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.

When the star on the marquee of the three courses at The Sea Pines Resort shines as brightly as does Harbour Town Golf Links, the two other layouts there must be exceptional on their own merits to share in the spotlight.

After all, Harbour Town is not only a coveted “bucket list” course for amateurs seeking to pad respective resumes of top courses played, the Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus co-design is even gushed over by the game’s best practitioners. 

It’s becoming difficult not to notice a new golf powerhouse in the area: Brown Golf.

It bought its first course, the struggling Pinecrest Golf Course, in March 2011. Just six years later, Brown Golf owns or operates 30 golf courses in four states, including six in Bluffton and two on Hilton Head Island.

“I’ve been in the golf business since 1978,” CEO John Brown said. “I was a golf professional, then manger, then general manager. I was working for Troon Golf out of Scottsdale when I decided to start my own company.”

FIRST TEE’S NEW GOLF CAMPUS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

The word most often heard around First Tee of the Lowcountry’s new golf campus on Hilton Head Island isn’t “fore.”

It’s “core.”

That’s a referance to the core values the nonprofit organization teaches its young players. “Really, what the First Tee is about is instilling life-changing values in youth through the game of golf,” says executive director Brady Boyd.

GOLF COURSES GET WHAT THEY CRAVE MOST: LIGHT AND AIR FLOW

No one was injured. That was the best part of Hurricane Matthew as it blew through the Lowcountry in early October.

But the storm did leave a heck of a mess. There wasn’t a square foot anywhere that wasn’t covered with branches, leaves or sea grass. In every direction, a tree was blown over, snapped off or lodged in someone’s roof. In all, 2.5 million cubic yards of debris were hauled from Hilton Head Island alone, an amount that would fill up Carolina Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium five times over.

Billy Christie (left) won the AAAA state wrestling championship for the 170 weight class. Alex Braden won the 138 class.

Hilton Head Island High School wrestlers both make their mark on The Wall

The Wall is for legends. On a small island, with far fewer prospects to draw from than powerhouse schools across the Southeast and nation with feeder programs drawing kids in, head coach Mike Newton is the latest to carry on Hilton Head Island High School wrestling’s expectation for excellence.

Bluffton is about the lose one of the area’s standout courses. Not anytime soon, but the time is still coming. The course doesn’t have the fame of Hilton Head Island’s Harbour Town Golf Links, but locals sure know about this hidden gem. Need a reminder? Does Hilton Head National ring any bells? Oh yeah, the course without any development on it. Even Palmetto Bluff can’t say that.

Youth development organization rolls out new facility and introduces new executive director Brady Boyd.

Brady Boyd’s story may sound familiar to most of you.

An Ohio native, he fell in love with Hilton Head Island during a visit and decided he wanted to stay, spending his days golfing and enjoying the beautiful weather.