Tag Archives: Golf

Travel: Hilton Head

At Hilton Head Island, the natural beauty of the South Carolina low country is protected by a strict land-use policy. Uploaded by rentittoday.com.

This part of the Southern coast is beautiful, historic, and sometimes, exclusive. With Charleston (Great American Things, June 7, 2009) 95 miles to the north and Savannah 20 miles to the south, Hilton Head Island is part of one of America’s most remarkable stretches of coastline.

Uploaded by placeforholiday.com.

Though it’s only been incorporated as a town since 1983, Hilton Head has a rich history, especially as a base for Union troops during the Civil War. Today, though, it’s known for strictly controlled land development to ensure the preservation of the coastal environment. While most of the island’s residential and vacation properties are located within gated communities, Hilton Head residents have consistently done what’s necessary to limit commercial development.

Hilton Head is not going to be your choice if you’re looking for a vacation bargain. While it has its own special feeling and fiercely loyal visitors, it’s designed to appeal to a sophisticated, affluent traveler. Golf and tennis enthusiasts love the island, and there is certainly no shortage of excellent restaurants. You won’t find high-rise condos or miniature golf courses; but you will find beautiful beaches, attentive service, and a respect for nature at Hilton Head. Just be prepared to pay for it.

Travel: Myrtle Beach

It's called the Grand Strand, and you can see why. Uploaded by threebestbeaches.com.

It's called the Grand Strand, and you can see why. Uploaded by threebestbeaches.com.

In my unfinished novel, I describe Myrtle Beach as “the painted harlequin of the Southeast coast.” I like that. That’s how it feels to me.

Some beaches you go to for the unspoiled scenery. Ocracoke, for example. Some you go to for the “scene.” Like South Beach in Miami. You go to Myrtle Beach for the “stuff.” Adults tend to prefer the quieter beaches, the places where the world seems far away. But kids want things to do, and boy oh boy, does Myrtle Beach have that.

Golf, golf, and more golf at Myrtle Beach. Uploaded by worldgolf.com.

Golf, golf, and more golf at Myrtle Beach. Uploaded by worldgolf.com.

Dads can get away to one of the 16,822 golf courses in the area (I estimated, might be a tad high). Moms and daughters can go to the outlet malls. There’s a beach store on every corner. Maybe there’s another place in the world with more miniature golf courses per capita, but you’d have to prove it to me. Did I forget anything?

Oh, yeah – the beach. It’s broad, and well kept, and looks beautiful from the twelfth floor of your condominium. At least it does from ours. Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach (they know the difference, you won’t) is a condo/hotel place. Not many beach homes to rent. Not at prices Joe Sixpack can afford, at least.

One thing Myrtle Beach has going for it, even if all the aforementioned “stuff” isn’t your thing, and that’s restaurants. Not fine dining palaces serving remoulade of this and confit of that. But lots of family-friendly and budget-safe choices that are quite good. Particularly if you like lightly breaded seafood, called “Calabash” style down there. But then, that’s another post.

For powdery white sand and that unbelievably aqua water, go to Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos or St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Great American Things No. 31). But for a family beach with lots to do, you have a harlequin waiting for you in South Carolina.

Sports: Arnold Palmer

uploaded by authenticsportscollectibles.com

uploaded by authenticsportscollectibles.com

He wasn’t quite the best golfer of his era. You’d have to give that honor to Jack Nicklaus. But he was the most influential. His rapport with his fans, who became known as Arnie’s Army, translated into a wider influence that made him the unofficial ambassador of his sport.

His list of professional accomplishments is certainly more than impressive. He’s won the Masters four times, the U.S. Open once, and the British Open twice. He finished second in the PGA Championship three times, but never managed to complete his personal grand slam. Even so, he was named by the Associated Press as the Male Athlete of the Decade for the 1960s.

uploaded by 4.bp.blogspot.com

uploaded by 4.bp.blogspot.com

After his retirement from competition, Arnie became involved in a number of businesses, and is a noted golf course designer. More than 200 courses around the world bear his imprint.

Arnie will turn 80 this year. His golf swing is notoriously unorthodox, and best not imitated. But we could all follow the example of  his down-to-earth demeanor, compassion, and dedication to charity work. We could all enlist in this branch of Arnie’s Army.