With the start of the new year, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette today will preview some of the biggest local issues expected to impact the lives of residents, workers, business owners and tourists in Beaufort County and surrounding areas. Following is one of 17 issues to watch in 2017:
Daufuskie Island’s Bloody Point Golf Course already has its future laid out - and it doesn’t rely on golf. The Hilton Head National Golf Club in greater Bluffton appears to be on a similar path.
Is anyone next?
Those two Lowcountry golf courses already were well in the redevelopment-planning pipeline before Hurricane Matthew struck in October. But even as most courses now are back in play after as long as two months of cleanup, it bears watching to see if any find the financial hit too much to overcome.
The good news is that rounds played have been on a national upswing in 2016, though most of the increase came in the spring. There's also a longer-term trend of golf not being as popular among aging millennials, who have shown a preference for other outdoor activities, such as hiking and kayaking.