix of gravel, sand and peat moss, is expected to help with maintenance.


Berkeley Hall's Nicholas Coursey won the Hilton Head Island PGA Chapter's match play championship, defeating Pete Popovich 3 and 2 in Tuesday's final at Harbour Town Golf Links. Coursey won the event for a second consecutive year.

Secession Golf Club's David Rogers won the consolation match 6 and 5 over Ed Brill.

Coursey earned $520 for his victory. Popvich took home $320. Rogers claimed $230 for third and Brill finished with $100.

A solid front nine left Coursey 4-up at the turn and he hung on to win. The finals were originally scheduled for Sept. 18 but were pushed back due to weather.


Several Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy students won or placed at the International Junior Golf Tour's Florida Swing tournament, held Sept. 22-23.

IJGA graduate Manuel Velez won the Boys 15-19 division after a 3-hole-playoff with classmate and friend, Daniel Tello Vargas. Velez and Tello Vargas ended finished the second round 1 under par for the tournament. Velez has finished in the top 10 in all IJGT tournaments this season. Tello Vargas will look to continue his hot streak next week at the IJGT Junior at Shipyard Golf Club.

IJGA freshman Andre Becerra won the boys 14-and-under division, shooting a two-day score of 150. Becerra won by 16 shots over Paul Schumacher. Fourteen-year old IJGA student Alejandro Santibanez finished third in his second IJGT tournament of the season, with a score of 167.

In the girls division, IJGA sophomore Ana Paula Valdes won with a score of 144. Sixteen-year old Thamonpat Siriko finished second, at 6 over par.


Jim Ferree, 81, and Gary Duren, of Hilton Head Island, won the senior division of the Purvis Ferree Cup this weekend at Old Town Golf Club in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The team won by seven shots. The event is named for Jim Ferree's father, who was a golf professional at Old Town from 1942 to 1965.

Jim Ferree and Duren shot a 69 in best ball play Friday morning, a 71 on Friday afternoon in alternate shot format, and a 68 on Saturday's best ball round.

Ferree has won the event multiple times in the regular and senior divisions.


Bluffton's Jennifer Adams finished tied for fourth overall at the Women's South Carolina Golf Association Stroke Play Championship in Georgetown.

Adams shot a three-round total of 242 for the event, which was held at DeBordieu Club. Bluffton's Sheryl Morin won the fourth flight, with a score of 256. Morin also claimed the Myrtice Riccoboni Trophy for low net score.


Wesley Beavers hit a hole-in-one Sept. 9 on the 17th hole at Okatie Creek Golf Club. He used a 5-iron. Witnesses were John Pinwar and Bob Pentico.

  • Milton Perron hit a hole-in-one Sept. 15 on the eighth hole at Okatie Creek Golf Club. He used an 8-iron. Witnesses were Tom Sullivan, Walt Kearney, and Paul Shane.
  • Ellen Dutka hit a hole-in-one Sept. 20 on the third hole at Okatie Creek Golf Club. She used a hybrid. Witnesses were Brenda Oates, Jane Kressler, and Susan VanStone.
  • Rudy Pilney hit a hole-in-one Sept. 24 on the 17th hole at Hidden Cypress Golf Club. He used a 7-iron. Witnesses were Travis Robbins, Ron Sabatini, and Jim Dion.
  • Walt Kearney hit a hole-in-one Sept. 22 on the 17th hole at Hidden Cypress Golf Club. He used an 8-iron. Witnesses were Paul Shane, Milt Perrone, and Dale Terrell.
  • Send local golf news to sports editor Mike McCombs at