Brendan-ReilleyWhen owner Tom Reilley decided to host a wintertime bash at his new restaurant at a time when most of his competition was closed for the season, little did he know that “from that point on, everybody knew who we were.”

His “Mash Bash,” which celebrated the final episode of the wildly popular television show “M*A*S*H” on Feb. 28, 1983, transformed his months-old Reilley’s Grill & Bar into a makeshift 4077th located in the heart of Hilton Head Island.

Two weeks later, Reilley’s sponsored the island’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which attracted more people than the 68-year-old Rhode Island native might have expected — about 20, not including law officers who threatened to shut the parade down before it even started because it didn’t have a permit.

In many ways, John Patterson fits the description of a typical Hilton Head Islander. He came to the area by way of Ohio, landing in the Lowcountry as a college intern at Colleton River Plantation and deciding to put down roots. Over the past 22 years, he has worked as a golf pro, an ongoing career in real estate and is raising his family to love the area.

If there’s a silver lining to a devastating diagnosis, Kylie Nizolek has certainly found it.

Nizolek was in fifth grade when she was airlifted one frightening day to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston from Hilton Head Hospital so doctors could better treat her weakened body and failing organs.


Andrew Orischak has taken medalist honors at a U.S. Open qualifier, played in dozens of national tournaments and is ranked No. 2 in the nation among junior players by Golfweek.

All while he’s balancing school and homework, because he’s only 15.

“My rule has been to get my schoolwork done as soon as I can,” he said. “Then it’s all golf.”

The high school sophomore recently verbally committed to play golf for the University of Virginia — but only after he graduates from high school in 2017. But thinking big — and far into the future — isn’t too hard for this golf star.

“I’d really like to try to play professionally one day,” Andrew said. “But I’m also thinking of going to law school. Who knows?”

KRISTA-DUNTONKrista Dunton has worked with a lot of golfers — and a lot of would-be golfers.

The Berkeley Hall Club senior instructor led the women’s golf team while at the University of Michigan and competed on the Futures Tour, part of the LPGA, for four years.

These days, she works with Berkeley Hall members, visiting groups and other wannabe duffers looking to improve their swings. But that’s not all.

She also works with about 80 girls as part of the LPGA Girls Golf program, introducing them to the sport and helping them become more comfortable on the course. And once a month, she goes out to Parris Island to help injured Marines play adaptive golf, helping them overcome their physical limitations and score big on the course.


When writing about sports, it’s tempting to go for the easy metaphor, the clichéd turn of phrase. Tiger has lost his bite. The Bulls get gored in the finals. The Patriots get deflated in the Super Bowl.


But when a guy claims a record nine Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association championships, has played in the Senior British Open and is a freshly minted member of the Lowcountry Golf Hall of Fame, and his last name just happens to be King, you almost have to call him the king of Hilton Head Island golf.

Local golf champion shifting his focus to instruction

Tom McKnight of Bluffton’s Berkeley Hall has distinguished himself as an amateur, as well as a professional golfer.

McKnight, 60, a native of Galax, Virginia, took up golf as a teenager and eventually played on the University of Virginia golf team before graduating in 1976.


jdhoftJ.D. Hoft has always been a talented athlete, but with golf, this two-time Hilton Head Amateur champion got a second chance.

Growing up in Nutley, New Jersey, in the shadow of Manhattan’s skyscrapers, J.D. Hoft was every bit the natural athlete. Even in his junior year of high school, this talented soccer and baseball standout was already on the radar for several prominent college recruiters.

His fast track to athletic stardom was all but assured, until the day he blew his knee out.

“At the time, all I thought was, ‘I can’t play soccer; what the hell am I going to do?’,” Hoft said.

JIM-KAREN-FERREEGolf has been a part of Karen Ferree’s life in the South for nearly a half a century.

Ferree, 63, started playing golf in her youth and rose through the amateur and pro ranks. She still competes on the regional and national level.

In 2013, she won her first two matches at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur in extra holes.

Ferree entered the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame last year as a champion amateur golfer and as a Class A PGA professional at Hilton Head Island’s Long Cove Club. She became one of the state's first female professionals, and served in that role for several years before marrying her husband, Jim, a former PGA Tour pro, in 1987.

JIM-KAREN-FERREEGolf still a big part of Jim Ferree’s life

Like a fine wine, Jim Ferree of Hilton Head clearly has improved with age.

Ferree, 83, a former professional who played on the PGA Tour and the Senior PGA Tour, had most of his success in his 60s — the age when most pro tour golfers are hanging up their competitive golf shoes.

Ferree, who was born in Pinebluff, North Carolina, and grew up in Winston-Salem, learned the game of golf from his father, Purvis, the longtime pro at Winston-Salem's Old Town Golf Club. Ferree attended the University of North Carolina and was a member of the golf team.