International Junior Golf Academy students had a special treat recently when former world No. 1 Sir Nick Faldo visited the academy and gave students a private golf clinic. The three-time Masters champion (1989, 1990 and 1996) and three-time Open champion (1987, 1990 and 1992) also won the Sea Pines Heritage (now the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing) during his career. In total, he has won six major championships and three other PGA Tour events.

Bluffton High School filled its head football coaching vacancy with a familiar face, promoting longtime assistant coach and defensive coordinator John Houpt to the head position. He replaces outgoing coach Ken Cribb, who accepted a position at Wayne County High School in Georgia. “When you have success, you don’t need to change much,” Houpt told The Island Packet recently. “There’s no reason to do that. We’re going to keep doing a lot of what (Cribb has) done. I’m going to instill a little bit of my philosophy — not to change it, just modify it a tad.” 


Hilton Head Island has been shaped by interesting people with equally interesting stories. Mike Overton, owner of Outside Hilton Head, is one of those people. His fierce love for the outdoors has and will continue to influence the way people experience and enjoy all that the Lowcountry has to offer. He’s already had an impact on the more than 10,000 people he has taught to windsurf.

PJ DozierUniversity of South Carolina sophomore guard PJ Dozier announced that he plans to submit his name for the 2017 NBA Draft, but has not hired an agent. Dozier will have until 10 days after the NBA Draft Combine, held May 9-14, to make his decision to remain in the draft, or decide to return to South Carolina for his junior year. Dozier was second on the team this season with 13.9 points per game, also dishing up a team-high 2.8 assists, pulling down 4.8 rebounds and collecting 1.7 steals per game.

Beaufort County golf facility leaders gathered to celebrate their ongoing commitment and collective effort to advance sustainable practices. The group’s 2016 collaboration was honored by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators and received the first-ever International Sustainable Golf Destination Award 2017. Leaders from The Sea Pines Resort, Old South Golf Links, The Legends at Parris Island, Moss Creek Golf Club and Oyster Reef Golf Club were present to swap tips, share their successes and renew their commitments to document and measure their efforts using golf’s eco-label for sustainability, GEO Certified.

Grace BerriganGrace Berrigan, daughter of Paige and Tom Berrigan of Hilton Head Island, was named Class A Tennis Player of the Year by the South Carolina Association for Women’s Sports. Grace grew up playing competitive tennis and soccer on Hilton Head. Before attending the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics, she played on Hilton Head Island Christian Academy’s varsity team beginning in the seventh grade. She finished her 2015 and 2016 seasons undefeated and was named the No. 1 player in the Pee Dee region this year.

Callawassie Island hosted the 2017 Big East Women’s Golf Championship on April 20-23. Six schools competing in the tournament included Butler, Creighton, Georgetown, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Xavier. Callawassie Island also hosts the Big East Men’s Golf Championship each year. The club recently extended its relationship with the Big East through 2022. 

WNBAThree members of the national champion South Carolina Gamecocks were selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft 2017. Senior center Alaina Coates became the highest pick in program history, selected No. 2 by the Chicago Sky. Junior guards Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis stayed teammates after the Dallas Wings selected them fourth and 10th, respectively.

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.