Palmetto Dunes
Post Your Story!

Golf Academy

Play Golf like Rory McIlroy at Hilton Head’s Palmetto Dunes

Everyone’s talking about Rory McIlroy right now with his big win at the British Open. He even got the coveted Sports Illustrated cover, which is rare for any golfer other than Tiger Woods. Here at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, we like to teach golfers how to improve their game and love to take a look at some of the pros’ best techniques.

According to our Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver, Rory McIlroy is known for his rotating swing. When you look at the completion of his swing, his right shoulder is over the left leg and past the left shoulder rather than stopping the rotation.

How can you learn that technique? Weaver suggests naturally tossing a ball toward to the left of the target line almost at a right angle to get the feel of it. He says it translates into better compression of the ball, which you’ll hit clean and far. Watch this video of Weaver demonstrating:

In a recent article, Golf Digest also noted McIlroy’s outstanding putting at the British Open where he made 20 birdies and two eagles and one-putted 34 out of 72 greens. The article notes that his putting coach Dave Stockton teaches players to “begin to set their stance while looking out at the line -- not at the ball.” At the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, we offer eight hours of putting instruction every week to help you work on that aspect of your game.

The Daily Mail’s Tony Jacklin says, “Rory’s technique is fabulous, showing that golf is nothing to do with size but all about speed and balance and rhythm and skill. It’s magical to watch.”

Weaver offers some tips for putting like McIlroy in this video filmed at the oceanfront 10th hole at the Robert Trent Jones course at Palmetto Dunes:

Of course, if you want to be like Rory, it doesn’t hurt to use Nike clubs and wear Nike apparel, too. The Palmetto Dunes golf pro shop at the Robert Trent Jones golf course is one of only six Nike Golf TTC Concept shops across the U.S. where you can find plenty of Nike gear.

If you want to learn to play like Rory, look no farther than the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. Call us at 866-650-4130 to schedule your private lesson today!

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.

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.

5 Golf Tips from Hilton Head Golf Pro Doug Weaver

Hilton Head golf instructionLooking 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.

Get Mental with Your Golf Game in Hilton Head

South carolina golf instructionHere at Palmetto Dunes, we believe that improving your golf game often times starts in your head. Our Hilton Head golf school, the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, offers a variety of classes that work on your mental golf game. Our head of golf instruction, Doug Weaver, is a big proponent of spending time on the mind in order to improve your skills.

“The average person is so busy, they don’t have time to master the perfect golf game. Plus, every golfer is restricted by the limits of his physical skill,” says Doug. “The one thing within our control, however, is how we approach an overall round, a specific hole or a given shot.” 

We offer a Mental Golf Workshop weekly, as well as part of our three-day Hilton Head golf school. Before you even come to class, you’ll fill out a survey online, which takes about 15 minutes, that determines your golf personality. The result is a 24-page report that Doug uses to improve your game during the Hilton Head golf class. With the survey, you’ll get an analysis of your golf temperament, golf fitness tendencies and ability to work with instructors and get customized strategies for pre-round preparation, playing shots and course management.

Doug teaches his students how to concentrate and not just think on a conscious level, but a subconscious level. But he promises, no hypnotism involved :). “It’s a fun way to play golf,” says Doug.

He encourages his students to envision a good golf shot before ever taking a swing and even to try putting with eyes closed, or with eyes on the cup and not the ball.

Come try Doug’s methods of using your mind to become a better golf player. Read more about our 2- and 3-day golf schools and variety of golf clinics. Call us at 866-744-7558 to reserve your spot today or to book one of our South Carolina golf getaways that include lessons, tee times and accommodations.

Monthly Sports Memberships at Hilton Head Beach Resort, Palmetto Dunes

Hilton Head sports membershipsIt’s getting to be the time of year where the weather up north starts to get cold, with snow and chilling winds as the norm. But here in Hilton Head the weather is mild year round with the average high between 60 and 72 November through February. In fact, you can check our website home page any time of year for the current temperature and see our Hilton Head weather chart for average highs year round.

With sunny days so tempting, we have lots of folks who like to come spend a month or more with us in the winter, and to cater to these loyal guests, we offer a variety of fun options to keep them busy at our Hilton Head beach resort.

Our Monthly Stay and Sports Membership is great for active individuals who love to enjoy the great outdoors. It includes resort accommodations for 30 days in a Hilton Head vacation home or villa, unlimited golf on our three legendary Hilton Head golf courses and bike rentals throughout your stay, two two-hour kayak rentals to enjoy our calm 11-mile lagoon system, two hours of tennis court time daily and the best rates on all other activities at the resort. Plan to burn a few calories with this monthly sports membership!

Golf aficionados will love our Monthly Golf Membership that gives you a 30-day unlimited golf pass to our three championship courses. You also receive discounts at our Hilton Head golf pro shops, golf grills and range. Imagine how much your golf game will improve with so much practice!

If you’re a tennis player, you’ll be excited to know that with any stay at a Palmetto Dunes-managed Hilton Head vacation villa or home, you receive two hours of complimentary tennis daily. So play your heart out!

Outdoor enthusiasts may enjoy a weekly – or even yearly -- kayak or canoe rental from Hilton Head Outfitters. Yearly members pay $199 for one person for unlimited use of the store’s standard kayaks and canoes in the Palmetto Dunes inland lagoon system, as well as receive half off for a second person and 10% off all other rental equipment. Monthly bike passes are also available for $59.99 for exploring the more than 50 miles of paved Hilton Head bike paths.

Which monthly sports membership is ideal for you? Call our vacation planners today to schedule your chance to get out of the cold and into the bright Hilton Head sun this winter!