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11TH ANNUAL HILTON HEAD HARBOR WAHOO SHOOTOUT GIVES LOCAL ANGLERS A GOOD REASON TO GAS UP AND HEAD TO BLUE WATER

When I was asked to write about wahoo and the upcoming 11th annual Hilton Head Harbor Wahoo Shootout, my imagination went into overdrive. I do a lot of fishing for just about every species that swims, but if I had to choose one — and only one — fish to go after for the rest of my days, wahoo would be that fish.

bowling-lowcJody Vermilyea remembers the last time bowling in the Lowcountry truly hit the big time. He was a 13-year-old in the crowd in 1988 when ESPN came to town to broadcast the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour Carolina Classic live from Main Street Lanes on Hilton Head Island.

“It was so exciting to see a game I loved getting that kind of excitement in my own backyard,” Vermilyea said.

Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry have become a golf mecca for a variety of players, from PGA Tour stars to the weekend warrior looking to play a round in a sun-drenched, world-class setting. As much as adults flock to area golf courses, the island has also become a center for a thriving junior golf industry.

From locals looking to raise their games in hopes of earning golf-based college scholarships to international families sending their children to the U.S. to master the game in hopes of PGA fame, Hilton Head has quickly earned a reputation as one of the top training grounds in the world.

3015-Golf-DariusRuckerCountry music icon Darius Rucker returns to Hilton Head Island this month to once again support the collegiate golf tournament that bears his name. Yet with all due respect to the former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman, the true stars of the week will again be the talented women golfers walking the fairways and stalking the greens of the famed Long Cove Club.

3015-Golf-AudubonFrom the turf to the register, making it green is the primary concern of golf course operators across the country, including those here in the nature-rich South Carolina Lowcountry. Yet for many right-minded pros, superintendents and owners in Hilton Head and Bluffton, going “green” is equally important to growing and succeeding when it comes to managing a responsible golf course operation.

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For more than five decades, Hilton Head Island and the surrounding Lowcountry area have been sharpening their reputations as the finest golf destinations not only on the East Coast, but also around the globe.

When the sun is shining and refreshing winds are blowing during the spring and fall, that designation is difficult to argue with. Even when the temperature is turned up in the summer months, southern Beaufort County’s acclaimed courses are full of vacationing golfers beating the heat by playing in the early morning or late afternoon.

How to get ready for the big event

Running is getting to be a messy affair, from mud runs to color runs to evading zombies.
Color runs, where runners are covered in colored powders throughout the 5K run, are popping up all over, including Charleston and Savannah.
Hilton Head Island has a run attached to just about every holiday and festival, from the Firecracker Run to the Shamrock Run to the Hog Jog to the Zombie Run.

Pastor Jon Heiliger spends many off hours on Bluffton trails

Pastor Jon Heiliger is never running on empty.

Every day he is serving the lord, running the Lord of the Life Lutheran Church in Bluffton.

During his off hours, he is running on the trails of Bluffton as often as his schedule permits.

Heiliger, 53, was a latecomer to running as he started in the sport in 2007 after noticing some health warning signs.

“I started running for fitness since I was so out of shape,” he said. “I would walk a mile and I was completely exerted. I started running a mile or two and built up from there.”

After dropping 100 pounds, Rich Vidinha has his sights set on the Boston Marathon

Rich Vidinha didn’t think much about how easy running was, until the day he realized everything else was hard.
During Vidinha’s 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including time spent as a drill instructor on Parris Island, physical fitness had been a natural part of his life.
“I wouldn’t call me a runner,” says Vidinha, 35. “But when we ran, I always enjoyed it.”

Mike Beckwith completes his 5th marathon — and his first in 20 years

Hampton Lake resident Mike Beckwith, 63, just completed his fifth marathon. That’s more than most people can say about their running records, but this most recent race is also the first marathon he’s run in about 20 years.

“Running the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon was important to me because it had been 20 years since my last one,” he said. “Mentally and physically, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it again. My biggest challenge was getting to the 20-mile marker, but once I got there, I knew I was almost home.”