95-year-old Leo Luken, a longtime player at the Hilton Head golf courses at Palmetto Dunes, where he lives, recently reached that feat for an incredible 1000th time. On Tuesday, September 24, Luken shot 47-45 for 92 at the George Fazio golf course.
Leo’s golf career, which didn’t begin until he was 45, first shot his age at 71. Luken participated in the Shoot Your Age Championship in Florida 2005, which aired nationally on CBS, shooting his age for the 530th time and bettering his age by six shots. He ended up winning the tournament, besting even Arnold Palmer. He’s been going at it ever since and we are proud that he completed his goal right here on Hilton Head Island.
Read more about Leo Luken’s special accomplishment that has been receiving a great amount of national and local golf coverage:
USA Today: A 95-year-old golfer shoots his age or better for 1000th time
Golf Channel Morning Drive: Morning Drive Leo Luken
Golf Channel: Man shoots age or better for 1000th time
“The Golf Fix” on Golf Channel: Golf Fix Leo Luken
The Golf Wire: Leo Luken Story
Golf Center on WHHI Sports: Leo Luken Interview
Interested in trying to follow in Leo’s footsteps or just playing our three championship courses? Submit a quick golf quote and we will follow up with you on a great golf package or go ahead and book online and take advantage of our online book-in-advance tee time special!
When it comes to the PGA Championship this weekend at Oak Hill, all eyes may be on Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, but there’s something special that happened at this same course 14 years ago that left our own Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver with a record-setting moment in history.
Weaver, then 29, was one of four players at the 1989 US Open at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., to hit a hole-in-one in less than two hours, a record for a PGA event. He was the first to hit the ace. It happened on the 156-yard sixth hole where Weaver used a 7-iron to make the shot. The ball went into a ridge to the right of the cup and then rolled back into the cup for the famous shot.
“The decibel level in the grandstand went up and up and up,” said Weaver at the time in the New York Times, and, he said, when the ball disappeared into the cup, “it sounded like a clap of lightning.”
Three subsequent players made a hole-in-one on the very same hole and using the same 7-iron club after Weaver. “The best part for me was that I was on the 12th tee, less than 100 yards from the sixth green when Mark got his hole-in-one,” Weaver said. “I was in the middle of the 13th fairway when I heard the roar for Jerry, and I was on the 14th hole when I heard the roar for Nick’s. I was able to relive it every time.”
According to the New York Times, the odds of such an event happening all on the same day are 332,000 to 1. Even for a professional to hit a hole-in-one on the PGA tour in any given round is calculated at 3,708 to 1.
Weaver has been featured in articles and several media outlets across the country as we head into the PGA Championship at the same New York course this weekend. Mentions of Weaver’s famous shot have run in the New York Times, Chicago Times, been discussed on the Golf Channel and more.
Should you hope for a hole-in-one at this year’s Championship? We’re not betting on it. The sixth hole has been changed since then and the slope softened. Of course maybe if Doug Weaver was there…
If you would like to take a lesson or clinic from our very own PGA pro, Weaver himself, give us a call at 866-744-7558. He offers instructional programs every day of the week at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy for players of every skill level.
We love kids here at Palmetto Dunes and we like to keep them busy with our many kid-friendly activities like surfing, tennis, kayaking, swimming and fishing. But golf is especially near and dear to our heart since we have three amazing and varied Hilton Head golf courses all inside our beautiful resort.
PGA America and the National Golf Course Owners’ Association have declared July Family Golf Month in an effort to promote golf as a fun, family recreational activity that lets you spend uninterrupted quality time together.
"Getting the family together for a round of golf, whether it’s nine or 18 holes, is a great outdoor activity that gives parents the opportunity to have uninterrupted conversations and quality time with their children," says PGA of America President Ted Bishop. "It's also a great way for the entire family to enjoy golf's health and wellness benefits while creating memories for a lifetime."
So how can your family enjoy golf at our South Carolina golf resort? Ah, let us count the ways!
Family Golf School
We offer three-day, two-hour private golf lessons designed specifically for your family at our Hilton Head Family Golf School. We’ll meet everyone at exactly their skill level and help them improve their game. We love this video showing a mom and her daughters during their Family Golf School lesson!
Kids Play Free
To encourage our golfers to teach the game to their kids, we let kids play free at the Robert Trent Jones Hilton Head golf course and the Arthur Hills golf course after 4 p.m. with an adult paying regular rate. This is a great opportunity to expose your kids to the game and enjoy some one-on-one time with each other!
We’ve also installed permanent junior tees on our Robert Trent Jones golf course, and the George Fazio course caters to juniors with markings of 150 yards or less. This makes it easier and more fun for junior golfers!
Junior Golf Lessons
We also have a variety of Hilton Head golf lessons for juniors, including our Little Swingers program designed for ages 3-7. Director of Instruction Doug Weaver teaches the game of golf while singing songs with the kids.
Our Junior Golf Clinics for ages 6-18 focus on golf fundamentals like golf shots, etiquette and rules. Weaver covers three different shots every day, and four-time attendees are rewarded with a Junior Golf School Manual.
Lastly, if you have a junior gofer who’s top of the class, enroll him or her in the Advanced Juniors Classes for ages 8-18. These kids get to play with a pro and get instruction as they go!
Make your love of golf a family affair at Palmetto Dunes! To sign up for any of the above golf lessons, schools or clinics or for any questions, please call us at 866-744-7558.
Looking to better your golf game this summer? We’ve got some tips from our very own Hilton Head golf pro and director of golf instruction Doug Weaver. From putting to your swing, he’s got some golf tips to make your summer of golf even better!
1) Sidehill lies are common and are rarely practiced. Here are some easy tips to remember: find a point in between your toes and heels where your balance feels like it is under your shoestrings, take multiple practice swings to allow your body to adjust to the feeling of that particular shot and ask your playing partner to watch where your ball goes so you can focus on making solid impact.
2) Improve your chip! Measure the distance between the shaft back to the face with your finger. This tells you the loft. Then, if you want to see what the loft will do for you, lay the pitching wedge down on the ground and step on the head. This will tell you the trajectory. Now, place the ball in the middle, lean on your left foot and use your putting stroke. Remember; let the club do the work!
3) When putting, use your shoulders, or big muscles, to allow your little muscles, or your hands, to stay soft. The result is a naturally smooth, unhurried and consistent putt. It's easy to work against yourself by guiding the club instead of letting it do the work for you.
4) Swing the golf club like you are swinging a baseball bat on your slice. The traditional batting stroke allows the forearms to rotate in both the backswing and the forward hit. The golf swing needs the same forearm rotation to allow the clubhead to be square at impact.
5) Remember to swing “Nice and easy when it’s breezy” than trying to hit the ball through the wind! But the harder the swing, the more spin on the ball, which is only exaggerated by the wind.
What area of your golf game do you most need to work on? For more help with your swing or other challenges on the green, try one of our Hilton Head golf schools or clinics. View the complete Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy schedule.
We also offer a variety of golf vacation packages that all you to improve your game while enjoying plenty of down time, as well. For example, with our Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy golf vacation package, you get two full days of instruction, resort villa accommodations, a free club fitting, video analysis and discounts on resort activities.