Hilton Head Island Magazine and News

BacheloretteHilton Head Island and Bluffton were both put on a national stage recently. The Weather Channel was on location on the first day of spring, March 20, and more than 9 million viewers tuned in. The following week, reality show “The Bachelorette” came to town and filmed an upcoming episode on the island and in Bluffton. The national spotlight returned once again as the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing took place April 10-16 at Harbour Town Golf Links. The PGA Tour tournament was televised by The Golf Channel and CBS.

solarenDominion, an energy company headquartered in Virginia, recently announced that it plans to construct, own and operate 81 megawatts of solar generating capacity in Jasper County. Two projects — a 71.4-megawatt facility that would be South Carolina's largest and a 10-megawatt array — are expected to enter service in 2017. Dominion's Solvay Solar Energy-Jasper County facility, located near Ridgeland, will occupy nearly 900 acres.

uberSea Pines Community Services Associates has reached a long-term service agreement with Uber, a ride-sharing service. The agreement provides full entry for Uber drivers to pick up and drop off property owners, guests and visitors within the Sea Pines community. The services had been suspended in Sea Pines earlier in the year after negotiations over gate fees failed. In addition to Sea Pines, Uber also operates in Hilton Head Plantation, Palmetto Dunes and Shipyard. Those communities automatically charge Uber drivers $2 per trip inside their gates. 

The organization’s impact can’t be measured in dollars and cents alone.

Every year, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing rolls into town, and every year, the numbers get bigger. Hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for this, hundreds of thousands raised for that.

It’s a testament to the fantastic work this organization does that we somehow find ourselves getting numb to the numbers. We applaud when we hear the total and congratulate everyone on another year of fundraising.

Almost like the release of a new iPhone, hoards of golfers lie in wait for Pro-Am tournament packages to go on sale for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. There are more than 300 spots, but in essence some reserved their place in line years ago because corporate partners and longtime Pro-Am players get first rights of refusal.

“We have one person who is playing his 49th Pro-Am,” said Derek Paton, vice president of sales and marketing for the Heritage Classic Foundation. “There isn’t room for many new players.”

Later in the same month that Hurricane Matthew slammed its Category 2 wrath into Hilton Head Island, Simon Fraser announced that the Heritage Classic Foundation had committed to donating up to $100,000 for hurricane relief efforts. Local residents in need of food, shelter or clothing would soon get it.

This is what the nonprofit foundation does — it helps people and organizations in the Lowcountry and has since its founding in 1987. More than $35 million has been distributed to charitable groups, as well as area students in the form of academic scholarships, said Fraser, now in his 11th year as foundation chairman.


The countdown to summer vacation has begun, and with it the annual question faced by all parents: What are we going to do with the kids? Whether you’re looking to ship the kids off for a whole week, or just get them out of the house for a few hours so they don’t spend the whole day watching Netflix, there is a great selection of summer camps right here in the Lowcountry.

Sea cows making their spring trip to local waters

Most people think of manatees as lazily floating about the waterways of Florida. But each spring, these docile creatures get the urge to travel.

Their search for cooler waters brings them north, with many making Beaufort County rivers and estuaries their summer homes. Some migrate as far as Cape Cod, until fall and winter temperatures send them back to Florida’s warmer waters.

Photography Lisa and Mark Staff / Styling Roxanne Madere Gilleland / Models Katie Casey, Mike Casey, Kety Marquez, Mackenzie Hilton, Cheyenne Wright, Leslie Hughes, Jock Miller, Marianna Elizabeth Epps / Makeup Maria Noel Bagnulo of Head Makeup Artistry and Esthetics / Hair Rebecca Bianchi of Le Spa of Sea Pines / Special thanks Harbour Town Yacht Club and Mike Casey for use of his boat


What do you want to be when you grow up? A rock ‘n’ roll star? A writer? An architect? A teacher? A lawyer?

Really? A lawyer? Has “Law and Order,” “Boston Legal,” “The Good Wife” or “Matlock” stirred your passion to pursue this profession? Or did military lawyer Tom Cruise grilling colonel and prosecution witness Jack Nicholson in the courtroom drama “A Few Good Men” do the trick?

The everyday beauty of Rhodie Shervington’s 100 years

Although she’d be the last to say it, Rhodie Shervington’s life is a fascinating story. It stretches from the rural farmland of St. Matthews, South Carolina, to the rough-and-tumble streets of the Bronx. It continues in a quiet room at Preston Health Center, where she prepares to turn 100 years old this month.

The many members of the Burke family. Standing, from left to right: Alvin McGowan, Brittany Kitty, Linda Burke Smart, Betty Burke Days, Lisa Kitty, Robena Greene, Jamila Days, Sidney A. Jones, Herbert Ford, Renee Ford, Mary Ford, Shirley Drayton, Geneva Mitchell, Georgia Aiken, Anaya Milledge, Carol Lewis, and Brenda Williams. Sitting: Jamecca Ladson, Jayce Charles, LB Ladson, Edward P. Days III, Keith Ford, Treasure Days, Erica McGowan, Virgil Ford, Zykeria Gethers, Chelsea Lewis, and Ari Milledge.

