First TeeChristopher Gaeta isn’t from Hilton Head Island, but the Lowcountry has earned an elevated place in his heart.

The 17-year-old New Jersey native comes to the island several times a year to visit family and work with golf instructor Rick Barry. He also spends part of his time on the island volunteering at The First Tee of the Lowcountry.

“By land or by sea, nobody’s faster than me.”

The winner of this summer’s first Atlantic Community Bank Beach Bum Triathlon, Jose Fuentes, could have said this if he’d wanted to, and it would have been true that brilliant Saturday morning when he crossed the finish line first. But Fuentes, a Hilton Head attorney and long-time triathlete, isn’t a braggart, and besides—the Beach Bum triathlons sponsored by Go Tri Sports are just for fun.  The carved and painted coconut monkeys in rows on a table near the finish line prove it. They’re the trophies.

The world’s best amateur golfers come from every corner of the globe to converge on Bluffton’s Berkeley Hall Club each July for the Players Amateur, but a pair of home-grown players have high hopes of earning spots in next year’s RBC Heritage.

Bluffton’s Bryson Nimmer and Hilton Head Island’s Will Miles will be among the talent-laden field for the third consecutive year, and after strong performances the past two summers, both are daring to dream about winning the prestigious event and earning an invitation to tee it up with the pros at Harbour Town Golf Links next April.

More than 150 people participated June 1 in “Fun in the Sun for Everyone,” a program that gives special needs children and adults and their families the opportunity to enjoy the beach in a safe and inclusive setting. The non-profit Pockets Full of Sunshine organization hosted this event in front of Marriott’s Surf Watch on Hilton Head Island. Activities included paddle boarding, boogie boarding, surfing, beach games, sand castle building and face painting. Volunteers instructors taught participants how to surf and paddleboard. More than 40 volunteers helped at the event. Outside Hilton Head and GoSurf Hilton Head provided paddleboards, surfboards and staff to help during the event.

Golf Tips for Beginners1

Golf pros know: Golf can seem terribly complicated to beginners. So many rules, so many different kinds of clubs. And then there's the lingo: birdies, bogeys, bump-and-runs. Golf pros and instructors speak this language every day, but also know it's a language that can scare prospective golfers off before they ever pick up a club.

More than 100 tennis players from around the country converged on Dataw Island on June 16-18 to compete in Dataw Splash, an annual U.S. Tennis Association level-three tournament.

Dataw Island, a gated golf, tennis and boating community, has hosted the tournament for several years. In 2015, the community turned the Splash tournament into a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, a tradition that has continued. To date, the event has raised more than $6,500 for Soar Special Recreation, a nonprofit group offering activities and recreation for Lowcountry residents with special needs.

Lowcountry Sports

A new website launched in June is dedicated to covering local sports news in Beaufort and Jasper counties., LowcoSports.com is owned and operated by Justin Jarrett, a sports writer and editor at The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette from 2005-2011, and currently sports information director at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

Cody SlaughterBluffton High School assistant athletic director Cody Slaughter has been named as the school’s new athletic director. He replaces Reggie Fields, who left to become an assistant principal at Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

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.