Doug Weaver knows golf, particularly Hilton Head Island golf, as well as anyone. A former PGA Tour professional, Weaver has served as the highly respected director of instruction at Palmetto Dunes for years. His free Monday golf exhibition every week is one of our most popular attractions.
Improving your golf game is something very important to Weaver, a man once best known as the answer to a trivia question. As a PGA Tour rookie in 1989, during a breathtaking span of just under two hours, Weaver became one of four U.S. Open contenders at Oak Hill Country Club to ace the sixth hole. (Nick Price, Jerry Pate and Mark Wiebe were the other three; Weaver got his first.)
The event became the highlight of a what-might-have-been professional career for Weaver, who first moved to Hilton Head as a 17-year-old prep athlete to attend Sea Pines Academy. He later played at Furman University alongside a guy named Brad Faxon, but when graduation rolled around, Weaver wasn’t confident about his chances on the PGA Tour.
He moved back to Hilton Head, manned the bag drop at our Robert Trent Jones golf course and pondered his future. “I would play in amateur tournaments, get frustrated and say, ‘I don’t want to play anymore,’” Weaver says.
Instead, he helped found the Hilton Head Island Intercollegiate Golf Tournament at Palmetto Dunes, which later grew to become the Golf World Intercollegiate, one of the then biggest amateur tournaments in the country. During that time, Weaver mustered the courage — and the game — to tackle professional golf. “At first I couldn’t break 80 because I was so nervous,” he says. “But gradually I started to work my scores down to where I was in contention against veteran players.”
His mini-tour breakthrough came in 1987 at the Zell Wood Country Club Open in Florida, where — despite playing in a final group with three former PGA Tour pros — Weaver birdied the 72nd hole to capture his first title. “I knew then that I could play with these guys and beat them,” says Weaver. And beat them he did, winning 14 mini-tour events and earning his PGA Tour card in 1988.
Once he reached the professional Mecca, Weaver flirted with success, making about a third of the cuts in tournaments he played and missing a number of others by a shot. But a PGA Tour victory eluded him and his full-time status on tour only lasted a year. Nevertheless, it was an experience that Weaver firmly believes trained him well for his ultimate calling.
“I didn’t fulfill my potential, but the mistakes I made are ones I can help others from making today,” he says. “Hey, I played a practice round with Tom Watson at Pebble Beach. I played with Lee Trevino at the Buick Open, and was in the top-10 after Saturday’s round. I played in two U.S. Opens and practiced with greats like Vijay Singh and Payne Stewart for many long sessions.
“Today, I ask my students, ‘How much are you willing to invest?’ I know what it takes, and if you aren’t willing, I can help you with another game plan. But let’s be realistic and enjoy the journey,” says Weaver. “That’s what I want to bring to the table at Palmetto Dunes: Here’s a little mental stuff, here’s the workout stuff, here’s the top-notch technology to teach our students how to reach their potential and have fun doing it.”
To sign up for one of Doug Weaver’s free Monday clinics or any of our other golf clinics, call us at 866-650-4130 or visit www.palmettodunes.com.
How can you hit the bar farther on your next Hilton Head golf round? We’ve got some tips:
First, our Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver recommends warming up. Try a brisk stroll around the neighborhood and a few stretches to loosen your muscles, especially the hamstrings, hips and shoulders. Then, head to the course, but stay active and loose.
When you’re ready to practice your swing, Weaver says to relax your grip, lengthen your back swing and keep in mind that your power comes from your hips and thighs. He quotes Sam Snead who said, “Golf is like dancing - it is all in your legs." Get ready to dance!
Take a few swings and see if you get more distance each time.
On About.Golf.Com, it notes that “golf strength” is an often under-recognized, yet key element to any golf swing. It has to do with how well your body is conditioned to swing a golf club, which does not mean you need to look like a body builder! You need to have a good combination of flexibility, balance, strength and power.
PGA.com has a video where they demonstrate several drills to help improve the power of your swing, including tossing a ball across the body in a bounce pass and driving the ball up in the air from a laying down position. Watch the video below:
We hope to see you on our three championship golf courses soon making some powerful shots! For more information about private golf lessons or Hilton Head golf clinics to improve your swing, view the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy schedule or call us at 866-650-4130.
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. ThePalmetto 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!
We finally made it to spring break! Say goodbye to the bad winter weather and hello to warm sunny South Carolina skies. If you’re headed down our way for spring break, we’ve got some great suggestions for kids to enjoy here at the resort. From golf to swimming to fishing and more, there’s no time for video games or for getting bored here on Hilton Head Island.
Here’s our list of top spring break activities for kids on the island:
1) Swim -- What child doesn’t love to jump in the water and splash away? We figure that’s probably the first thing they’re going to want to do when they arrive, so we put it first on the list. Depending on the weather, if the ocean waters are a little too cool yet, hit the pool at your Hilton Head vacation rental, some of which are heated, and should be plenty warm in the sun.
2) Ride a bike – Our next suggestion that kids will love is riding their bike. We’re sure they’re already used to it at home and now they’ve got an entirely new area to explore. We recently replaced most of our bike paths, which number 5 miles within the resort alone. Instead of driving your car, ride your bike to the beach, to lunch, to golf, you name it! Get your Hilton Head bike rentals and all the gear you need at Hilton Head Outfitters.