Since many people living on Hilton Head Island or in Bluffton are homeowners, I thought it might be time to do an update on the state of housing finance. It has now been almost a decade since the peak of the housing bubble and the excesses in mortgage lending practices that ultimately ended with the advent of the “Financial Crisis.”  Interestingly, the “Great Recession” was born of a lack of liquidity in the residential lending market that ultimately snowballed through the entire global financial system.


Tim McDougall doesn’t look like someone you’d buy marijuana from. With his Captain America good looks, close-cropped blond hair, thick-rimmed glasses and crisply starched white shirt, he appears more likely to sell you a high-end yacht than an eighth of pot.

But then the edibles come out — neon green lollipops and kaleidoscope gummies infused with Nerds candy. Then the crystals and the wax, powders and apricot-scented clumps designed to be smoked through a vaporizer.


When Holly and Peter Ranney decided to combine her background in interior design with his talents in construction to give back to their community, it only took one project for them to realize they’d found a calling.

The military-style bedroom makeover they completed for 11-year-old cancer patient Mathew Majka in 2012 was done with their own money, time and talents. The Ranneys also contacted Robins Air Force Base in Georgia on behalf of the preteen who dreamed of joining the Air Force; they gave him a specially sized uniform and flew him to the base for lunch while the makeover was being done.

The Lowcountry proves you don’t have to be rich to live in paradise

After attending the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing or spending a week on one of the many award-winning golf courses in the area, many return to their hometowns eager to explore the possibilities of calling the Lowcountry home — or perhaps home away from home. The region offers a wide variety of lifestyle living, from traditional neighborhoods and historic homes to beach-oriented communities or private gated plantations, each offering unique features and amenities such as country clubs, marinas, beach access, walking and bike paths, special interest clubs, socials and other events.

Court Atkins Group’s 501 South Studio team creates an inviting backdrop for the Artist Cottage at Palmetto Bluff

The new Artist in Residence program is a collaboration between Palmetto Bluff and Garden & Gun magazine that celebrates the arts, fosters creativity and offers a hands-on education. As part of the program, notable artists are invited to stay in the Artist Cottage in Palmetto Bluff’s newly constructed Moreland Village. Court Atkins Group’s 501 South Studio team was chosen to steer the interior design for the Artist Cottage, a project they considered a privilege.

Kentucky woman turns tiny treehouse-style home into sophisticated space

So what does a woman who was a born and raised in Kentucky and who’s been modeling internationally since she was 16 do when she wants a getaway beach home on Hilton Head Island? She buys a one-bedroom, 520-square-foot octagonal-shaped treehouse-style home built in 1976 in Sea Pines, naturally.

And then she hires Sharon Cleland at J. Banks Design Group to turn an interior mess into a “little jewel that turned out like a dream,” said Kelly Movshina, who moved from France to Aiken, where she now lives with her pilot husband and young daughter.

A congregation of alligators. A murder of crows. What do you call a batch of cocktails? A hangover. In honor of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, this glossary of golf terms has been transformed into cocktails. We have conjured up our own definitions with the help of vodka, rum, whisky, tequila and prosecco — and caffeine, of course. Hilton Head Island’s Harbour Town Golf Links has hosted this PGA Tour event for decades (the inaugural tournament was held in the fall of 1969) and next year will be the Heritage’s golden anniversary, so start pre-gaming now! 



It may be hard to believe now, but prevailing belief once held that you couldn’t make gourmet cuisine work in Bluffton. It was, after all, a working-class river town. If you weren’t steaming oysters or smoking a hog, you were overthinking it.

But over time, Bluffton woke up to the endless culinary possibilities beyond its traditional staples. And thus began the epicurean renaissance currently elevating Bluffton’s foodie scene.


Aiden McCarthy didn’t want to be a firefighter or policeman or superhero for Halloween when he was 2. He wanted to be a chef. It was a precursor to the passion that would land him on an episode of the Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” 10 years later. 

“He was just in it from the beginning,” said his mother, Leah McCarthy, of Aiden’s passion for cooking. She and her husband, Ryan, own the Downtown Deli in Old Town Bluffton, a catering company and a food truck. “He has always shown interest from a young age. He’d always ask, ‘Can I help? Can I stir? Can I measure?’ He just wanted to do everything, and was always, always, always in the kitchen wanting to help.” 

Lowcountry tennis guru Bob Brockman shares all the local tennis news and league information in this weekly tennis blog.

Resuming the Tennis Update now that tennis is starting up again. We hope everyone is well and looking forward to a less eventful future.

Japanese student starts with four English words, ends with school address

International students are nothing new to the International Junior Golf Academy in Bluffton. The school welcomes students from around the world every year — IJGA, the oldest independent junior golf academy in the country, has students from 28 countries.

But for the students themselves, there is nothing ordinary about it.       

German student uses competitve edge to get ahead in golf and life

Hanna Kiefer came to Hilton Head Island from Germany two years ago with three goals in mind. She wanted to improve her English, her golf game and win a scholarship.

Thanks to some hard work at Hilton Head Prep, where she’s a senior, and at the Junior Players Golf Academy, she quickly achieved two of those goals in her first year.