Palmetto Dunes Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver discusses approach, “When it’s Breezy, Swing Easy”
In a pair of videos, we join Palmetto Dunes Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver at what he describes as his “favorite place on Hilton Head Island” — the Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront course's back-to-back par-5 holes, Nos. 9 and 10. (Watch above or click here to watch Hole #9 Play Through Video on the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort YouTube Channel.)
On the tee box of the 9th hole, Doug discusses his strategy for the hole before he hits his drive, emphasizing on this windy day in the Lowcountry that “when it’s breezy, swing easy.”
Doug’s drive ends up among the Palmetto trees lining the fairway of the 9th, so he proceeds to play three balls using three different clubs to demonstrate and explain the different approaches golfers can take in determining how to play a hole.
Doug is a Golf Digest South Carolina Top-Ten Instructor, and he was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year by the Hilton Head Island PGA Chapter. He was named 2011, 2012 and 2013 honorable mention as a U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Instructor, and he offers more than three decades of teaching experience.
He has played and practiced with stars of the game like Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, Fred Funk and numerous others. He has taken lessons from David Leadbetter, Harvie Ward, Davis Love II, Dr. Richard Coop, Bert Yancey and many other legendary coaches.
Along with being an outstanding teacher, Doug has always been one of the Hilton Head area’s most accomplished players. The former PGA Tour pro is a U.S. Open record holder and Lowcountry Golf Hall of Fame member. In 2019, when he was 59 years old, Doug won the Lowcountry PGA Player of the Year award. He says he has a passion to help the “above 50” age group — as well as golfers with chronic injuries and limitations — learn to enjoy golf more and even improve. “I’ve been around many 80- and 90-year-old golfers who know how to enjoy golf for who they are today," he says.
Now 64, Doug recently finished third in the Lowcountry Open (formerly the Hilton Head Open) competing against players nearly half his age.
So, it’s little wonder that in our video, he birdies the 9th hole with all three of the balls he is playing.
“Great golf, great views, great sunset, excellent fishing … and the Atlantic Ocean is coming up,” he says.
Learn the Best Golf Strategy to Play One of Hilton Head’s Oceanfront Holes with Confidence
Next Doug takes us to the renowned par-5 10th hole on the Jones Course, one of the few holes on Hilton Head that plays to the Atlantic Ocean. (Watch above or click here to watch Hole #10 Play Through Video on the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort YouTube Channel.)
Doug says that this is where he “likes to have his happy hour and his sunset view on the par-5 No. 10 hole at Palmetto Dunes Robert Trent Jones Course.”
On this day, playing into a two-club wind off the Atlantic, Doug describes No. 10 as “a three-shot hole.”
“A 260-yard drive might only go 240,” he explains, “and a 200-yard shot might go 180.”
Following his drive, Doug discusses his strategy from 270 yards out. He wants to hit his layup shot to the right side of the green so that his subsequent approach wedge into the green is played into the left-to-right breeze.
Once Doug gets near the green, he explains some of the strategy of hitting out of Bermuda grass, which is prevalent in the Lowcountry. “This is like a Brillo pad compared to the northern grasses, so I need to make sure I go fully through the ball and get all my weight going.”
Once he’s on the putting surface, Doug explains how to read the grain of the greens. “Palmetto Dunes has wonderful greens,” he says. “You can see the grass is dark over here and light over there. The light grass means the grass is growing in that direction. Down grain, it’s going to be fast.”
Doug goes on to explain that the dark grass means the grass is growing in the opposite direction, against the grain. “I have an uphill, up grain putt that’s against the wind, so it’s going to be very slow,” Doug explains. “Reading a green is very important.”
“As I do my practice strokes, I’m imagining the speed of the ball rolling, and I’m matching my stroke to that,” he says.
This time, Doug’s 15-foot putt hits the back of the cup, hops up in the air and sadly trickles away. He is forced to tap in for a par.
Despite the bad break, Doug keeps his always-positive spirit and takes time to soak in the Hilton Head Island views.
“This is my favorite place to be, particularly at the end of the day, by the Atlantic Ocean,” Doug says.
“This golf course has so many options, so many pin positions, so many different winds, you could play it every day and it’s different all the time.”
As always, we enjoyed picking the brain of one of America’s top instructors, our very own Doug Weaver.
You can now book a golf lesson online with Doug or his stable of experienced instructors at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy or call (866) 455-6890. Explore a variety of golf tips Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort YouTube Channel and subscribe for new content throughout the year.