3) Learn a new skill – Palmetto Dunes offers wonderful junior programs for both golf and tennis. Not only will kids and teens stay active and keep their minds firing, they’ll come home from Hilton Head Island proud to show their friends what they’ve learned. Watch these fun videos about our Little Swingers golf class and junior tennis clinics.
4) Explore nature – Nature is all around you on Hilton Head Island from the moss-draped live oak trees and colorful azaleas to shore birds and plentiful fish. Rent double kayaks and put an adult with each child for a peaceful kayak through our calm 11-mile lagoon system. See who can spot the most birds!
5) Reel in a big one – We have lots of great fishing around Palmetto Dunes, including our fair share of “monster” fish. Take a Hilton Head fishing charter on our lagoon and see if you can reel in Elvis, the giant red fish, or head out into the ocean for some exciting shark fishing for the whole family.
6) Go crabbing – This one may surprise you, but crabbing in Hilton Head is one of our favorite activities for families because everyone can get involved. Our charter, the Crabber J, teaches you how to catch a crab and then awards their world-famous Crabber J T-shirt to the person who catches the most!
What do you think your kids will enjoy the most on their Hilton Head Island spring break?
If you still need assistance booking a Hilton Head vacation villa or would like to book any of the above, please contact us at 866-744-7558.
Several members of the Palmetto Dunes golf staff recently attended the 61st annual PGA Golf Show in Orlando to check out the latest and greatest in golf gear, apparel, accessories and services. More than 1,000 companies demonstrated their wares to some 41,000 people who attended from 80 different countries. Our team learned a lot and wanted to share their findings and favorites with all the golf lovers who visit Palmetto Dunes!
Doug Weaver, director of golf instruction at the resort, made the rounds at the show, interviewing many of the company reps on the details of their new equipment. He particularly spent time with Nike Golf on their shoes, drivers and balls.
The Lunar Control II shoe, which will be highlighted at this year’s Masters(no apostrophe) by Rory McIlroy, is known for being very lightweight while providing full support using the latest in Nike technology. More from Doug:
Doug also got up to speed on the new Nike Covert 2.0 driver, whose technology is designed to provide more stability, less resistance, straighter ball flights and faster ball speeds. Here is the full interview with Nike:
All of the Nike products from the show will be available at the Robert Trent Jones course pro shop, one of only six Nike Golf Concept Shops in the country.
While at the PGA Show, Doug logged over 30 hours of training with the inspirational Peter Jacobson! Classes focused on one plane and two plane swings, exercise, mental, junior golf and club fitting. Peter is a friend, Ryder Cup Player, Senior Tour Champion and TV commentator. At the age of 48, with his game falling apart, Peter took to a program that revived his game so much so that he became a Ryder Cup Player.
Get these and more tips from Doug with a private lesson, clinic or golf school at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy this spring!
Doug also caught up with the Golf Channel’s Michael Breed, host of “The Fix.” He and Doug were PGA tour players together and Doug encouraged Michael to go into modeling. He took Doug’s advice and later combined his love of golf with modeling to become a TV show host.
View all of our videos from the PGA Golf Show on our YouTube playlist and let us know if we can schedule a tee time for you at one of our three beautiful championship Hilton Head golf courses by calling 866-744-7558 or booking online.
What’s your family doing this Memorial Day? May we suggest a visit to Hilton Head? We’ve got a host of different events all weekend that will appeal to a variety of interests.
Shelter Cove Harbour will once again host the annual Hilton Head Art Fest, now in its 5th year, which gives art lovers and novices alike the chance to browse art in a variety of media in the wonderful outdoor setting of Shelter Cove.
On Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Hilton Head vacationers and locals can visit the free arts and crafts market to see artwork from some 150 fine artists nationwide. Shoppers will find watercolor, jewelry, oils, ceramics, glass, photography and even life-size sculptures! Can you imagine taking home something akin to the famous King Neptune statue at Shelter Cove?
The artists at the festival are hand selected from hundreds of applicants to ensure an extensive variety of items that will appeal to a broad range of art enthusiasts, collectors and those looking for unique gifts. We can’t think of anything more amazing than taking back a work of art as a souvenir of your Hilton Head vacation!
Also, at Shelter Cove Harbour are a variety of musical performances, including Shannon Tanner who will kick off the 25th annual HarbourFest on May 24. He’ll play Friday-Sunday at both 6:30 and 8 p.m., entertaining crowds with his beloved kid-friendly songs like “My Hair Had a Party Last Night.”
During the day on both Saturday and Sunday, Shelter Cove Harbour will host the Patwa reggae band, a local favorite and perfect for setting a laid-back island mood. Grab a margarita at San Miguel’s Mexican restaurant and you’re set!
If your group wants to get more active, why not enroll in our Family Golf School, which is designed to fit a family’s needs and skill level or try our 90-minute Hilton Head surf school and learn how to catch a wave in no time. We’ll also be hosting adult tennis round robins over the weekend or try our new guided stand up paddleboarding tours of our 11-mile lagoon or the ocean for tailored paddleboarding guidance and a lesson on the flora and fauna of Hilton Head.
What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend? We hope they involve Hilton Head! If they don’t, go ahead and visit our Hilton Head web cams and pretend like you’re here :-).