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Golf Academy

Good at Baseball or Tennis? Try Golf!

Hilton Head golf lessonsOn first glance, it may not look like the sports of baseball or tennis have much in common with golf – aside from hitting a ball – but according to Palmetto Dunes’ Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver, the sports actually do have several things in common.

After attending an Atlanta Braves baseball game recently, Weaver noticed that the way a baseball player hits the ball with the bat is not so different than the impact of a golfer hitting a ball on the PGA tour.

In imitation of baseball players, he offers these tips to keep in mind for hitting a golf ball effectively:

  1. An outside observer can see the belt buckle moving to the target, creating centrifugal force.
  2. Centrifugal force straightens and extends your left arm.
  3. A good 80% of your weight is on your left foot.
  4. Your head remains to the right of the ball.
  5. The right heel is coming off the ground.
  6. The right knee is pivoting toward the target.



Weaver also says that tennis players tend to make great golfers, because tennis players develop the same muscles stroking a forehand that are required for a proper golf swing. These are the oblique muscles, the same ones used for laughing and coughing.

Says Weaver, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal emphasized building his obliques to increase his racket speed. He also notes that other tennis greats who’ve pursued golf include Ivan Lendl, Leyton Hewitt and Stan Smith. Golfer Jack Nicklaus was also known for playing tennis and even built a tennis court in his backyard. Weaver has seen plenty of visitors to Palmetto Dunes play one sport in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Says Weaver, “the bottom line is you’ll play better tennis if you play golf and vice versa.” So we invite golfers to give tennis a try and tennis players to give golf a try. In fact, wouldn’t that make a great New Year’s resolution?

Here at Palmetto Dunes, we have outstanding facilities for both, making it easy to enjoy both sports on your Hilton Head vacation. Let us know if we can help you select the right golf or tennis clinic to help you get started or if we can set you up with private lessons at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center or with Doug Weaver at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy.

He Did It: Leo Luken Shoots His Age or Better for 1,000th Time

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

PGA.com: Amateur golfer 95 shoots age or better 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

Golf.com: South Carolina man 95 shoots his age for 1000th time

Island Packet: Hilton Head Island golfer shoots his age or better 1000th time

The Golf Wire: Leo Luken Story

WorldGolf.com: 95 year old Palmetto Dunes resident Leo Luken shoots age 1000th time

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!

Hilton Head Golf Instructor Doug Weaver a Part of PGA History

Hilton Head golf proWhen 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. 

Enjoy Family Golf Activities at Hilton Head’s Palmetto Dunes During July’s Family Golf Month

Hilton Head family golf lessons 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!

Junior Tees
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.